Turning Acrylic

Steve Chavez

Member
Messages
8
I am making some slingshots for my grandsons and am turning the handles in acrylic. I tried it ( I'm a noob to the spiny thing) and had a lot of chipping. It turns different than wood but I don't know what to do to get a better result. Thank you.
 

Ryan Mooney

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7,371
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The Gorge Area, Oregon
I've only done a very small amount of plastic turning.. and I think most of what I've done is softer than most acrylics.. But I've found:

Use a medium speed (to low and you don't get a good cut, to high it melts).

I prefer edges tools like a skew, super light cuts, and you have to clear the ribbons out of the way fairly often. A SHARP negative rake scraper also works ok although it can be a smidge grabby (I might actually hone the bur off..). But overall, super sharp tools, light cuts, and it turns out ok usually.

Wet sand to finish.

This is a fairly decent video I found from penn-state. on the basics:

 

Vaughn McMillan

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ABQ NM
I've turned acrylic pens, and the tips Ryan mentioned are spot on. Keep in mind though, that "acrylic pens" are essentially a thin layer of acrylic over a metal tube. I think I'd be a bit cautious making slingshots out of solid acrylic. Depending on the type of plastic it is, I suspect it might be too brittle to work safely. Turned acrylic with a steel core might be a safer option.
 
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