Saturday, December 8, 2007

Cutting and Joining Acrylic

The build today was focused on cutting and cementing acrylic sheet for the next two new Stirling Engine designs. Lessons were learned on both fronts.

The 1/4 inch acrylic sheet was cut with a hand held jig saw sporting a fine tooth metal cutting blade. The first few cuts went well, then it started to develop a little heat and the chips started to melt and weld the cut back together. I started blowing a stream of compressed air on the blade to keep it cool. The trick worked. All the cuts were clean from that point on. The only drawback is that the compressed air stripped the protective coating from the acrylic sheet.

This was my first attempt at cementing acrylic with solvent. The instructions indicated the pieces should be held in a jig until the cement cures. What they did not say was that nothing should be touching the back side of the joint! The solvent flowed through and penetrated the wood jig and glued my project to the jig! Well, lesson learned. I have some sloppy looking joints and some real nice ones. I might be able to polish out some of the bad looking ones.

Oh, and for anyone who is keeping track, I managed to record and send between 30 and 40 sound effects for the game development project. I haven't heard back from the chief developer yet. He must be busy today. Kids! Aren't they supposed to just come when you call them!?

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