How to cut plastic? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Default How to cut plastic?

That's the question for the day. I have a big plastic cutting board. I would like to use the CNC to make several boards out of it.

I think it is high density polyethylene. White plastic. I think it is about 1/2 inch thick. I need to go out to the shop and take measurements.

Probotix Asteroid with the Bosch 1617.
I have both 1/8th and 1/4 inch upcut bits so if it is thicker than 1/2 inch, I will use the 1/4 inch bit.

The real questions are how fast/or slow do you cut. At the lowest router speed?

I hate to ruin the board if it melts, but if it does, I will be OK. Learning experience.

All advice and suggestions appreciated.
Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 08:09 PM
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https://youtu.be/SiLWI62N5pc

Interesting, I might have to try this myself.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the link. As much as I watch You Tube videos, I haven't tried to find any help there.

Actually, I have used my machine in over a year. I have had several medical issues and that has brought me to a complete stop. But, I am in a lot better health now and the energy has returned. Step one will be to fire it up and re home everything.

I had to search Router Forums to find my post asking how to set up different coordinate systems. I found it, and all is well. Several projects are waiting in the wings.

Thanks again.

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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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18 x 23 3/4 x 1/2 inch...and it is not flat!

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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by MT Stringer View Post
18 x 23 3/4 x 1/2 inch...and it is not flat! <a href="http://www.routerforums.com/images/smilies/frown.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Frown" >:-)</a>
1/2" is probably a little thick but I wonder if you can clamp it down and maybe use a heat gun to help it lay flat on it's own? Post some pictures when you get started on it and I'm glad to hear you're feeling better!! Joe.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 09:58 PM
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Really glad you're feeling better now Mike. I had a similar experience and am only now getting back to decent health myself. My experience with cutting plastic is pretty limited, but I know the bit/blade quickly gets covered in plastic scraps, and if I go fast enough, it semi melts, but rarely sticks to the blade or bit.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 10:31 PM
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I know Toolstoday and Precise bits have bits for plastic. Regular bits will leave tear out on acrylic, but the "for plastic" bits leave a smooth edge.
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-01-2019, 11:01 PM
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I use zero flute bits for acrylic but haven't tried to cut HDPE. I wonder how those would work? They sure work good on acrylic.

David
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
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I use zero flute bits for acrylic but haven't tried to cut HDPE. I wonder how those would work? They sure work good on acrylic.

David
+1 on zero flutes!

Dave
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-02-2019, 08:48 AM
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They are "O" (oh) flute, not zero flute.

Quote:
Regular bits will leave tear out on acrylic, but the "for plastic" bits leave a smooth edge.
Regular bits can cut acrylic fine. They just don't clear chips as well. If they are sharp, they will cut cleanly. Try climb cutting.

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