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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-22-2017, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Default New here - routing plastic

Hi gang,

Looking for advice on a project, was t sure where to turn.

I want to route a design into a plastic radiator cover, such as the Ford Performance Radiator Cover (can't post links yet).

I was thinking of making a template to follow then routing it out. But I'm not sure what type of router or bits to use. I'll need to purchase the supplies so don't want to get the wrong thing...

Any advice would be appreciated!
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-23-2017, 01:35 AM
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There are router bits specifically for routing plastics, usually described as having "O" flutes. I know that Onsrud sells some and I think I've also seen them in either Freud, CMT, or Amana's offerings.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-23-2017, 05:55 AM Thread Starter
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Here is a picture of what I'm trying to achieve:



The plastic is very thin and I don't want to go all the way through. I was considering using my Dremel with plunge router attachment, but have read that it spins too fast. I feel a full size will be way overkill for this.

I'll be doing the name of my car club. If it turns out well I anticipate making a bunch of them so will create a jig to work from.

S.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-23-2017, 06:24 AM
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If it's for something like shown in this link, and you have to buy a router and bit and go to the trouble of making a template, then I would suggest that you have it professionally Laser engraved. A better answer might be forthcoming if you were to complete your profile showing your past experience and the tools that you have, also a first name would be nice.
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http://www.cjponyparts.com/ford-perf...017/p/M8291FP/
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-23-2017, 11:08 AM
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If the portion of the cover that you want to route the design into is not flat then I suggest using masking and etching chemicals or or fine sandblasting equipment to put the design onto the cover.

If it is flat then you can make a template to route the design. You would need to allow for the diameter of a router busing in the template and like suggested before use a 0 flute bit. You also need to do some test cutting to determine the best seep to set your router to for cutting the plastic. Too fast and the plastic will melt and you will have a mess, too slow and you will not get a clean cut and possibly chipping, so testing is in order here.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-23-2017, 12:46 PM
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If the plastic is very thin then I think I would follow Mike's advice to sand blast. I don't know about etching fluids on plastics. That is a common way to etch glass but plastic is impervious to those fluids that work on glass. In any case trying to rout that onto very thin plastic is pretty much guaranteed not to work as you only want to go a few thousandths deep and it will be next to impossible to get a router to do that.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-23-2017, 01:41 PM
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You can use a small blast gun like this and this would be my choice:

.5MM Master Air Eraser Airbrus Mini Sandblaster w/15cc Cup

Here is an procedure Etching on Any Surface Cheaply and Without the Use of Chemicals: 7 Steps (with Pictures)

For chemical etching of plastics you need the right chemical for each plastic compound and some are rather expensive. They can be real messy and some will require the proper filters in a respirator to use them, others are relatively same to use but will they etch the plastic in question.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-23-2017, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Great replies all, thanks!

I hadn't considered sandblasting so I'll look into that as well. The example I posted is machined so I thought I'd duplicate that, but I'm guessing they have better equipment than I do.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-23-2017, 04:35 PM
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What you show might be an etching paint process that they use on some plastics to make the paint bond with the plastic.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-23-2017, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MEBCWD View Post
What you show might be an etching paint process that they use on some plastics to make the paint bond with the plastic.
MIke, Do you suppose he could pick up a set of dies and stamp the letters into the thin plastic?
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