Fletcher 3000/31000 for acrylic

JohnR

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Posts
542
Location
Ohio
I cut acrylic sheet using a drywall T-square and the Fletcher heavy duty acrylic scoring tool. Grasping the scored acrylic at the very edge I can break out a very clean edge, cleaner than I've seen using a saw with an expensive ATP blade. See picture (edge lightly polished with Novus 2).
http://home.att.net/~jriegle/acrylcut.jpg

I am wondering if any users out there with a 3100 or 3000 machine can tell me if it breaks out clean edges as this. This is important for building nice display items from acrylic. Does the thicker material capacity of the 3100 reduce the accuracy or cause other problems when using it for acrylic?
Thanks for your help, John
 
We use a saw to cut acrylic with of course a special blade. Cutting acrylic for glazing is fine using the tool you have described, however if you plan to cement acrylic that edge is not clean enough to get a good clear bond. Also the Novus will prevent you from getting a good bond.
 
I've used the 3000 to score Acrylite. In fact, that cutter is one of the reasons I know longer hate working with plastic glazing. It scores and breaks cleanly and makes it easy to work with the 4'x8' sheets (if you have the 60" cutter.)

Since the plastic cutting tool in the 3000 is similar to the hand-held tool, I would think the quality of the cuts would be at least equal. It's the measuring and handling that is simplified.

I've built boxes from the plastic cut with the 3000, but I've always gone through multiple sanding steps before joining the edges.
 
I love my Fletcher 3000 for cutting acrylic! I have never made boxes, so I'm sure what quality of edge you need, but when I cut for framing, the edges are clean and sharp! Keep the blade changed and it cuts like butter (well, almost)
 
AQ, I should point out that I don't Novus the glued edges, just the exposed edges. As long as I cut accurately, I don't have problems gluing those joints. They break out perfectly perpendicular and flat. Breaking the sheet over the edge of a table never works. I may get a slanted edge, roughness or bumps with that method. The way the sheet is cracked along the score determines how clean the edge will be. Since Ron has to sand, it sounds like the machine leaves bumps along the break.
John
 
I have a 3100 and get great cuts for framing use. You will however need to sand or router the edges for making showcases.

I have been teaching myself and experimenting with acrylic fabrication.

I find the real 'art' to the fabrication of acrylic comes when making bends.
 
John, I'm not sure if I HAVE to sand the edges - I just always have 'cause that's how I learned.

If you have a friendly framer with a 3000 or 3100, why not have them cut a piece of plastic so you can see what the edges look like.

I'm friendly, but my 60" 3000 is sitting on the floor right now while I decide whether to modify the low ceiling in my new workspace to accomodate it.
 
Ron, I was thinking the same, as there is a framer at the end of my street. I sell him acrylic at my cost because he helps me out. I may stop by if he's not too busy.

While we're at it, how does one secure the contents in an acrylic box frame. I've seen them with countersunk screws in the sides that screw into some backing material. Not sure if this is the best way. How to seal this arrangement?
Thanks again!
 
I've always* countersunk screws through the sides of the box into a strainer which can be covered with fabric or matboard or something beefier (e.g. Coroplast) if the contents are heavy.

*I've built 2-3 boxes (at most) but this is also the way the vendors I've used build them.
 
Thanks again Ron, I think I'm going build one. I just need to find something to put in it!
John
 
I'm sure you would have thought of this all by yourself, John, but it's a lot easier to countersink those screw holes with a drill press BEFORE you build the box.
 
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