Routing a T-slot in plexiglass?? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Default Routing a T-slot in plexiglass??

I'm a new member and hope I am posting in the correct category.
As the title says, I am wanting to route a T-slot in some 3/4" plexiglass, but before I do, I'm looking for advice. I have a Rockler T-slot bit, 5/8" dia. x 3/16" H x 1/2" shank that I have used in wood with good results, but using in plexiglass has me wondering if it's safe, and doable. This bit requires a 3/8" slot cut before the T-slot. If I start with a 1/8", or 1/4" slot working my way up gradually to the height needed and then making the 3/8" slot, could I then use the T-slot bit to finish? I have a router table with a 3 hp Milwaukee router with adjustable speed. I assume a slower speed would be best, but I'm concerned about melting and chip build up. Any advice would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 06:45 PM
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Welcome to the forums N/A...

tooling plastic is safe but is the application of the finished product...
what do you intend to do w/ the finished product???...

you need to hog out as much as you can before run the T slot bit...
I'd do the hogging out in one pass w/ a dado blade...
3/8" slot cut before the T-slot - ??????
cut the plastic the same as you would wood...
as you cut have all of the suction you can muster to keep the chips cleared of the cutting operation...
use slower motor speed and moderate feed... too fast a feed and you'll get load up and melting... too slow and you'll get a lot of melting...
practice on scrap 1st...
wax your bit before ya get started...

how do you intend to polish the inside of the T slot as Acrylic is extremely nick sensitive (will easily break/crack) and your finale won't have much in strength......
I'd use polycarbonite instead of Acrylic...

there's some attached PDF's that you might find useful...

.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Acrylic vs Polycarbonate....pdf (193.6 KB, 41 views)
File Type: pdf Working with Acrylic.pdf (373.8 KB, 32 views)
File Type: pdf Cut, Drill, Finish, and Glue Acrylic.pdf (73.5 KB, 37 views)
File Type: pdf Polishing Polycarbonate.pdf (29.6 KB, 37 views)
File Type: pdf plexiglas-forming-manual.pdf (1.09 MB, 52 views)

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”

Last edited by Stick486; 03-15-2020 at 07:24 PM.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 07:21 PM
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Welcome, Rick...and best of luck with your project...

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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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Stick,
What I'm hoping to make is a gripper style push block with an adjustable block in the center. The T-slots would be on the ends of the 3/4" plexiglass allowing T bolts and thus adjustability. I could use T track...and I may wind up going that route, but I thought if the plexiglass could be routed safely and use toilet flange bolts with knobs, that it would be a good idea. I may just use wood for this with the T slots. Just looking for advice and/or suggestions if I do go with plexiglass. Come to think of it I'm not certain if it is plexiglass...could be polycarbonate. How can you tell the difference?
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 08:17 PM
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How deep and long is the slot going to be? Acrylic and polycarbonate gets wonky when you cut more than half way through. I've seen it cup when cutting less than halfway through - though a lot wider than 3/8".

Do you have scrap of it? You can flame polish acrylic, poly just burns. Poly is somewhat softer than acrylic though I can't really tell. Poly is supposed to be bluish when viewed on end but I've seen acrylic that does too.

Measure twice, cut once and CROSS OUT THE WRONG MARKS.

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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 08:35 PM
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in that case I'd use hardwood and T track...
use polycarbonite, acrylic may impact shatter and produce sharp shards of shrapnel...
However, BY FAR, the best choice of plastic to use would be a Polyethylene.. (PE, UHMW, HDPE, etc.)
tools super easily, holds fasteners well, super tough, cheap, solid colors, won't break, won't shatter, smooth, slick, and a bunch more pluses...

Is it Acrylic or Polycarbonate???
The easy way is by burning....
You will not need to burn a whole piece, just an edge, corner or a small scrap.....

Acrylic:
no soot or charring
smells like garlic
burns slow
bubbles

Polycarbonate:
self extinguishing
lots of soot
carbonizes on the burned area
stinks

included is a PDF for a shop made Gripper...

.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Shop-Made Grip-N-Rip.pdf (1,022.0 KB, 49 views)

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”

Last edited by Stick486; 03-15-2020 at 11:23 PM.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 08:39 PM
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How about some light reading????
we have some PDF's at this here link that help you six ways to Sunday...

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”
Stick486 is online now  
post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 08:44 PM
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I brought the 3D brand Gripper knockoff for $38 shipped on eBay. Works beautifully.

Common Man Woodworking
Powell, TN
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 11:10 PM
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Could you cut the parts individually an laminate them together? I did that for a base for my offset laminate trimmer. I use an cyanoacrylate instant glue. Clear and no bubbles.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranman View Post
Could you cut the parts individually an laminate them together? I did that for a base for my offset laminate trimmer. I use an cyanoacrylate instant glue. Clear and no bubbles.
w/ exposure to the blades and bits, I believe acrylic and polycarbonate would be poor choices...

This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Stick....
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”
Stick486 is online now  
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