Lexan for jigs

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I see most crosscut sleds use 3/4" plywood for the base, but why couldn't I use 1/4" Lexan instead? It's a stable material, isn't it?
Mike
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Lexan "should" work, but plastic can shatter and throw out shrapnel. I would avoid it.
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Lexan shatter? Unless you freeze it, it's less likely to shatter than the piece of oak you're cutting on the sled you built.

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Really? Oak must be pretty shatter prone, because I have seen many of peices of Lexan or acrylic sheeting shatter. I tried to cut a peice with a CMS once, wasn't pretty.....
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Really? Acrylic yes, but you'd be hard pressed to get Lexan (polycarbonate--different stuff altogether, I believe) to shatter. Post pictures if you do. In fact, it's used to make shatter proof features, even bulletproof in thicker construction.
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Yesterday I was milling some parts of 3/8" Lexan sheet. On my metalworking vertical mill with a regular 2 flute end mill for aluminum. What I can say Lexan is amazing stuff. Tough, not melting, not brittle, pure pleasure to work with. 1/4" deep 1" wide single pass cut is very smooth, shavings from the mill are clean and don't have a slightest sign of melting. Aluminum is much worth--it DOES melt and sticks to a mill. Regular 6061 alloy machinability is considered fair. I would give Lexan "Excellent" grade. Pure pleasure. It would definitely made fantastic jigs. Much better than oak.
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Try flaming the edges of the cut material with a torch.
The only drawback to lexan is that it scuffs and scratches easily. If you are looking for a satin type of finish just steel wool it.
Other than that it is great stuff!
Save the Acrylic for display cases for which it is great for. It won't dull after repeated cleanings.
Gary
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It had to have been acrylic which will crack/shatter very easily. It does have the benefit that it doesn't scratch very easily.
Lexan on the other hand will never shatter even hitting it with a sledge hammer, but will easily scratch.
When lexan was first introduced they made frying pans out of it to show some of it's properties.
Gary
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lexan shatter when cutting it with a CMS. It sent some pretty impressive shards out.
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:
> When lexan was first introduced they made frying pans out of it to > show some of it's properties.
You got frying pans, we got individual size pie plates.
Put it in a vise to try to crack it.
No luck, it bent but didn't break.
BTW, like TeamCasa, I'm a birch ply kind of guy for sled bottoms.
Lew
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So, which was it? Lexan (polycarbonate) or acylic. Completly different stuff. I know, it was clear stuff, right?

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Both.
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I see. Either you don't know what you are talking about or you're incredibly inept.

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This coming from a top poster?
Lexan is shatter resistant, not shatter proof. I PERSONALLY had a peice of 3mm lexan fly apart in many small peices. Maybe you don't consider that shattering, but I do. I also have had simular experiences with plexiglass, which should not come as a suprise.
Regardless, there is no reason to be an asshole, so welcome to my killfile.
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The correct way, of course.

Glad I don't work around you. Takes talent.
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I don't have any experience with Lexan, but another poster in this thread also experienced a peice of lexan shattering in a CMS. Possible they are confusing Plexiglass with lexan, it's a common misperception. What is the reason for the snarkiness?
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On Thu, 24 Aug 2006 10:05:16 -0400, "Locutus"

Well, there's at least one historically (and consistently) misinformed individual so confused, and this one was number two. All after some very knowledgable responses to the OP indicating the difference between polycarbonate and acrylic and how it is exceedingly unlikely to be able to duplicate the effect on one in the other. I get testy about them, too. Makes me want to give them their sign.
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ROTFLMAO I never heard of Bill Engvall and his "Here's your sign" bit until I got XMRadio. The first time I heard his show I almost crashed my truck! Very funny guy.
Dave
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Since everyone is adamant that Lexan won't shatter, then I must concede I was mistaken. Perhaps it was in fact plexiglass.
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And just for the record and your own piece of mind, you weren't the "historically (and consistently) misinformed individual" to whom I referred.
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LRod

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