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Thread: v carving and routing incised letters in plastic sheets

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Pennsauken, NJ

    Question v carving and routing incised letters in plastic sheets

    Hi all

    i've been playing around with doing some v-carving in left over plexiglass that i have around the shop. I do a lot of electrical signs and often have cut-offs that never seem to get used up. I'm considering making some "business cards" out of leftover 3/16" white plexiglass. As a test i got clipart of a ship and then put lettering above and below it. I kept the lettering as a bold gothic font since it was small.

    i did a test cut and after playing around a bit, one run came out great. then I ran another a few minutes later and the bit started to melt the plastic chips which stuck to the bit and ruined the cuts. The bit ( a 1/32" ball nose in this case) was so hot that it burnt my thumb when i took it out of the spindle motor to clean off the stuck on plastic.

    A small v bit worked well enough but it doesn't give the look I'm after for small lettering (say 0.3" tall) set into the plexiglass. Do I need to cut the feed rate waaaay down or are there better bits just for plastics? Maybe a small end mill instead of the ballnose? Or even an aluminum cutting bit perhaps? I don't have small enough endmills but can get some if that's better. Anyone have specific suggestions?

    i also tried the same design in serveral differet types of wood (pine, poplar and maple, plus plywood). In larger sizes (about 8" x 10") it all looked fine but when i got down to the small letters, the edges were always fuzzy. Anyone have suggestiosn for small lettering in wood as well. Again the text is as small as .3". i can go bigger but don't want it to be larger than a cell phone. I'm figuring that most business cards are tossed but soemthing that's cool looking might be kept, even if many people are going electronic for business cards.

    I can post the file (assuming that's allowed) if that would be helpful.

    Last edited by Rocco.G; 09-12-2022 at 09:40 AM. Reason: Forgot to incoude something

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