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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

This is my first post so I apologize in advance for my ignorance. I am a timber framer and am going to be enclosing a frame with SIPs, which are Structural Insulated Panels consisting of a sheet of 7/16" OSB, 5 1/2" of EPS Foam and another sheet of 7/16" OSB.

You could call a SIP a "foam sandwich in between 2 sheets of OSB." Typically, the SIP manufacturer cuts the window rough openings into the panels at the factory. The problem is that sometimes they don't get the cuts in the correct location. As a result, I have learned that some folks "field cut" or "site cut" their window openings. Furthermore, I have heard that some pros (framers) actually use their handheld router to cut window openings in the sheathing. One thing about my project is that I only have 2 sizes of windows so I am entertaining the possibility of constructing a template to make the cut using a router. Obviously, I would have to make sure the template is on the same location on the opposite side of the panel but I'm trying to figure out what the sequencing would be using a high quality handheld router with an HSS bit. Would I need a plungeable bit? How much HP would I need on the unit? Should I purchase an acrylic base? How would I approach making a template?

Again, sorry for all the newbie questions. Sadly, I have a rendering but I can't post it because I haven't hit 10 posts yet. Perhaps this thread will have enough action so that I can hit the 10 posts but until then, my question is essentially what is a best practice for cutting a square in a sheet of 7/16" OSB when the sheet is mounted vertically?

The beauty of doing the window RO's once the panels are up is that there is no risk of putting the window behind a knee brace and the position can be fine tuned for the inhabitants of the room and the views afforded by the site. For what it's worth, I do have a "hot knife" tool to cut the OSB and the EPS foam will actually keep the OSB from splintering (I hope). Other folks I know have cut SIPs with a 14" Skil Bar Chain attachment and another fellow suggested a jigsaw against a fence. I turned to this forum because I do think the router (and template) would be the most accurate tool to accomplish this task.

Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance for any recommendations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Semipro! I was looking at a couple Porter Cables at the store. I assume that any template I make will be best constructed so that I cut away material on the INSIDE of the template rather than following a path along the OUTSIDE of the template, yes?

Thanks again. This is really helpful info.
 
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