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  #1  
Old 10-11-2018, 10:45 PM
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Other uses for the grinders- acrylic ice cube project

I'd worked up a shot but the real ice cubes were far from appealing.

The ones at the craft stores looked so-so and the nice ones are $$. Went to a local plastics supply hoping to find remnant cuts of appropriate sized acrylic but nada. Only had full lengths of the 1.5" square bar and at $180 was a bit much for my experimenting. The 1" square was $51 but I wanted something larger than the common 1" sizes. There was a cut of 1.5" rod so I thought this was decent enough to practice on. The sales guy gave a nice price because it was an odd size so I was pleased.

Following the ice cube thoughts we have a friend that is the manger-owner of a local coffee shop. I was commenting to him about the clarity of the ice cubes his shop has. He showed me the reverse osmosis system that is hooked into the ice machine and coffee machines. That is a bit much for my photos but I now understand how real ice can be clear. Goes to show how much "stuff" is in the city water supply...yuck!

After doing these few I can understand why the nice ones are $$.


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Old 10-27-2018, 06:58 PM
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Additional shots of the ice cubes
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File Type: jpg acrylic-ice-cubes-merge-october-27.jpg (153.1 KB, 10 views)


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Old 10-28-2018, 06:03 PM
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Those look nice Mike. I wasn't sure what you meant by 'ice cubes' and then went "oh ice cubes! lol
I have a box of 1/4" acrylic lexan/plexiglass, about 8"x8" remnants from a job we did and thought you could glue up some small squares until l figured out what you meant.

There's a trick to gluing lexan a lot of people don't know, you can weld it with either a small torch or acetone. I knew a guy who made custom aquariums part-time and he used both methods, I swear he could weld with a tiny torch head a butt joint you could barely see. Corner joints he just used acetone because it melts it too. He said it was much cheaper and less messy than glue. I used acetone to make some cool square piggy banks for my kids and it works very well and hardly leaves a trace to be seen if you're careful.
Two other things when working with plexiglass, first, use smaller teeth on your table saw, about like for wood veneer is about right and if drilling holes the 135 degree point on standard drills tends to make cracks, especially thin material like 1/4". The company that gave me the remnants I had had me resharpen their drill bits for lexan. You need to take the point to 90% or sharper. Small bites is necessary.
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Old 10-29-2018, 03:42 AM
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Thanks Jim!

I have much to learn about working this material. Thanks for the drilling tips. The only drills I have at 90 degrees are the spotting bits. I've noticed I get cracks when using the other points as you mention.

Cutting the first batch I'd used the chop saw with 40 teeth. Was recommended a blade for plastics or one with a specific tooth rake profile to not melt the acrylic. Was told there was one that was 96T and a 135T range version like the veneer finishing cut. Today cut some more rod on the bandsaw with a 12TPI blade. It melted as expected but wasn't to bad. The kerf is much thinner so I'm not wasting as much material.


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Old 10-29-2018, 11:09 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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On the bandsaw go with like 6 or 8 tpi. It's what I used on my 9' Ryobi for 1/4" lexan, wood, aluminum, brass and micarta. If you cut G10 you'll dull your blade, use an old blade.
I get my bandsaw blades from an online company named Pro Bandsaw Works and I had to readjust and tune my bandsaw for their slightly thicker blades and they have a larger kerf and I literally use their 8 tpi blade for everything. edit; my mistake 10 tpi

https://www.probandsawworks.com/

Last edited by jimmontg; 10-29-2018 at 11:28 PM.
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Old 11-01-2018, 04:37 PM
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Thanks Jim! May have a 10 TPI blade, will have to look. I noticed how worn the teeth on the bi-metal blade were when doing this blade swap. The joys of these consumables.


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Old 11-12-2018, 08:01 PM
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One of the shots of the ice cubes in use:
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File Type: jpg cigar-rum-November 05, 2018-5412.jpg (61.7 KB, 5 views)


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Old 11-12-2018, 08:28 PM
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They look very realistic Mike. I can't imagine the trouble you went through to get them so nice.
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Old 11-14-2018, 12:37 PM
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Jim, the knifemaker mentality approach - Keep at it till it looks and works right. The first ones through trial error became smaller and smaller as I attempted different grinds in them. This is a family photo of the different sizes made. Left is the 1.5", middle 1.25" and 1" sizes.
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File Type: jpg acrylic-ice-cubes-family-November 13, 2018-5528.jpg (54.4 KB, 4 views)


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Old 11-19-2018, 03:23 PM
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How did you buff them to look wet? That has to be pretty hard.

Last edited by jimmontg; 11-19-2018 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 11-20-2018, 01:05 PM
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These polish up like the celluloid/pen blanks and similar plastics. The acrylic is pretty soft and the white compound on the buffer works well. Acrylic will also flame polish in the 3000 F range but one has to be careful to not get the material to burn. The one problem that translates in buffing is that crisp edges will be smoothed over very quickly.

This USA made acrylic has excellent optical properties. It is clear enough that they are pretty transparent in water and other liquids. For a photograph I would prefer them to show up more.

The ones on left are from the USA made acrylic. Ones on right are the budget ones from Amazon that I broke into pieces to test.
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File Type: jpg acrylic-ice-cubes-m-fong-November 18, 2018-5560.jpg (67.4 KB, 2 views)


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Old 11-20-2018, 09:51 PM
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Never worked with foreign lexan.
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Old 11-21-2018, 09:57 PM
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The expectation for the China made acrylic is pretty low and was echoed by a sign maker I discussed the process with. One of those, "you get what you pay for" scenarios.


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