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Cutting Acrylic Questions


NewbieNanoReefer

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NewbieNanoReefer

I was on the internet and i found a nice design for a insump skimmer / fuge design. I need to cut some acrylic peices. I was curious what is needed tools are needed to cut 1/8 to 1/4 Acylic into small usable sheets.

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I use a box cutter and a metal meter stick or metal square. Leave the plastic on the acrylic is it comes with it on and only cut on one side. I usually run the box cutter down several time, then lay it on along a table/desk edge with the cut along the edge and "pop it" by holding the sheet down and exerting light pressure on the free side.

 

That's probably hard to follow....you'll figure it out.

 

From time to time I will keep running the knife along my cut until it goes all the way through. You'll want to lay a few sheets of cardboard under the sheet while cutting.

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Most places that supply acrylic will cut it for you. I would strongly advise going this route unless you have access to a specialty table saw blade.

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sjpresley was right. Here's a few more tips. don't use alot of pressure when you first make the cut. wait until the grove is deep enought so the knife doesn't slip out. Also you only need to cut it about half way then you just hit it and it will break smoothly along the grove

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Scoring 1/4" material will leave ridges that will make it hard to join with solvent. The best method is to have a plastics shop (supplier) cut the acrylic and then either router finish the edges or run the back side of a utility knife over them (softly) to take out any ridges from the saw. This is the best way to get a strong joint with solvent.

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Having a store cut acrylic is silly- and a waste of money. Get a box cutter, xacto knife whatever. And score the sheet- and if your really into it you can get a Stained glass cutter like i use to break the sheet up.

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and as far as polishing out acrylic i would try high grit sandpaper and a polishing compound- just a suggestion. I have not tried it, but hell works on cars.

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Well, every acrylic supplier I've ever used cuts it for free, so it isn't a waste of money at all. Have you ever tried to cut and bond thicker acrylic with a knife? I have, and I wouldn't trust my floor with it.

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I agree with reefan here. The 1/8" is easy to break by scoring, and since it isn't really suitable for water retention and will probably be used for baffles and the like, using a knife will be fine. Anything 1/4" and up I would cut myself or have someone cut.

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Hehehe, is one way to do it there phreak, psssst... have done that for years when installing vinyl siding... screw them 'special blades!

 

Think smokey is right on track with his info... just thought I'd throw one more thing in there. I never know what anyone has in the way of tools or even they even know how to work what they got!..lol Hmmm, maybe people oughta have a special sig. when they DIY post... I have made alot of cuts in acrylic using a spiral cutter, ala Rotozip or Dremel when I didn't wanna drag the saws out. If you have the Rotozip tool I believe they now come with a router base attachment and you can also buy them for the Dremels. Just lightly clamp a straight edge to your piece and "zip" away.

 

And now....

how do you polish/ sand out scratches in acrylic? I need to redo an entire tank front glass

Figure of speech Dave? Glass and yer fugged.... for acrylic, look into the 3M products and McQuires as well. They have some great rubbing compounds in varying grit. Ending up with the machine glaze for your final polish. Don't go ghetto, you need a truly decent buffer and use only the wool pads. I'd wet-sand the scratches out first using 400 to 1200 grit paper, depending on severity of scratch. It's some azz-bustin work but can be done. (oh, and like I'd have to say it, this is on the OUTSIDE of the tank only of course). If your scratches are inside, well now is where you hire out a bunch of joovies, trust me this will kill you... and you sand them out using the MicroMesh stuff. I've done this before but it's not recommended with livestock in place... run a diatom filter while yer doing it.

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I would never use a power buffer unless you know exactly what your doing. Cause the slightest slip and you mess up the surface even more due to high heat (is plastic after all). I would do it by hand, might take longer but saves time if you don't screw up in the long run.

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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Reply = Fu*k.

 

I hate U. :rolleyes:

 

220 gal 4 X 6 acrylic.

I DO NOT want the "funhouse effect" on teh tank.

 

I need a super smooth way to do this. The asshat ran an Up and Down "S" pattern on the front pane with a maglavore 4 and left the fuc'ken alage pad on it after I told him NOT to EVER run it if it fell off the glass and into the sand. ASSHAT Fuk Face scratched his tank to ###### in 2 days AAAAAARRRGGGHHHH !!!

 

Side note SEE the "Sad Sad Story" thread posted by me PART 1 & 2 (And it is the SAME customer)

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freakaccident
I would never use a power buffer unless you know exactly what your doing. Cause the slightest slip and you mess up the surface even more due to high heat (is plastic after all). I would do it by hand, might take longer but saves time if you don't screw up in the long run.

 

A buffer that spins will cause heat. Use a good "Orbital" and you wont have high heat. I used the following method to make really badly scratched up plastic Jeep soft top windows look like brand new.

 

Porter Cable http://www.portercable.com/cgi-bin/product...id&prod_id=7424 makes the best home use orbital buffer and you can buy it at Home Depot or Lowes for around $100 or so. Check the auto detailing msg boards to verify this if you wish. You won't hurt the acrylic if you use the low settings. Use the 3m swirl mark remover available at Pep Boys. It will be a long process to get the scratches out. Maybe 8-10 times with low speed buffing. One coat would be first going horizontal then vertical. Finish each coat by using a microfiber cloth to remove the 3m stuff. The cloths can be found at Pep Boys too. After it looks good use a good plastic polish to finish it off. I suggest http://www.noscratch.com/novus/. Use the foam pad that comes with the buffer for the 3m stuff. Don't skimp and get a cheap buffer. You won't be happy with one. You will find many use for the good one. Try polishing your windshield on your car with it.

 

Another nice thing is that you can use the buffer on your car too. For the car use the 3m swirl mark remover if you have swirl marks, then polish with Zymol or similar, then use a 100% carnauba wax on top of the polish. If your car has deep swirls then it may take 2-3 times with the 3m stuff before you get them out. I use http://www.carbrite.com products. If you can get them or the Professional 3m line then use them. Check bodyshops or car dealerships for the pro stuff. They will usually sell you some or give you the local reps name and number. The pro stuff really does make a difference.

 

Good luck.

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Wait, Hold-up, What did you say?

 

You can cut acrylic on a table saw with the blade on backwards?!?! This doesnt damage the acrylic or anything?

What kind of blade are you guys using? I imagine you dont want a blade with offset teeth at least, right? Please MORE info!!! =)

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freakaccident

I wish I had a table saw. I tried to make a small tank with a circular saw with the blade on backwards and I couldnt get a straight enough cut. I'm not very exact with things like that. I used the blade that came with the saw. It did not have offset teeth. Just a regular blade.

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