Is it possible to cut ACRYLITE® acrylic with a band saw and what types of blades do I need?

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Is it possible to cut ACRYLITE® acrylic with a band saw and what types of blades do I need?

Blade Selection

When using a saber saw, jig saw, or band saw, blades with 7-14 tpi (teeth per inch) are usually acceptable for all purpose cutting. The correct tooth spacing is dictated by the thickness of sheet being cut, as well as the quality of the cut desired.

In general, a blade should be selected such that at least two teeth are engaged in the thickness of the sheet while cutting. This means that for 1/8" (3mm) thick sheet a blade with 16 tpi is a good starting point, whereas for 1/4" (6mm) thick sheet, a blade with 8 tpi may be a better starting point.

If chipping is experienced, or a better finish is desired, try a blade with more teeth per inch. If melting is experienced, try a blade with fewer teeth per inch. Melting will also be caused by dull blades, so be sure the blade is sharp. Never use a blade that has been used for other materials such as wood or aluminum. These materials will dull the blade to the point where it cannot be successfully used with acrylic sheet.

Band Saw Cutting

Band saws are frequently used for cutting curved sections or trimming thermoformed parts. A good cutting quality (minimal chipping and melting) can be obtained from a blade which is ½" (12.7 mm) wide. This blade type is sufficient for cutting radii of a 3" (76mm) minimum. If a tighter cutting radius is required, the blade width must be reduced to ¼" (6mm). A blade speed of 2500-4000 surface feet per minute (760-1200 m/min) is recommended. In general, the thicker the material, the slower the blade speed should be. The use of a board clamped to the sheet will assist in minimizing vibrations, scratching and breakage.

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