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Thread: Working with Acrylic

  1. #1

    Working with Acrylic

    I want to make patterns out of acrylic that I can buy at home centers. I can cut the shapes fairly well with my bandsaw (24 tpi blade), but are there router bits that would do a better job? Don't suggest MDF etc, these are for my wife who quilts.

    DKT

  2. #2
    My first thought is that a router is too fast and would melt the acrylic.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Suburban DC (formerly western PA)
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    Hi Dietrich,

    A long time quilter and friend recommends a tool called a rotary cutter. Manual vs. electric, but much easier to use and makes a nice cut. Just resharpen when the blade begins to dull. Ann said you can buy these at Joann Fabric, many different styles to choose from.

    Not a woodworking tool, but much less expensive, I suspect.

    --MJ
    "We didn't lose the game; we just ran out of time."--Vince Lombardi

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    ABQ NM
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    MJ, are the rotary cutters able to cut through solid plastic like acrylic (Plexiglass)? I thought they were for soft goods only.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Inside the Beltway
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    Dietrich,

    I have bandsawn, drilled, routed and tablesawn the 'plexiglass' they sell at the orange borg. It's not the most pleasant work in the world, but it works. I suggest you get a piece of whatever you're thinking of, try it, and report back the results...

    Thanks,

    Bill

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Suburban DC (formerly western PA)
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    Hi Vaughn,

    That's what Ann said, and she's the quilter. I just paint, carve, collage and play with tile.

    --MJ
    "We didn't lose the game; we just ran out of time."--Vince Lombardi

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
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    13,467
    I've tried routing the acrylic on my cnc router, it gummed up pretty bad after a few minutes. However this was using a 1/8" rounded bit cutting about 1/8" deep, so if your cutting away material it may not build up as bad.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Kentucky
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    7
    Quote Originally Posted by Dietrich Trenner View Post
    I want to make patterns out of acrylic...
    My suggestion would be a scroll saw. You have a wide choice of blades and can control the speed. Just a thought from a new member

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Hey Tim, welcome aboard.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Westphalia, Michigan
    Posts
    955
    Tim, you might try a router bit that has radial flutes. (twist) They would give you a shearing cut. Personaly I've used a scroll saw and a sander to fine tune the edge.

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