best way to cut polycarbonate?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Derek_P, Jan 25, 2004.

  1. Derek_P

    Derek_P Stunt Coordinator

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    hey, i am making a mount for my projector from some polycarbonate plexiglass stuff i came across...

    it's way to big... like 18"x18" and i need to cut it down to the size of my projector... what the best way to sut it to size?
     
  2. Nick P

    Nick P Second Unit

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    To get the cleanest cut I'd use a router. How thick is it?
     
  3. Derek_P

    Derek_P Stunt Coordinator

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    3/8" i think.. it's pretty damn thick
     
  4. Stephen Weller

    Stephen Weller Stunt Coordinator

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    Nick,

    Have you successfully [rant]used[/rant] a router to cut polycarb?

    My experience cutting it with a saber saw (running too fast) taught me that it has to be cut s-l-o-w-l-y. Else the heat from friction melts the polycarb making a bad situation worse - FAST!
     
  5. MarkMel

    MarkMel Screenwriter

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    I have used a router for years for cutting plexi and polycarbonate. Wouldn't use anything else except maybe a table saw. No heat issues with the router whatsoever.
     
  6. Stephen Weller

    Stephen Weller Stunt Coordinator

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    Good to know. Do you run the router on a speed controller? Turn the speed down? What kind of bit?

    I *have* used a table saw. I hate getting pelted with the little shards. Curious too how it makes all those slippery little bearings.
     
  7. MarkMel

    MarkMel Screenwriter

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    No speed controler needed. I just use my 3 1/2 hp Makita with a straight bit, clamp on a straight edge and fire her up. It does make a mess though. With plastic shavings, the cut edge come out nice and smooth.
     
  8. Nick P

    Nick P Second Unit

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    Stephen and MarkMel,

    Yes I do cut polycarbonates and acrylics with a "router" but my situation is a bit different as I have a CNC machine. Same principle/technique though. Yes, the material can melt if the rpm and feed rate are off...especially at 24,000 rpm! I just ruined an 1/8" bit the other day. It's now a metal stick with a big black blob welded onto it.
     

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