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Re: Acrylic or Polycarbonate substitutes for Glass Tops -- cutting in

Bill Wichers gave good info on acrylic or polycarbonate
sheets.  I think it's important to add couple of points:

> The best blades to use are a fine pitch carbide-tipped
> circular saw blade 
> that does NOT have canted teeth (they should all be in a
> straight line, 
> that is not be bent to opposite sides of the blade with
> every other tooth 
> like most wood blades are). 

Ah yes, and the blade should have a positive rake rather
than negative, to prevent chipping of the edges.

> Best to finish each cut since
> trying to back 
> out will often make the blade stick and sometimes will
> fracture the plastic 
> sheet. Been there, done that :-)

It is very bad safety practice to back out a cut while the
saw blade is spinning. Worse than fracturing the material,
the table saw can "kick back" the material with a lot of
energy and velocity -- enough to put a whole in the wall or
you or cause other serious harm.  If you must do a partial
cut, turn the saw off and wait for the blade to stop
spinning before trying to back out the material.  If you
can't easily turn off the saw while feeding the material or
holding it in place, you shouldn't try partial cuts and you
probably ought to relocate the switch.  Most modern table
saws have a large switch button that you can easily reach
with a tap of your knee.

If your using a handheld curcular saw, then be sure the
material is on a firm platform and do not back out the saw
while the blade is spinning.  Trying to back out or lift up
while the blade is spinning can cause the saw itself to
"kick back", possibily into you.  Saws don't know the
difference between wood, plastics, and bone!

Read the manual; be careful; have fun ;-)
Scott H.

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