Smoothing Cut Edges on Clear Acrylic
From contributor O:
I've used a router table with a bit to do similar. I run the edge though the middle of a large beading bit to give the edge a slight smooth outward bow. I would think you could cut it slightly oversized on the saw, then dimension it with a straight bit in the router table. I haven't found a blade on the saw that doesn't cause a fair amount of chipping. The router cleans all that up.
From contributor M:
I have had great success using a jointer. Yes, it does work! Just a few thousandths of a cut and sharp blades. I first run them through a router table with a roundover bit all edges, both sides, then just kiss them through the jointer, and poof - done - and looking great.
From contributor D:
The torch method works really well once you get it down. It gives very smooth edges. You can also progressively sand it similar to automotive clears and get a very highly polished finish.
From contributor C:
Plexi fabricators like to use a hydrogen torch (clean flame) to polish edges.
From contributor L:
The process is called "flame edging." I do it sometimes on acrylic (Plexiglas). First run it through the jointer to clean up the edge. (If it's an irregular shape, use a router and pattern bit). Next, peel the paper backing away from the edge of the acrylic. An inch or two is good. Now, using a propane torch with a smallish flame (simple bernz-o-matic is fine), heat the edge of the piece until it turns clear. Just make sure to keep the flame moving and not staying too long in one spot. A local pro shop uses a combination of propane and oxygen to do their flame edging. Propane alone works fine. Don't use acetylene, as it is a "dirty" gas and will muck up the results. Maybe mapp gas would work, I dunno. Apparently polycarbonate (Lexan) needs a different gas setup (hydrogen?). Experiment a bit, it's pretty straightforward. I don't know where you are located, but Google "Tap Plastic." They are a consumer friendly supply house. More geared toward homeowners and weekend DIY-ers (and expensive to boot!), but they are a good source of info with no attitude.
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