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looking for source for flat polycarbonate sheet

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  • #951
    bswartz
    Participant

    Hi, I want to make an oversized base for a trim router and a router table for larger router. I ordered two 12″ x 12″ sheets of polycarbonate from Amazon. A 1/4″ thick sheet from acrylandUSA and a 3/8″ thick sheet from National Security Mirror. Both are more warped than I want.

    I got a 12″ x 12″ sheet of acrylic from sourceone.org. It is 3/8″ thick. It is sufficiently flat. But my understanding is acrylic is trickier to machine than polycarbonate. Does anyone know where I can get sheets of polycarbonate that are flat?

    Bill

    #959
    dstrip
    Participant

    I’ve never had much trouble machining acrylic using carbide tools. I routinely cut it on my tablesaw with a rip blade and route it on my CNC router using solid carbide tools. Drilling is not issue with standard twist drills.

    If you’re in Albq, I’d suggest trying Port Plastics on Candelaria about one block east of I-25 on the north side of the street. They are friendly and helpful. You might get lucky and find a suitable scrap in to off-cuts pile (room to the right of the counter). These are sold by weight at a much lower price than stock cut to order.

    #960
    droff
    Participant

    Like David Strip, I haven’t noticed much difference in machining acrylic and polycarbonate. With both, heat build-up can be a problem. It is fairly easy to have the plastic melt onto saw-blade teeth or drill bits. This not only decreases the quality of the cut, but it can be hard to remove the plastic that sticks to the cutter.

    Reducing the speed of the drill and taking light cuts with the saw will help. Using a lubricant when drilling and cutting can also help. I’d suggest trying the use of paraffin or mineral oil for drilling, and rubbing a little paraffin wax on the saw teeth before cutting.

    I’ve read that both polycarbonate and acrylic can sag over time when used to support a router in a router table. I haven’t tried that. I’ve had good luck with using these plastics in making bases for my handheld routers.

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by droff.
    #963
    bswartz
    Participant

    Thanks for the help. I will contact Port Plastics. I will use acrylic if I can’t find polycarbonate.
    Bill

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