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Question How many teeth to cut acrylic?

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by blueeyes, Mar 22, 2017.

  1. blueeyes

    blueeyes CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Researching what the best table saw blade to cut acrylic and getting conflicting answers. Grumble archives suggest 120 tooth blades the best. Quinn has a 48 tooth plastic cutting blade. Youtube sites suggest 50-60 triple chip tooth with 5-10 degree positive rake; Marples 50 tooth ATB+R 15 degree; 80 tooth triple chip w/slightly positive rake. Opinions wanted. I have a Bosch 4100-09 10" table saw. And yes, I know I can use my Fletcher wall cutter. Thanks.
     
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  2. 05

    05 MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Quoting industrial supplier McMaster-Carr:

    "Produce smooth cuts in plastic materials including polycarbonate, polyurethane, PVC, and acrylic with the carbide-tipped teeth on these blades. Sharpen them if they become dull. Choose blades with more teeth for thin, brittle plastic; choose blades with fewer teeth for thicker, softer plastic. Blades with a narrower width of cut make faster cuts with less material loss."

    See:
    https://www.mcmaster.com/#circular-saw-blades/=16vnldm
     
    blueeyes likes this.
  3. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    I might cut more acrylic than anyone here. I am online only and am almost 100% acrylic. I use glass for just a few remaining customers from my store days. I probably go through 10 sheets (or more) of 4x8 acrylic a month.

    Here is my setup.

    [​IMG]

    The panel saw in the back is used for cutting down 4x8 sheets of acrylic into workable sizes. I usually cut each sheet in half before moving to the table saw. The table saw is used for final cuts. The extension table is great for supporting long cuts.

    I have tried a number of plastic cutting blades over the years including ones from Rigid and Freud with mixed results. The very best ones I have found are from Tenryu.

    On the panel saw I use a Tenyru 7 1/4" blade; http://www.tenryu.com/pc.html. It's a 60 tooth blade and does a good job.

    On the table saw I use a Tenyru 120 tooth Pro Series blade: Tenryu PRP-255120AB3. It's expensive at $180 but does an excellent job. I've also used the 80 tooth version that does a decent job. http://www.carbideprocessors.com/tenryu-prp-25580cb-pro-series-for-plastic-saw-blade/

    If the customers won't see the cut edges, then the 80 tooth version might be fine for you. If they will see the edges or if you want to polish for exposed edges, then the 120 version is the one to use.
     
  4. wpfay

    wpfay Angry Badger

    I've cut acrylic with 80 tooth carbide crosscut (wood) blade with satisfactory results for framing. That said, I would probably get blades specifically designed for cutting acrylic if I were doing a lot of it. I have usually relied upon the advice of Quinn Saw when it comes to blade selection and sharpening.
     
    blueeyes likes this.
  5. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    When I have visitors and demo cutting acrylic, I cut a piece of acrylic on my acrylic table saw and then cut a piece on my radial arm saw that has a normal wood cutting blade. The sound made on the table is smooth and fairly silent. The sound made on the radial arm saw is like throwing a bunch of paper clips into a shredder.

    Here is what the cuts can look like.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Guess which one was made on which saw.
     
    Gilder and prospero like this.
  6. Acrylic Queen

    Acrylic Queen CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Speaking of cutting acrylic....well we do cut a bit (maybe 10 sheets or more a day). We use this exact blade for the best possible results and have used it for many years. It is imperative for us to have smooth cuts, absolutely no chips because we fabricate the acrylic not just cut faces. So we recommend 10", 80 tooth, carbide tip, UNICHIP grind. The grind is very important as it makes for a smoother cut. Never use your acrylic blade for cutting wood or any other material. We use the 10" blade on our table saw and a 14" blade on our free standing panel saw.
     
  7. blueeyes

    blueeyes CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Thanks, Queen Acrylic. What is UNICHIP grind? Where do you get your blades?
     
  8. JFeig

    JFeig SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    To add to Lois's comment.............. A "negative hook" to the teeth is essential. Wood and metal cutting blades for the most part have "positive hook" teeth.
     
    blueeyes likes this.
  9. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    You have me beat. I do about 10 sheets a month.
     
    neilframer likes this.
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