How to cut roll of landscape fabric?? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Got a great buy on a brand new roll of heavy duty landscape fabric last fall, and since it is 75 inches by 300 feet, I'd like to cut it into 3 pieces, 25 inches by 300'. Anyone have any ideas as to the best way to do this? I'd just like to use it here and there, to place under rows of tomatoes, etc. Table saw? Reciprocating saw? Would like to cut it while it is still rolled up, rather than unroll, try to cut, etc. Thanks for any advice, experience, etc. Jan

-- Jan in CO (, April 05, 2002


Hi; What is the diameter of the roll? Is the roll 75 inches long,or folded like 'drop cloths' are ?

-- ourfarm (, April 05, 2002.

Jan, I would try wrapping the roll as tightly as possible with duct tape at the places you want to cut at, then use a high-speed saw to cut through the tape and the roll. You would want something that cuts in one direction only, like a horizontal band saw. The table saw should do in a pinch, if you use a fine-toothed blade. A reciprocating saw would probably rip the roll to shreds instead of cutting cleanly.

-- Paul D. (, April 05, 2002.

I would not recommend using any type of power saw to cut that.

-- BC (, April 05, 2002.

BIG VERY SHARP kitchen knife

-- Rose (, April 05, 2002.

The roll is 75" long. It has to be pretty tightly rolled, as it's about 12 inches I'd guess in diameter. Has a plastic wrap covering it all, so I haven't unwrapped it. I'm wondering if a razor-type knife would work? Might be time consuming, but I think the possibility of having it all ripped to shreds has me scared to use a saw. I just thought I could use it more places if it is narrow, than one wide strip. Thanks, Jan

-- Jan in CO (, April 05, 2002.

I'd use a hacksaw with a new blade. Every power tool I think of brings up images of shredded strips enmeshed in the works. Maybe a chainsaw...if it doesn't work it'd be one hell of a story. :o}

I guess you could use a sawzall (reciprocating) with a fine tooth blade, but it'd have to be the longest you could get, like a 14 or 16" or I'd be worried about it getting fragged up going through the center.

-- gilly (, April 05, 2002.

One more idea: if it's the plastic heavy duty landscape fabric, you may be able to rig up a hot wire and cut it with that. That should leave you with clean (if maybe a little fused) edges....well, maybe not. I'm still rooting for the chainsaw!!

-- gilly (, April 05, 2002.

I too would not use a toothed power tool for this task. The way I do it is this.

Using my large garden cart as a stand, and a dowel or rod passed through the centre pr the roll of fabric for it to roll on, I built some uprights to hold the dowel so it looks like the gizmo they use at butcher shops or picture framing shops for tearing their paper.

Then I borrow an idea from leather crafting. The plain bar across the front that would be the straight edge for tearing the paper is now just a weight to stop it spinning too fast when I pull on it. Make some knotches in it and insert some new, sharp utility blades or razor blades at the widths I want for my strips. Roll the cart and fabric roll to the garden site and line it up with the rows so that as you pull out the fabric the length of the row it is sliced by the blades.

This way you still have a large roll for when you want to cover wider rows or broad beds.

You can modify the roller stand with a crank and use it at the end of the season to wind up the cloth to use again. It will last more than one season if not left exposed to sunlight

-- Deborah Hardy (, April 06, 2002.

Jan, my friend who has the apple orchard and market garden lays out one big piece of landscape fabric over her tomato plot then cuts holes where she wants to plant. She has less area to secure from the wind and as the tomatoes grow, they help hold it down as well. She has far less wind to deal with here in Missouri than you do on the plains. The fabric lasts several seasons this way as she can roll it up easily to move it to a new spot.

I would avoid something like a chainsaw and opt for a smoother blade or a heated wire. How about an old soldering iron if you still want to cut it? That would seal the edges as well.

Catch you later.

-- marilyn (, April 06, 2002.

I used a large (10" blade) serrated bread knife. I cut until it bogged down, then rolled it a quarter turn and again cut as far as I could, repeat two more times.

-- Lenny Findley (, April 06, 2002.

Is this landscape fabric the woven kind or the spun bonded kind?

If you do not use heat to melt cut the edges of the woven kind it will unravel in use. I wouldn't attempt to cut through an entire roll by melting it, but I'm not brave. I would expect each edge to melt to the next and as unrolled it would unravel from the melted threads pulling at each other.

I too use the woven landscape fabric to plant through. I use a plumbers style torch to heat a round pipe, then melt the edge of planting holes. For larger holes I heat the edge of a can the correct size while holding it with Vise Grips. Leaves a nice tidy hole with edges that can't unravel because they are melted together.

Sorry, but I just can't imagine cutting a whole roll at once without problems. I do wish you good luck however. Maybe yours isn't the woven kind and will cut easily.

-- Notforprint (, April 06, 2002.

Had to read the question 2wce to undersatand. :) I'd maybe try the razor knife/ carpet knife thing.

But, I'd want the full size myself, wish I could find a deal!!! :) The 25" would be just ruining a nice big deal for me. Bummers. :) I would think big sheets would have more value than little narrow ones - can always use leftover scraps for the narrow stuff.


-- paul (, April 07, 2002.

I like marilyn's friend's idea, but it won't always be the right application.

I have successfully cut them with a hack saw.

-- Rick in SW West Virginia (, April 07, 2002.

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