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Cutting Plexiglass?

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#1 six-five-two

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 08:47 PM

Well folks, I have half made the transition from nerf to airsoft, but I still want to finally finish all of my nerf projects because I have a bunch of PVC lying around my house. Anyways...

A little while ago I got some scrap plexiglass from a plastics store and I need help of how to cut it. I would use a saw, but I am trying to cut it along a curved line. Thanks in advanced.
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#2 OfAllTheNerf

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 08:50 PM

If you don't have a scroll saw or something like it, a plexiglass cutter should work.

Heres a link to somewhere with one.

Plexiglass cutter

It should be available at Home depot or Ace.
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#3 CaptainSlug

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 11:31 PM

Scrollsaw is the ideal tool and the only thing I would recommend. Bandsaws are great for cutting acrylic, but are really only good for making straight cuts. Acrylic is a serious pain to work with if you're not familiar with it how it behaves under tooling.

See this sticky in the Modification section for specific recommendations.
http://nerfhaven.com...?showtopic=8007

Edited by CaptainSlug, 08 March 2008 - 09:32 AM.

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#4 Doom

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 09:17 AM

Routers work well. To cut some 1/4 inch acrylic I used a router before. You can make curves pretty easily with a router. If you do two passes you should be fine. I could get away with doing one, but I'm not sure if that was good for the router bit.

Edit: I would like to mention that a router makes a lot of plastic bits. Routers are best for curves and circles, but if you're cutting straight it would be easier and less mess to use a scroll saw.

Edited by Doom, 11 March 2008 - 04:25 PM.

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#5 Split

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 10:39 AM

A jigsaw.. basically a portable scroll saw..
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#6 aetherguy881

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 05:09 PM

I haven't used thick plexiglass, however I have used some that's <1/4". The best method that I have to cut it is to treat it like regular glass. Score it, deepen the score, then bend/break it over the work surface edge. Works great for me that way.
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#7 flamebo388

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 08:08 PM

Use a coping saw! Kick it old school with hand powered tools. It's a hell of a lot cheaper than a scroll saw and with a bit of practice you can get similar results. Course if your just rolling in dough get the scroll saw, less sweating :D .

Edited by flamebo388, 07 March 2008 - 08:11 PM.

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#8 ejrasmussen

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 04:06 AM

In my technology class I use a bandsaw to make curves, I use 7-10 speed.
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#9 CaptainSlug

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 09:35 AM

A coping saw would take forever.
Plexiglass cutters are time consuming to use and not well suited for making curved cuts.
A jigsaw in my experience is likely to get stuck, lead to a lot of melting, or crack the sheet edges. Even if you are using the right blade. If you want to use a jigsaw you will have to use alot of cutting oil or a steady stream of compressed air on the blade to prevent melting.
I have close to 7 years of practice machining plastics now and the only tools I would trust for cutting acrylic are scroll saws or band saws.

In my technology class I use a bandsaw to make curves, I use 7-10 speed.

Using a band saw you can do wide curves easily, but in order to make narrow ones you will have to make several passes.

Edited by CaptainSlug, 08 March 2008 - 09:40 AM.

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#10 Blasphemy

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 07:37 PM

I'm going to have to recommend you take Sluggy's advice on this one. Band saws can be far more expensive than scroll saws, I managed to get my scroll saw on Amazon for $100 plus shipping, you might want to do the same.
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#11 Morally Challenged

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 04:24 PM

Has anyone thought about using a Rotozip to cut plastics? they "say" that the multipurpose bit is good for wood and plastics (though I'm not so sure about that since most multiuse things tend to suck equally)


A coping saw would take forever.
Plexiglass cutters are time consuming to use and not well suited for making curved cuts.
A jigsaw in my experience is likely to get stuck, lead to a lot of melting, or crack the sheet edges. Even if you are using the right blade. If you want to use a jigsaw you will have to use alot of cutting oil or a steady stream of compressed air on the blade to prevent melting.
I have close to 7 years of practice machining plastics now and the only tools I would trust for cutting acrylic are scroll saws or band saws.

In my technology class I use a bandsaw to make curves, I use 7-10 speed.

Using a band saw you can do wide curves easily, but in order to make narrow ones you will have to make several passes.


Edited by Morally Challenged, 10 March 2008 - 04:27 PM.

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#12 CaptainSlug

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 07:59 PM

Has anyone thought about using a Rotozip to cut plastics? they "say" that the multipurpose bit is good for wood and plastics

They're full of it. The diameter of the bits used with a Rotozip are too small to be effective for cutting the vast majority of plastics. Rotozips are just anemic routers. Real routers are much more capable and can cut a much wider variety of materials because they have a strong enough motor to keep larger diameter bits up to speed.

Edited by CaptainSlug, 11 March 2008 - 08:01 PM.

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