Filing down lexan?


#1

I have a Lexan top that needs some finishing touches…

  • The holes for the 30mm buttons are just a bit too small. Is there a specific file i should use to open them up? I know home depot has files with a round side and flat; i think this set has me covered…

Home Depot

http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/productImages/300/36/36417c48-a22e-4cb0-9308-7932464e6c97_300.jpg

  • After filing down, the edges will be a little rough. What grit of sandpaper should i use to smooth that out?

thanks in advance!


#2

If you are just filing down the sides so the buttons fit then a rounded file would probably be the best and you would want something thats nor very course. Otherwise you may end up chipping the lexan. As for using sand paper to smooth it out. I done thing you will really need that. Once the button is in you arent going to see it and if your file is fine enough it wont be that rough.

I did something similar when I made this stick
http://i182.photobucket.com/albums/x277/Chaosdragon13/th_Finalpics001.jpg

It has a black plexi top with a while plexi insert. I drilled out most of the rectangle and then filed it to size. I didnt have to clean up the hole at all when I was done.

In that picture you have of the files, I used one like the triangular one, but then I had corners in mine so that worked out better.


#3

thanks Chaos.

Everything went great. Here are some tips i got at the hardware store. You really only need two files. A round that is coarse, and the half-moon shaped file that also has a flat side to it. The half-moon file i used was a little fine in texture.

  • I mounted the lexan top onto the metal panel during filing. This was to make sure that the button holes i was opening up would all match up.

  • Downward motions only. Start from the top-side of the panel and jab down at an angle with the round file. Do not go up and down and don’t rush it.

  • Finish off with the half-moon file to smooth it all out.


#4

not to thread jack, but i have a question since it seems like you solved your problem. I have an extra piece of lexan thats just slightly too big for my panel by about .10". Can’t really cut that off, is there a way to file it down that much?

Just to clarify, I’m not talking about button holes, I’m talking about the dimension of the acutal piece. Its about 8.10" x 12" and I need it down to 8 x 12"

Thanks.


#5

fine grit sandpaper and some patience

take your time

sand, test fit, sand, test fit… till it fits


#6

Get yourself a Dremel (if you don’t have one already) and use that with a sanding bit, makes it quick and easy as long as you have a steady hand.


#7

Its cool. We kinda need a Lexan/Plexi thread.

I was in the same situation. My top panel was cut a few millimeters too big. I just placed it on top of a straight edge to guide my filing. It didn’t come out perfect but its noticeable if i inspect. I actually forgot about the imperfection :wgrin:


#8

cool thanks guy, i’ll definitely try that out. and +1 for a lexi/plexi dedicated thread


#9

If you have a router, router table and laminate cutter bit, you can use a straight piece of 1/4" wood to use as a template and get a nice clean cut.

Works great to make the top piece for sticks too. Just kinda rough cut the plexi and use a smaller diameter spade bit for the holes. Make a template with 1/4" mdf and stick it on to the plexi with “carpet” tape. Use the laminate cutter bit for perfect and clean cuts everytime. Also, this method won’t crack acrylic pieces so no need to lexan if you don’t want to.