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View Full Version : How do you cut your lexan parts?



ntopper
07-30-2013, 07:44 PM
Do you think I could cut 1/4" lexan parts with tin snips? It would be mostly strait cuts. I live in a townhouse and don't have room/access to bench tools.

ntopper
07-30-2013, 07:46 PM
And iv'e had trouble with my cutting wheel melting the plastic when I cut it.

KevinO
07-30-2013, 07:51 PM
I would assume it would chip due to the force of the snips. Define cutting wheel though....

ntopper
07-30-2013, 08:04 PM
I'm talking about the cutting wheel attachment that came with my dremel.

KevinO
07-30-2013, 08:16 PM
Ah I figured that. A dremel might not spin fast enough or the wheel you are using might be the wrong one. Some of those cutting wheels "sand" at the same time so the friction builds up heat thus, melting the lexan. Does it actually have teeth on the wheel or is it a rough composite material type cutting wheel.

tician
07-30-2013, 08:22 PM
I know that most bigbox stores sell plastic sheet cutters that amount to a really heavy duty knife/blade to slice through the plastic after many passes (by the plexi, lexan, and glass sheets for window repairs). One can usually score and snap PMMA, but lexan is a bit tougher and I usually just keep scoring/slicing until it is completely through. Never cut anything thicker than ~1/8" with them because it would take quite a while.

Another option would be a router bit kit for a dremel. It has worked very well for me in quickly cutting polyethylene and polypropylene ~1/2" thick and will likely have no trouble with even thicker sheet. Just be sure there is some sort of scrap wood or other material underneath so you don't ruin the bit and/or your table.

Th232
07-30-2013, 08:43 PM
Would not recommend tin snips either. It won't crack as easily as acrylic would, but I don't see good things happening to it.

If you're good with one I'd just use a hacksaw or coping saw, depending on the size of your parts. If you're not so good with one, then hacksaw/coping saw followed up with a file and/or sandpaper.

ntopper
07-30-2013, 09:27 PM
Actually I'm now starting to conciser using .125" polypropylene, I can cut it with a hobby knife and it's not brittle. The parts I'm making are quite small so I think polypropylene will work well.

escott76
07-31-2013, 04:51 AM
Ah I figured that. A dremel might not spin fast enough or the wheel you are using might be the wrong one. Some of those cutting wheels "sand" at the same time so the friction builds up heat thus, melting the lexan. Does it actually have teeth on the wheel or is it a rough composite material type cutting wheel.

Dremel spins way too fast, even for use with a cutting bit. Although plastic can handle a decent SFPM (surface feet per minute, measure of the cutting speed at the tip of the tool) it needs to be cooled and the chips removed for it to work well. Hand saw with a fairly aggressive tooth is going to be the best bet for cheap and easy.
At work we machine all kinds of stuff, plastics, aluminum stainless. Fastest spindle speeds come with aluminum, not plastic. Chiploads are usually higher with plastic, but even that sometimes needs to come down as some will chip out if you feed them too fast.

gdubb2
08-01-2013, 11:39 AM
I have always cut Lexan with a band saw, but if in an apartment environment, I'd probably use a coping saw, or jewelers saw.

Gary