Paper Masking on Polycarbonate - Router Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-11-2010, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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Default Paper Masking on Polycarbonate

Does anyone know how to continually router parts without leaving any frays from the paper masking? It seems especially on a specific type of PC its called ar-1 and my customer can't have any frays on the paper side. I can achieve this on the first say 5 runs but after that it seems the material wants to fray instead of cut. I have tried almost every tool that Onsrud makes at every speed, I have tried leaving .01-.05" left for just a finish tool with the same results. I'm just looking for something that is consistent with no frays. Thanks


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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-11-2010, 12:41 PM
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It might be the bit getting hot. Is it collecting bits of plastic on the blades?


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Does anyone know how to continually router parts without leaving any frays from the paper masking? It seems especially on a specific type of PC its called ar-1 and my customer can't have any frays on the paper side. I can achieve this on the first say 5 runs but after that it seems the material wants to fray instead of cut. I have tried almost every tool that Onsrud makes at every speed, I have tried leaving .01-.05" left for just a finish tool with the same results. I'm just looking for something that is consistent with no frays. Thanks



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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-11-2010, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thuston View Post
Does anyone know how to continually router parts without leaving any frays from the paper masking? It seems especially on a specific type of PC its called ar-1 and my customer can't have any frays on the paper side. I can achieve this on the first say 5 runs but after that it seems the material wants to fray instead of cut. I have tried almost every tool that Onsrud makes at every speed, I have tried leaving .01-.05" left for just a finish tool with the same results. I'm just looking for something that is consistent with no frays. Thanks


Thuston,
When I cut it with my miter saw or table saw, I sandwich the poly between two pieces of 1/8" plywood or masonite. It helps to prevent over heating.
I don't know if that will work in your case.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-12-2010, 12:58 AM
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Welcome to the RouterForums Tim. Glad to have you as a new member of our community.




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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-12-2010, 01:54 AM
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Hi Mike,

Could you post a picture or two? Are you using a straight bit? Have you tried a down spiral bit?

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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-12-2010, 08:12 AM
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Tim, Welcome to the forum. I am sure you find many friendly people with all levels of experience, and many willing to share.

As Mike and Scrollwolf have suggested, I too thought heat. I think specifically the problem is the bit itself. Would it be possible to change bits after every 5 cuts? You have not given many details, but if 5 cuts is one workpiece, change bits for each work piece. It will add to the time, but it will reduce the fraying of the paper backing.

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-12-2010, 08:17 AM
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Would scoring along the cut line with an xcto knife or scalpel prior to routing be practical?
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-12-2010, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thuston View Post
Does anyone know how to continually router parts without leaving any frays from the paper masking? It seems especially on a specific type of PC its called ar-1 and my customer can't have any frays on the paper side. I can achieve this on the first say 5 runs but after that it seems the material wants to fray instead of cut. I have tried almost every tool that Onsrud makes at every speed, I have tried leaving .01-.05" left for just a finish tool with the same results. I'm just looking for something that is consistent with no frays. Thanks

Hi Tim - Welcome to the forum
ar-1 seems to be an abrasion resistant stuff, also trade name makrolon. Just got a hunk of this stuff in for some jigs I have planned but haven't had a chance to route any yet.
The fact that you can make about 5 cuts before the issue arrises indicates to me, and others apparently, a temperature problem. I think we will need some more specific information. Configuration of the bit; spiral, straight, straight shear, O-flute, HSS or carbide? Thickness of the stock? Bit speed?
Overall, I have been somewhat under impressed with Onsrud bits overall but that is just me.
Let us know

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-12-2010, 09:09 AM
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having done a google search ("routing makrolon", thanks John for a trade name!)... scoring probably would not be a practical method.

Routers with a speed of 20,000 to
25,000 rpm are preferred. Use straight (fluted 2 or 3)
carbide-tipped or high-speed steel router bits. Bits should
be 1/4˝ to 1/2˝ diameter for best results. Use a router with
at least 1 H.P. motor.

From: http://www.curbellplastics.com/techn...e-makrolon.pdf

there appears to be a number of different means to shape this stuff....Bit selection appears to be the most critical factor..

Use of a "longer" bit that would allow you to raise or lower the bit (relative to the contact area on the ar-1) may give you more usefull life out of the bit.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-12-2010, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoSkies57 View Post
having done a google search ("routing makrolon", thanks John for a trade name!)... scoring probably would not be a practical method.

Routers with a speed of 20,000 to
25,000 rpm are preferred. Use straight (fluted 2 or 3)
carbide-tipped or high-speed steel router bits. Bits should
be 1/4˝ to 1/2˝ diameter for best results. Use a router with
at least 1 H.P. motor.

From: http://www.curbellplastics.com/techn...e-makrolon.pdf

there appears to be a number of different means to shape this stuff....Bit selection appears to be the most critical factor..

Use of a "longer" bit that would allow you to raise or lower the bit (relative to the contact area on the ar-1) may give you more usefull life out of the bit.
Hi Bill - hmmm, that's interesting. I've always slowed the speed down for plastics. Like I said in my last post, I haven't routed any of this stuff yet but i may just take a shot at top speed. I did order in a 1/4" Amana O-flute to use on it and it has a mfg speed limit of 35,000.

John Schaben

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