Cutting Acrylic

I've been reading through the back posts on this and there seems to be a few varying opinions.
I have to make several cuts in 3/16" Plexiglas, some as long as 48". I don't mind trying the score and crack on the shorter cuts, but I think I'll go with the TS for the longer cuts. It seems that most people (?) prefer to use a plywood blade. But I'm wondering about the blade height? I would think that a higher blade would reduce chipping, but increase the likelihood of melting (more friction). Any experiences?
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Bill Stock wrote:

I used to cut plastic using the score and snap method. It was a PITA. I now use my table saw and a Freud Industrial combo blade. It's worked very well for both ABS and acrylic sheets. The edges are much better than what I used to get with the score and snap method.
-Peter
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As a solid surface fabricator, I do quite a few displays using acrylics of all thicknesses. The best results with Plexiglass, for me, is to use the same blades as the ones I use for acrylic solid surface ( not to be confused with polyester solid surface products i.e. Avonite Studio collection, Formica alloys etc). Royce Ayr Ultima TCG 80 teeth (120 for the 12' version) with a -5 degree negative hook. Amana and BladesLLC have similar blades. I always leave the protective paper on the Plexiglas because I use felt-tipped fingerboards to apply mild pressure on the material because the thinner stuff likes to chatter (not shatter). On the Unisaw, I toss on a cpl of blade stabilizers. The magic words are: sharp blades and major suction on the DC. Hope this helps. BTW, those sawblades are considered General Purpose as well, and they work very well on melamine (I hate that shit) and Baltic Birch plywood etc. so your investment won't go to waste.
Rob
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Hi Bill, I use a TCG 80 tooth set just high enough to clear. Works well for me. The optimum height of the blade can depend upon the angle set of the teeth. Cheers, JG
Bill Stock wrote:

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I've been told if you reverse your bandsaw blade, teeth up instead of down, that it will cut acrylic perfectly.

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"Bill Stock"

I'm in the sign business and do quite a bit of that. A triple grind tooth set, 80 per 10" blade will give you the best results. Sears has an aluminum cutting blade for $65 that fills the bill.
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wrote:

48" will be a problem, but for cutting out smaller sizes (up to about 12 x 12") I use a DW788 scroll saw, it works fine, even up to 12mm thick stock.
Barry Lennox
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