Hey guys, I'm doing a customisation project fairly soon and I just wanted to check everything out before i start....

I was just wondering if any of you know.... How do you rout acrylic? I'm guessing you can't just use a standard wood router... or can you?

I might do a thread on my project, but its all ideas atm....

Thanks guys!

Hmmmm you see, I'm not even sure my router has a speed control on it...

Do dremel's have a speed control? If so i'll get one!


P.S. all routing will be hidden under a pickguard, so it wont be noticable from the front....
some dremels have speed controls. With acrylic, even though you might not see some of the problem areas from the front, it's really kind of pointless to make an acrylic body if you're not going to do it right, which means routing with no melting. I'd look into a dremel with variable speed to do the routing.

Where are you getting your acrylic from? What size and how much?
Basically, I'm buying a pre-made acrylic strat (£99 GBP), and then modifying it to have 1 humbucker and 2 single coils, with a coil tap, as opposed to 3 single coils.... As well as another modification that's a bit special

After weighing up the options, i figure its gonna be cheaper to buy the guitar and customise it, than it will be to build it from scratch, buy materials etc...

dremels do have adjustable speed, but make sure you have the router attachment, or your're screwed.
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Right ok, thanks guys, so i can definately use a normal router, just slowed down yeah ?

you can NOT use a standard router bit to rout acrylic. You need a spiral bit, otherwise the acrylic melts and then freezes to the bit which causes the acrylic the crack or shatter. If you use polycarbinate rather than acrylic then you can use a regular router bit, but it means you have to use epoxy to glue it rather than super glue. I used to make neon signes for a living and all are sign faces were poly or acrylic, trust me on this one. Don't use a wood bit on acrylic. You will be throwing your money away.
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Last edited by CorduroyEW at Jan 21, 2007,
Thanks very much CorduroyEW!!!!

This is exactly why I asked! From your experience, is there a specific speed that works best?

nope, speed doesn't matter.

Edit: I guess that is only kind of true. You are more likely to crack acrylic by going to slow than too fast.
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Last edited by CorduroyEW at Jan 21, 2007,
Ahem, Yet another "pro" to chime in. I have been building custom aquariums from acrylic for years. Ineed a spiral upcut gives you better cut (meaning less bit chatter) But strait bits work fine on acrylic. THe things that have to be considered is what type of acylic you are working with. There is a huge difference between extruded crap that point-of-purchase displays and sign are made from than cell cast acrylic that is harder and much more dense. However, sine this guitar is pre-made and didn't cost a ton, I would guess it to be made from something cheaper like say a continuous material somewhere in between a soft extruded and a cell cast. I would still think a strait bit would be fine but it would be most ideal not to stay in one spot for long or a little melting can occur. But more than melting the change in temperature can cause "crazing" which are fine cracks that can be seen but not felt around the pressued site. For the record acylics do not "glue" at all, they solvent weld by chemically bonding with the use of specialized solvents. As a matter of fact all of my body templates and neck jigs are made from acrylic routhed with a standard router strait bit. So yes, a strait bit will work just be careful and use a flush trim bit with a template as lwast I am sure it will be safer than a dremel. YES, a spiral upcut bit would be better, but may be more expensive than the trouble.

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