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Acrylic Edge polishing and scratch removal.....101

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This is a simple guide to flame polish sawn acrylic edges to get that finished look.

For this you will need..

A jet torch.

This are available everywhere,you want a blue jet to concentrate the heat

Get familiar with it first,find out how to turn it off in a hurry!

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Sawn edge....not pretty.

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You want the jet tip to be just floating above the sawn edge inline with the sheet.

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Play along the edge you want to polish,dont linger in any one spot.

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Done correctly the edge should fall to a uniform colour.

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Surface scratches can also be 'rubbed out' with the same method.

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As always,ventilation is a must!!

Practice on scrap before the workpiece and store the gas away from your work area.

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Why the disclaimer?

You should NEVER use alcohol on acrylic,not just flame polished finish

This is common knowledge.

You shouldnt be using acetone glue for acrylic,a chloroform base is preferred,acetone base causes crazing.

Tensol being my preferred solvent for this.

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Not everybody knows about crazing, not even seasoned acrylic users sometimes. Alcohol is one thing, a plastic solvent is even worse. gluing flame polished pieces together is at a persons risk (a lot og plastic glue makers will not list every chemical), same applies to laser cut

The point is people should know about the downside of a technique as well as the benefits

Some plastic cleaners contain the same solvents that will craze after flame polishing so caution must be taken

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If you are gluing edges together then you should use a sawn edge anyway as this provides the best join,flame polished edges dont bond very well at all.....bizarrely.

Flame polishing is for external edges that will be visible only.

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Not everybody knows about crazing, not even seasoned acrylic users sometimes. Alcohol is one thing, a plastic solvent is even worse. gluing flame polished pieces together is at a persons risk (a lot og plastic glue makers will not list every chemical), same applies to laser cut

The point is people should know about the downside of a technique as well as the benefits

Some plastic cleaners contain the same solvents that will craze after flame polishing so caution must be taken

I use furniture polish to clean Acrylic,does a good job and some have a dust repelling action.

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I know I'm reviving an old thread, but I wonder: could a heat gun with reducer be used for this as well? If the idea is to hover over the plexi in order to apply just enough heat, it seems a heat gun could provide less chance of accidentally hitting the plastic with the torch flame directly.

-Carson

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