Cutting plastic mirrors

Hi
As an absolute novice, I'd be really grateful if you guys (and girls) could help me out on how to cut small plastic (acrylic) mirrors and some practical advice about what equipment I need to buy.
As background, I run a small ceramic/pottery shop and want to make some hand-held vanity mirrors. I have sourced a supplier (around 80 for a 8' x 4' sheet, 3mm thick) but the cost of them to cut the mirrors for me is very prohibitive and so I need to cut (and finish) them myself. Ideally they need to be oval (aound 5" x 4") but if this is difficult then a 4" diameter circle might be acceptable. I need to make around 50-100 at a time and they need to be identical (or at least very close to identical) in shape.
I have done a Google usenet search and there are many suggestions of ways that 'work' but unfortunately I don't understand the equipment they are talking about (piloted flush cutting straight bit / carbide tipped combo blades and so on) Suggestions have been made for band saws, jig saws and circular saws but I am not sure how or if any of these could be used for low level 'mass' production. I understand that there may be problems with friction heating of the mirrors and fumes.
Any advice or practical tips in something close to laymans terms if possible, on what equipment I need to buy (feel free to mention product names) and how it should be used to cut / finish the mirrors will be very gratefully received.
Many thanks and kind regards
John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
JRH wrote:

Never used or seen plastic mirror but I can imagine what it must be like. The flush cutter would be like this http://www.trendmachinery.co.uk/library/Catalogue_Pages/PAGE017.PDF You would attach a rough cut oversize piece of mirror to an exact size pattern and then run a router around the pattern.the bearing (pilot) follows the pattern and the cutter copies the shape. Basic router technique but over and above the normal processes you would need to make sure your method of securing the pattern to the mirror did not damage the surfaces. Cutters with the bearing at the shaft end of the cutter rather than the end, allow the router base to bear on the pattern instead of the workpiece. These would be better for your application.
Good Luck
Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
JRH wrote in message ...

practical
I think I'd shop around a bit more first. With the right equipment 100 of those would be a 5 minute job. All you need is someone with 5 minutes spare capacity. If ceramics are your game, I wouldn't get side tracked into plastics. You can shop around by phone easily enough. A 5x4 oval doesn't need drawings etc. I always start at the top. Ask the plastic manufacturer where you can get small runs of their stuff cut to size. Also try the web. It's certainly very easy to order engraved signs online which is essentially the same machinery.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
a fine toothed jig saw will do the job, once you start a cut it must go all the way to the other side, that is to say you cannot take notches out of the plastic or you will break it,

could
practical
very
need
they
low
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.