Acrylic Sheet and how to work with it
When working with the material, leave the paper masking film on the sheet as long as possible. Except for intricate detail work you should remove the masking only when your project is completed.
Working with acrylic sheet
- Keep masking on as long as possible.
- Use metal cutting saw blades and drills which are ground for acrylic sheet.
- Make sure all tools are sharp.
- Use water or drilling oil as a coolant when cutting sheets over 8 mm thick or drilling sheets over 9 mm thick.
- Wet the material before cleaning.
Step 1 – Scraping
The first step in getting a finished edge is scraping. The back of a hacksaw blade or a steel rule is perfect for scraping. Simply draw the corner of the square edge of the blade along the edge of the acrylic.
Step 2 – Filing
A smooth cut file is recommended for filing edges and removing tool marks. File only in one direction. Keep the teeth flat on the surface, but let the file slide at an angle to avoid putting grooves in the work.
Step 3 – Sanding
If necessary, start with 120 grit sandpaper, used dry. Then switch to a 220 grit paper, dry. Finish with a 400 grit wet/dry paper, used wet. Grits as fine as 600 may be used. Always use a wooden or rubber sanding block.
Step 4 – Polishing
Final polishing will give acrylic a high lustre. Acrylic should be polished using a commercial buffing compound of the type used for silver or brass, or you can use a non- silicone car polish that has no cleaning solvents in it.