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Trying to get into modding, and need some help.

post #1 of 17
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I don't have many tools at my disposal, just a dremel, a little circular saw, and some basic tools. Right now I need to cut acrylic and don't know what tool to use. It's all straight lines for now and if I have to buy a tool, then so be it as long as it isn't too expensive. Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 17
Invest in a jigsaw. one of the most versatile compact tools you'll ever own. Buy a blade set for it and you can cut just about anything.

Also buy a Mouse sander with buffing and finishing pads to take care of polishing up your cuts that you made with the dremel/jigsaw.

A most jigsaws will include and edge guide to let you make long straight cuts easily without having to invest in a full-out table saw (which is the BEST way to cut acrylic). Once you cut it, sand the edges smooth with 220 grit on your mouse sander, then hit it with a dark grey finishing pad for about a minute, then use a polishing pad with some red rouge to polish it. Works for me every time (I just use a table saw, mouse sander, and a drill press for my polishing).
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post #3 of 17
For straight cuts, the circular saw will actually work better than a jigsaw; just be sure to clamp some sort of a guide to the panel to ensure straight cuts. The biggest suggestion I can make for the circ saw is to get a finishing or preferably veneer blade as they will produce a much smoother cut than a framing blade would.
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post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by radodrill View Post
For straight cuts, the circular saw will actually work better than a jigsaw; just be sure to clamp some sort of a guide to the panel to ensure straight cuts. The biggest suggestion I can make for the circ saw is to get a finishing or preferably veneer blade as they will produce a much smoother cut than a framing blade would.
I usually use a crosscutting blade when I'm doing it. Good call on the circular saw though, wasn't even thinking about that, lol.
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post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks, guys. I'll have to pick up better blades and stuff this week and I'll mess around with it by the weekend hopefully.
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post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTRLurself [Knyte Custom] View Post
I usually use a crosscutting blade when I'm doing it.
Yeah

Note:
Framing = Rip
Fine cut = crosscut

Just different terms for the same thing.
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post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeWillzyx View Post
I don't have many tools at my disposal, just a dremel, a little circular saw, and some basic tools. Right now I need to cut acrylic and don't know what tool to use. It's all straight lines for now and if I have to buy a tool, then so be it as long as it isn't too expensive. Thanks in advance.
When i cut my side panel my friends dad taught me a trick. Take a knife (not a steak knife, but a sharp thin blade) then use a ruler and cut DEEPLY into the plastic several times on both sides (using the ruler as a guide for straightness) then once its cut enough go to a straight edge such as a table and gently apply pressure until the plastic breaks, sorta like riping perfurated paper.
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post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by radodrill View Post
Yeah
Note:
Framing = Rip
Fine cut <> crosscut *fixed*
Not to split hairs, but Veneer blades have (almost) no kerf to them and have a habit of binding if you're cutting something more than like 1/8" thick and when you bind a blade in acrylic it's disastrous. Crosscut blades have fewer teeth, but still have a high tooth count, but have the standard kerf like on a ripping blade.

Also, a hand drill with a 4.5" hole saw will help make perfect holes for 120mm fans. You'll need 7/64" bit for a clearanced 6-32 hole, 3/32" or 5/64" bits (IIRC) make good holes to tap if you REALLY want to, but tapping acrylic is time consuming.
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post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoblikat View Post
When i cut my side panel my friends dad taught me a trick. Take a knife (not a steak knife, but a sharp thin blade) then use a ruler and cut DEEPLY into the plastic several times on both sides (using the ruler as a guide for straightness) then once its cut enough go to a straight edge such as a table and gently apply pressure until the plastic breaks, sorta like riping perfurated paper.
The score & snap method. This works really well on glass, but not always so well with acrylic. It works pretty decently on thin acrylic panels (e.g. 1/8") but not so well on thicker panels. When doing this on thicker acrylic, it's more prone to not exactly follow the score and the break surface is often more rounded than straight (Syrillian had a great pic showing this in one of his logs).

While it does work in a pinch, I much rather cut it with a saw (my table saw is awesome).
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RAD GT
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post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTRLurself [Knyte Custom] View Post
Not to split hairs, but Veneer blades have (almost) no kerf to them and have a habit of binding if you're cutting something more than like 1/8" thick and when you bind a blade in acrylic it's disastrous. Crosscut blades have fewer teeth, but still have a high tooth count, but have the standard kerf like on a ripping blade.
I guess I just referred to crosscut blades as finishing blades kinda in line with the nomenclature used for nail guns.

Checking my saw, the blade I normally use is indeed a 10" 60T crosscut blade. I have never used a veneer blade since they're a lot more expensive (I got a 2-pack with a framing blade and the crosscut for about the same price as a single blade); I just know that Syrillian swears by tem.
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RAD GT
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