What's the best way to cut acrylic? I have some storm window inserts to
cut.... The last time I cut some acrylic on the bandsaw, all hell broke
loose - the stuff shattered as soon as I started the cut.
Ideally, I'd like to cut this stuff on the tablesaw - what kind of blade
should I use, Ply, Rip or XC? I'll be ripping to width, mostly, but I'll be
damned if I can read the grain in this stuff... hehehe....
I have used my table saw. I had to add a piece of wood to the fence so the
plastic didn't slip under the it. It worked for me. I guess a zero clearance
insert would also help
John Moorhead wrote:
Too few TPI and maybe a wide opening around the blade?
More teeth, less depth to gullets would make for a continuous cut rather
than smacking it less often with widely spaced teeth.
I use the bandsaw with an 8 or 12 TPI narrow blade so as not to heat and
stick too badly, and it has done 1/8 and 1/4 no prob.
Bandsaw. Your two enemies are vibration and heat buildup.
Heat buildup is no problem on a bandsaw, because it's a long blade -
maybe 200 times longer than the usable part of a jigsaw blade. It will
jigsaw too, but this is the time when a really good jigsaw (Swiss-made
Bosch) pays for itself - use a light pendulum action.
Vibration is what causes cracking. Hold it firmly down onto the table
and use an adequate number of teeth. You don't need the "always 3
teeth in contact" rule for a bandsaw, but 2 teeth certainly helps.
Don't over-feed it, especially if the teeeth are a little coarse.
In aviation applications, I've used a carbon fiber disk and multiple shallow
passes. My next suggestion would be a bandsaw with a very high tooth
count - the tooth count should be such that several teeth are cutting the
material at any given time. It is a function of tooth count per inch versus
the thickness of the material.
I,ve used my 50 tooth combination blade on straight cuts, be carefull you
don,t slide inder the fence.......on curved cuts, if it thin n small amount
i,ve used my Dremel tool with the lil round disc.......they work, but break
easily, but you can sand it later....to smooth it even..
I concur with some advice already given:
1) Avoid vibration of the acrylic piece at all costs.
2) Use blades that cut on the down stroke
3) High count of teeth
4) Little or no pendulum action
5) Avoid heat build-up around the blade (or boring bit)
I have cut acrylic with a jigsaw fitted with a special acrylic blade
(teeth point downwards), the piece of acrylic being clamped between a
peice of ply and the saw guide.
I've successfully used a "melamine" blade designed to cut plastics on
the table saw, slow feed. Wear gloves (I hope I don't need to mention
safety glasses) as the burr and edge can be quite sharp. You'll have
to scrape off some of the burr that gets stuck to the cut edge.
The "sawdust" is really messy, major static cling all over your saw
and your clothes. Have the shop vac handy.
Replace "nonet" with "yukonomics" for real email address
It depends on how thick it is. If it is window-pane thin, they sell a
cheap $3 scoring tool for cutting plastics, including acrylic. Use a
straightedge, make a couple of light scoring passes with the blade,
and snap the piece. Clean as a whistle, with no loud noise or
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