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I am wanting to make a clear base for my router to do some template routing with. I am thinking about 3/8 thick Lexan but have never worked with any of this material. Wondering about drilling etc. Anyone have any personal experience with this type of project or any ideas would be appreciated.
 

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I am wanting to make a clear base for my router to do some template routing with. I am thinking about 3/8 thick Lexan but have never worked with any of this material. Wondering about drilling etc. Anyone have any personal experience with this type of project or any ideas would be appreciated.

YUP...
1/4'' is all you need...
read the PDF...
any doubts questions.. ask...
 

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"Anyone have any personal experience with this type of project or any ideas would be appreciated." I have & I do.
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Unsolicited advice, no priors in Acrylic or Lexan?
Then don't start now. Whilst it is a popular sport, (making plastic base plates), there are too many surprises drilling and routing the stuff for the first time. If you must, do some experimenting first.
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For example, acrylic can climb right up a drill bit, weld itself to a saw blade, melt up against a sanding disk, split in 2 when tapped, fill your work space with toxic waste, crack in your face when routed, lacerate you if you try to score & break it x hand, & burn up whilst being flame polished. Moreover, the chip is charged and will spread itself uniformly on all surfaces.
And the adversity is instant and unexpected; a recipe for a bad day, breaking a tool, busting the work and spoiling your set up.
Should be in Mike's safety thread.
These materials are not innocuous, nor are they as easy to work as wood. Wood can absorb mistakes, plastics are unforgiving.
 

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"Anyone have any personal experience with this type of project or any ideas would be appreciated." I have & I do.
************************************************************
Unsolicited advice, no priors in Acrylic or Lexan?
Then don't start now. Whilst it is a popular sport, (making plastic base plates), there are too many surprises drilling and routing the stuff for the first time. If you must, do some experimenting first.
*****************************************************************
For example, acrylic can climb right up a drill bit, weld itself to a saw blade, melt up against a sanding disk, split in 2 when tapped, fill your work space with toxic waste, crack in your face when routed, lacerate you if you try to score & break it x hand, & burn up whilst being flame polished. Moreover, the chip is charged and will spread itself uniformly on all surfaces.
And the adversity is instant and unexpected; a recipe for a bad day, breaking a tool, busting the work and spoiling your set up.
Should be in Mike's safety thread.
These materials are not innocuous, nor are they as easy to work as wood. Wood can absorb mistakes, plastics are unforgiving.

so let's try to help/educate Daryl ....
 

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I know one thing not to do with lexan , cut or engrave it with a laser . The vapours are very unhealthy to humans and also damage the lasers optics . I like plexiglass as its outgasses are mainly co2 .
Most companies that cut plastics with a laser will not touch Lexan . In this case I'm sure it doesn't matter but if I wanted a base I would certainly use my laser to make it

Daryl I've used lexan for car audio applications , and first I cut it as close as possible to the size of the jig , then finish on the router table with a flush bit I think it's called . My scariest episode was when I didn't remove enough material with the jig saw first , then when I put it on the router table the bit caught to much material and jettisoned it across the room bending the router bit.
Never had issues drilling though. I put my drill press on low speed so the lexan doesn't melt and get the drill bit jammed in it

This is the piece that almost took off a finger . But it was 1/2" lexan and I think you'll find I/4" will be easier to work with



Made a ring from mdf to act as a template for guiding the router bit around the plexiglass after it was pre cut
 

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I am wanting to make a clear base for my router to do some template routing with. I am thinking about 3/8 thick Lexan but have never worked with any of this material. Wondering about drilling etc. Anyone have any personal experience with this type of project or any ideas would be appreciated.
I made a 3/8" thick Lexan base for one of my small routers.
It looks great, but I have recently noticed how the extra thickness makes it more difficult to see the bit doing the routing. The Lexan is clear and it could be that I did not polish the sides of the hole for the bit to go through. It gives a distorted (or maybe a shadowed) view of what I am routing.
The thinner 1/4" thick material recommended by Stick would be how I would go if I did it again.
 

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This shot shows an Acrylic sub-base that I hurriedly made whilst in the middle of a project when I realized that the router would tilt into the template. I cut a piece of 1/4" Acrylic of unknown type on the band-saw, a jig saw would have been fine, then I placed the plastic base from the router on the centre and marked the mounting holes and which were the drilled and it didn't take much longer than it's taken to compose this post.
 

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Daryl, I'm going to tell you that Pat (Quillman) is spot-on! He knows this from years of experience. Not only is Lexan quite expensive, but it is unforgiving. Guys that work with this stuff daily can buy in bulk and pass-on their savings. I work with it, but will readily admit it is a pain-in-the-butt. There is nothing else that even comes close to it in true quality. Just find what you need online from a respected manufacturer and make the purchase. I promise you will save money in the long run!

Otis Guillebeau from Auburn, Georgia
 

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Daryl, I'm going to tell you that Pat (Quillman) is spot-on! He knows this from years of experience. Not only is Lexan quite expensive, but it is unforgiving. Guys that work with this stuff daily can buy in bulk and pass-on their savings. I work with it, but will readily admit it is a pain-in-the-butt. There is nothing else that even comes close to it in true quality. Just find what you need online from a respected manufacturer and make the purchase. I promise you will save money in the long run!

Otis Guillebeau from Auburn, Georgia
It's extremely expensive but all you have to do is go to any windshield repair shop and they should have small pieces fairly cheap . At least that's how I've always done it
 

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buy what you need from Pat Warner (Quillman), reasonable and better quality than the router mfgrs bases by far...

Selecting A Subbase
I agree, I have bought a few from Pat Warner over the years and they are unmatched top quality for a reasonable price and will last as long as your router and beyond.
I guarantee that you will spend more buying material,paying shipping and risk messing them up, plus have an inferior product if you do them yourself.
Herb
 

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I agree, I have bought a few from Pat Warner over the years and they are unmatched top quality for a reasonable price and will last as long as your router and beyond.
I guarantee that you will spend more buying material,paying shipping and risk messing them up, plus have an inferior product if you do them yourself.
Herb
Wow I just checked the link and he does some nice work !
 

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Wow I just checked the link and he does some nice work !
I agree. I've not purchased anything from him, but his "word of mouth" advertising on here is pretty good.
 

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When I was looking to buy acrylic to make a router plate, the supplier advised me not to buy Lexan as it scratched too easily. So I just bought Perspex on his advice.
 
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