carbide joiner blades?

I bought a Delta Shopmaster 6" joiner from Lowes. Seems to be a weekend warrior grade tool. It does a fine job finishing the edges of plexi. However, I seem to get a couple hundred feet from the blade before I have to move the fence to a cleaner section. Secondly I hear diamond blades or perhaps carbide will give me even a cleaner glass like edge.
Secondly, If I have to edge anything longer than 4 foot, the short table is a hindrance, I can graduate up to a better model if needed. Thanks!
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SimonLW wrote:

plexi will be hard on the cutters. carbide may be called for.
if you're not going to be using this machine for woodworking, just for the edge of plexiglas, you don't need the width of a larger machine, but it sounds like you could use longer tables. there are a few long bed 6" jointers out there, I think. IIRC, powermatic offers one. you might be able to get it with a spiral array indexed carbide cutterhead, which should perform beautifully for your application.
alternately, you could set yourself up with a long router table and offset fence with a spiral carbide cutter. it will take up a bit more floor space in your shop, but it will likely make handling the sheets easier, do at least as good a job and cost a lot less.
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Excellent! Thank you. I will check that out.
I'd like to hear from other people if you have anything to add.
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First, have you considered using a router table? You can make your own with the table as long as you need. Carbide router bits also cost considerably less than jointer blades.
Second, if the edge isn't going to be glued then flame polishing will give a glass smooth edge. This is tricky to do and requires practice but once you get the hang of it it's fast and easy. It will round the edge slightly making for poor glue joints.
Art

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That's a good idea. I'll have to research some table plans.
I don't like flame polishing because the stresses that are setup in the material. You may have noticed in restaurants and other businesses where the edges have cracks forming because the case was cleaned with some chemical that caused the edges to crack. To see what I mean, flame polish an edge, let it cool and dip it into alcohol. As the alcohol dries it will start to form cracks! No effect on hand polished edges unless too much heat was generated during buffing. Annealing the material at 170 Deg F for one hour per mm of thickness and slow cooling (more hours) is the recommended way to relieve stresses from flame polishing. Hardly anyone does this because of the time involved. Time is money. Incorrect saw blade usage can cause stresses as well.
Running the material through the joiner at a very slow rate will yield a glossy edge that needs minimal polishing to yield a glass smooth edge. S
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That's a good idea. I'll have to research some table plans.
I don't like flame polishing because the stresses that are setup in the material. You may have noticed in restaurants and other businesses where the edges have cracks forming because the case was cleaned with some chemical that caused the edges to crack. To see what I mean, flame polish an edge, let it cool and dip it into alcohol. As the alcohol dries it will start to form cracks! No effect on hand polished edges unless too much heat was generated during buffing. Annealing the material at 170 Deg F for one hour per mm of thickness and slow cooling (more hours) is the recommended way to relieve stresses from flame polishing. Hardly anyone does this because of the time involved. Time is money. Incorrect saw blade usage can cause stresses as well.
Running the material through the joiner at a very slow rate will yield a glossy edge that needs minimal polishing to yield a glass smooth edge. S
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