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Doug Shepard
08-31-2009, 9:18 AM
I've been trolling on eBay and realizing that this stuff aint exactly cheap but I want to make the door on my TS extension router cabinet out of thick acrylic, either 1/2" or 3/4". Other than just continuing to watch the bay for a decent price, is there a source that sells small pieces (roughly 12" x 12") for reasonable prices?

Scott Shepherd
08-31-2009, 9:26 AM
Doug, most plastic suppliers will cut you a piece. I know Piedmont Plastics (many locations across the US) will cut you a piece that size no problem.

In fact, I have some 1/2" and I'll gladly cut you a piece 12" x 12" and sell it to you at cost plus shipping if you want it.

Bruce Volden
08-31-2009, 9:30 AM
Doug

If you wanted something stronger you might look to polycarbonate, spendier but almost indestructible! Acrylic will tend to "craze", yellow and weaken over time IMO.

Bruce

Doug Shepard
08-31-2009, 10:15 AM
Scott
I may take you up on that offer after seeing what I find out at Piedmont and checking into Bruce's suggestion.

Bruce
Can the polycarbonate be cut on a TS? And can it be tapped for screws?
I did a quick google check and found
http://www.smallparts.com/Clear-Polycarbonate-Sheet-500-Thick/dp/B000G6OODW/185-8693810-6893208?ie=UTF8&qid=1251724115&pf_rd_r=1C8RRR4PYZNT9SW234QZ&pf_rd_p=467590031&pf_rd_i=0&sr=1-4&pf_rd_s=center-3&pf_rd_m=AIUBT5HP6PMAF&pf_rd_t=301
which doesn't seem unreasonable but I dont know what kind of prices the polycarb usually goes for.

Bruce Volden
08-31-2009, 12:23 PM
Doug

I have cut it on my TS using my solid surface blade (no tear out), I imagine you'll have a little tear out with a wood blade but it can be sanded. Haven't tried tapping it but it "should" work much better then acrylic.

Bruce

Scott Shepherd
08-31-2009, 12:29 PM
Polycarbonite will tap just fine. It's "softer" than acrylic, so it's not as brittle, but with that, it also likes to melt a little easier, but you don't get chipping either.

Nathan Hawkes
08-31-2009, 12:36 PM
Word of advice on routing polycarbonate; its very "grabby". I hadn't thought about it being softer than acrylic--I guess thats why. I've used it for making some flanges for aquarium filter tubes--4-8" diameters. It really wants to pull the sheet into the bit. I was taking heavy cuts, but still seemed like it really wanted to PUULLLL. Never had that problem with routing acrylic, even 1/2 thick cast stock. Try http://www.mcmaster.com/# and search for acrylic sheet. I'm pretty sure they have 12x12, as well as just about anything else you could possibly want.


Also, I've tapped cast acrylic without problem (extruded didn't take tapping well--chips), but couldn't get a decent thread in polycarbonate. It might've been me, but I haven't stripped out threads in acrylic before.

Dustin Lorenz
08-31-2009, 12:41 PM
I have Lexan panels in all my cabinet doors. The frames are all built with extruded aluminum and i've had various tools :mad: thrown at at least two of the lower ones and they just bounce right off. Did i mention I also work on old car, I do wood working to actually calm down!:p

Doug Shepard
08-31-2009, 1:11 PM
Bruce
Thanks. I did some more web surfing after my reply and it started looking like it would work from everything I read. I've cut 3/8" acrylic with an 80-tooth blade and tapped it without any problems but I've heard some plastics like to shatter when you're machining them and didn't know anything about polycarbonate so thought I'd better ask. It does sound like it's quite a bit tougher than acrylic though.
It turns out that first link I grabbed was around $3 less than any of the others I looked at so I went ahead and placed an order for it.

I just want to be able to see into the router cabinet, otherwise I'd stick a wood door on it. The tapping is just for attaching hinges and a magnetic catch.
Thanks guys.

Bruce Volden
08-31-2009, 2:17 PM
Doug,

In the words of Tyler Howell~if there are no pictures~it didn't happen! :D

Bruce

Cliff Rohrabacher
08-31-2009, 5:05 PM
Glass is cheaper and doesn't scratch so easily.

Doug Shepard
08-31-2009, 7:07 PM
Glass is cheaper and doesn't scratch so easily.

Can it be cut on a TS? And can it be tapped for screws?:D

I really wanted transparent aluminum, but have you priced that stuff lately:eek: Sheesh.

Larry Edgerton
08-31-2009, 8:14 PM
Doug, send me your address and I will send you a piece of clear Lexan 12"x12", no charge. I'm sure I have one that size around.

I buy my plastics from Norva Plastics in Norfolk Virginia 757-622-9281 by the way if anyone else is looking for an awesome plastics source.

Larry

Doug Shepard
09-01-2009, 12:34 PM
Larry
Thanks for the offer but I actually already got the shipping confirmation this morning for the one I ordered from SmallParts which should be here day after tomorrow.