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any tips for cutting acetate glazing?

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  • Member since
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  • 178 posts
any tips for cutting acetate glazing?
Posted by erosebud on Sunday, May 4, 2014 6:58 PM

I recently built a laser-cut kit that included laser-cut window glazing.  Now I'm working on another laser kit from a different manufacturer and the acetate glazing is not pre-cut.  It isn't a huge job--six double-hung windows--but I'm finding it tedious to mark and score and trim (and then discover I trimmed a shade too much).  Do you know of ways to make the process go more smoothly and quickly?  I have a NWSL Chopper but am not very confident in my use of it.  Can you help me with marking, cutting, gluing ideas?  Thanks.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, May 4, 2014 11:00 PM

My first suggestion would be to not use acetate - clear styrene stays clear longer without yellowing and is easier to attach to styrene window castings.  Some folk prefer real glass, using microscope slide covers, but I've no experience with that.

I use calipers to measure the window and then use them to directly transfer the measurements to the glazing material.  If the windows are alike, the layout work is even less time consuming, as they can be marked out en masse.  I use a #11 X-Acto blade to mark the position of the cuts, then rough-cut (beyond the marked lines) the portion to be used from the main sheet of window material.
Working on a hard surface  (glass, discussed elsewhere on the forum, makes an ideal surface) place the blade on the actual cut-line and press down firmly - this will make a cleaner cut with less of a raised edge along the cut than if you were to draw the knife along the line.  Be sure to restrain both the main sheet and the piece being cut from it, as things seem to fly about when cut in this manner. Smile, Wink & Grin   If you're careful to keep the upper surface of each cut-off piece "up", the slightly raised edge caused by the blade can be positioned on the window frame so that it ends up on the inside surface, and doesn't interfere with the glue joint between the "glass" and the sash.


Wayne

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Posted by zstripe on Monday, May 5, 2014 3:05 AM

I would go along with what Wayne suggested. Also using a chopper II, does take a lot of experience in using it to cut certain materials, making a jig for repetative cuts is usually a must. If your heart is really set on using acetate, I would suggest getting a pair of good shears, similar to the one here:

Draw a pattern on a piece of paper, like graph paper and use drafting tape to hold the acetate to the paper and cut right through both materials with shears. You could put about five windows on one sheet of paper, depending on size of windows. Experiment, The drafting tape goes on the, like 1/16 or 1/8 edge of the cut line. Drafting tape and graph paper are not expensive.
 
Frank
  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: Good ol' USA
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Posted by AntonioFP45 on Sunday, June 8, 2014 6:38 PM

Excellent suggestion from doctorwayne.

Plastruct offers clear styrene sheets as thin as .010". I'm not certain about the L x W dimensions, but they appear to be copy paper sized in packs of three.

Evergreen also offers clear styrene in packs of three.  One of the sizes offered is .005 x 6" x 12"

 

doctorwayne

My first suggestion would be to not use acetate - clear styrene stays clear longer without yellowing and is easier to attach to styrene window castings.  Some folk prefer real glass, using microscope slide covers, but I've no experience with that.

I use calipers to measure the window and then use them to directly transfer the measurements to the glazing material.  If the windows are alike, the layout work is even less time consuming, as they can be marked out en masse.  I use a #11 X-Acto blade to mark the position of the cuts, then rough-cut (beyond the marked lines) the portion to be used from the main sheet of window material.
Working on a hard surface  (glass, discussed elsewhere on the forum, makes an ideal surface) place the blade on the actual cut-line and press down firmly - this will make a cleaner cut with less of a raised edge along the cut than if you were to draw the knife along the line.  Be sure to restrain both the main sheet and the piece being cut from it, as things seem to fly about when cut in this manner. Smile, Wink & Grin   If you're careful to keep the upper surface of each cut-off piece "up", the slightly raised edge caused by the blade can be positioned on the window frame so that it ends up on the inside surface, and doesn't interfere with the glue joint between the "glass" and the sash.


Wayne

 

"I like my Pullman Standards & Budds in Stainless Steel flavors, thank you!"

 


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Posted by MisterBeasley on Monday, June 9, 2014 7:03 AM

I use a pair of scissors.  The edges are inside the building and not visible, so neatness isn't important.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    May 2007
  • From: East Haddam, CT
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Posted by CTValleyRR on Monday, June 9, 2014 10:36 PM

I'm with Mister Neasley on this one.  I just lay the acetate sheet along one of the straight lines on my cutting mat and cut it with one firm pass of hobby knife.  I just guess at the size, and err on the large side.  No one will see the edges once its installed.

Connecticut Valley Railroad A Branch of the New York, New Haven, and Hartford

"If you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right." -- Henry Ford

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