Help me cut 1/4" or 1/2" thick acrylic

SDguy

Fish heads unite!
Premium Member
I need to cut some pieces of acrylic. Two 1/4" pieces that will be glued together to form a 1/2" piece. It will be a base for my final couple of live rock pillars. It will be under sand, so aesthetics are unimportant.

I have no tools, except a drill and a hacksaw. I have friends with a table saw and jigsaw. Do I REALLY need to buy a special blade? I don't care if it chips, I just don't want it to crack, melt, hurt me or the saw. What are my options?

TIA.
 

SDguy

Fish heads unite!
Premium Member
Am I better off glueing first, then cutting, or cutting first? In other words, is thicker better or worse?
 

flyyyguy

King of the white corals
Premium Member
glue and then cut. If you are going to do that you really should do one of my invisible rock lifts.......no solid piece of acrylic so crap can get stuck under it....doesnt interfere with your sand in any way. I make them and sell them but if youve got the table saw, drill and a grinder they arent hard to make. Here is a pic of all of the necessary pieces and of the finished lift. FAr more effective and attractive than pvc lifts. win/win

ps-one more thing to think about if you are using a normal wood blade and table saw for cutting that acrylic is to keep your head OUT of the sawline. It most likely wont happen but if it does no amount of eye protection is going to stop a broken tooth from flying THROUGH your head.


parts.jpg

ebayrocklift.jpg
 

SDguy

Fish heads unite!
Premium Member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=8108069#post8108069 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by flyyyguy
glue and then cut. If you are going to do that you really should do one of my invisible rock lifts.......no solid piece of acrylic so crap can get stuck under it....doesnt interfere with your sand in any way. I make them and sell them but if youve got the table saw, drill and a grinder they arent hard to make. Here is a pic of all of the necessary pieces and of the finished lift. FAr more effective and attractive than pvc lifts. win/win

Ah, thanks for the tip, but I'm making actual pillars threaded onto 3/8" acrylic rods. The rods just need a base sit in. I've already made some on 5" diameter discs, and with the weight of a stack of rocks on them, I doubt much of anything will get underneath. I just needed a rectangular base for my next set, and thought I would use some scrap acrylic I got locally, instead of ordering from USplastics.

What about a router?
 

flyyyguy

King of the white corals
Premium Member
Right on. Good luck. FWIW, those rods on my rack ARENT threaded and just sit in place as well. ; ) Something to think about, might save you some effort. : )

A router is the way to go if you need perfect edges, but when using a router, the proper bit and cooling is MUCH more important than the proper blade on a saw.
 

SDguy

Fish heads unite!
Premium Member
Ah, I see, so a proper blade either way is best. Ok.

I have to have the rocks threaded since the tank is 30" tall but only 18" front to back. Balancing is NOT an option :D

Thanks for the info.
 

75reef

New member
You can cut acrylic with a standard 40 tooth table saw blade. I do it frequently with no problems. Wear eye protection.
 

flyyyguy

King of the white corals
Premium Member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=8114399#post8114399 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by 75reef
You can cut acrylic with a standard 40 tooth table saw blade. I do it frequently with no problems. Wear eye protection.

I do it frequently too.

KEEP your head out of the saw line.

Unless rare, but not unheard of incidents that could affect the rest of your life are of no concern to you of course. Then by all means feel free to put your face right in the way and see how well those approved safety glasses stop a broken tooth. ; )
 

SDguy

Fish heads unite!
Premium Member
Ended up using a jigsaw...practically melted through the acrylic...but worked out great. All done with the rock pillars. Yay! Thanks for the help.
 
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