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cutting/trimming lexan

Old 01-26-05, 09:43 PM
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cutting/trimming lexan

whats a good way to do it without screwing it up or getting it too hot and melting it if you know what I mean. Just wondering if there's any special technique that is used.

Thanks,
Ron
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Old 01-26-05, 11:22 PM
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Carbide?? tip blade. Table or jig saw. Check with TAP plastics. They can give you the best advice.

Niles
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Old 01-26-05, 11:44 PM
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would a tin shear be any good for an application like this? You know the electric or air tool that leaves a big coil of aluminum or whatever material you are cutting. Not sure how thick of lexan you are cutting. Just a thought in case the above don't pick up the phone
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Old 01-27-05, 01:08 AM
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Originally Posted by BigIslandSevens
would a tin shear be any good for an application like this?
Nope, it's not a pleasant experience trying, either.

The ONLY thing(s) I've found that work worth a **** are:
1) Metal shear (the kind with the 2'+ blade you step on to actuate). This only works on straight cuts, and only works on thin sheets. It also MAY crack along the edge. I say MAY because it's done it about 30% of the time I've used the shear for it.
2) Dremel. It violates your melting requirement, but it only melts along the edge and the melted stuff comes off when you pick at it with your fingers.

If you find anything else that works, be sure to let us know. I've experimented a little, and those are the only two things which did not ruin the piece. If it's Plexi, a straight edge and a razor work, but this does not work on Lexan, at all (ask me how big a piece I ruined).
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Old 01-27-05, 03:13 AM
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I have used a Bansaw with Great results, for sunroofs and similat items... But for little things like flush headlamp kits I have used the CNC machine... Bansaw works fine..what are you cutting the lexan for?
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Old 01-27-05, 04:53 AM
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Jigsaw with the finest blade you can get your hands on.
20TPI would be nice.
Don't go courser than 14TPI - it'll shred the plastic and warp it to hell.

The key to cutting Lexan is to get it the right speed on the jigsaw.
This implies you need a jigsaw with variable or multi speed capability.
Go fast enough to keep the cutting action smooth, but not too fast to start melting the plastic.

Lexan should NOT crack or chip.
If it does, you just got ripped off - Plexiglas cracks and chips upon cutting (wrong).

Don't use shears - it'll just warp the Lexan.


-Ted
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Old 01-27-05, 07:33 AM
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We cut Lexan all the time but granted we use CNC router equipment. Thin sheets can be sheared easily but this limits you to straight edges. For perfect edge quality we use single "o-flute" up spiral bits in our routers. I've been working with the cutting and forming of plastics for 12 years and the o-flute bits are the closest thing to a miracle I've ever seen. You could easily mount one in a small hand router and then trace a pattern or even do it freehand if you're good. The o-flute bits cut all types of acrylic, Lexan (polycarbonate) and pvc type materials flawlessly. Absolutely smooth and clean edges and you can cut the material at very high speeds without edge quality degrading.

Something like this is what you want:



http://www.plasticrouting.com/Produc...n=View&ID=1463
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Old 01-27-05, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by christaylor
2) Dremel. It violates your melting requirement, but it only melts along the edge and the melted stuff comes off when you pick at it with your fingers.

If you find anything else that works, be sure to let us know. I've experimented a little, and those are the only two things which did not ruin the piece. If it's Plexi, a straight edge and a razor work, but this does not work on Lexan, at all (ask me how big a piece I ruined).
when you say dremel do you mean sanding drum or cut off wheel, we need to take off about 1/4" of a windshield we bought ( i work with the original poster or this thread)

bryan
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Old 01-27-05, 12:38 PM
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I think Dremel refers to a spiral saw type tool. A Roto-Zip being another brand. A drill bit type side cutting bit is what I thought of. The o-flute router bit that DamonB refers to is similar.
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Old 01-27-05, 01:05 PM
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Die grinder with a very skinny wheel is what I have used }}}}}--|
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Old 01-27-05, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by RotaryAXer
A Roto-Zip being another brand.
Those are cheaper than traditional routers and work well for the DIY. They take standard 1/4" tools so you can fit anything in them. If you guys have ever tried to cut Lexan with any sort of rotary cutter or saw I'm telling you that you won't believe how nicely and quickly an o-flute will go through that stuff!
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Old 01-27-05, 01:57 PM
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Cutting wheel; the reinforced (fiberglass-weave) are worth the extra price. I just saw a bulk pack of 20 at Wal-Mart last night for $15, the 5 packs are like $6, so it's a steal.
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Old 01-27-05, 02:13 PM
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Thanks for the link Damon!
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