Dec 15, 2007, 10:54 AM - Grinding plastic
Is it possible to grind or cut grooves in plastic (say PVC) without it melting into glops?
Dec 15, 2007, 11:02 AM - Re: Grinding plastic
It's possible--I've never tried it personally, but a good friend of mine used his Dremel with router attachement & bits to make the "holes" in the barrel of his MG34 replica. I believe he carved about halfway into the thickness of the PVC--his reasoning was that leaving the pipe solid makes the barrel stronger.
Dec 15, 2007, 11:23 AM - Re: Grinding plastic
Thank you. Do you know how he did it? Like a low speed setting?
Dec 15, 2007, 11:50 AM - Re: Grinding plastic
Dec 15, 2007, 11:58 AM - Re: Grinding plastic
I second the low speed setting. also, taking small, little swipes at the area will reduce the heat.
Dec 15, 2007, 12:02 PM - Re: Grinding plastic
Yeah slow speed and short bursts any friction is going to produce heat so keep it to a minimum, time consuming but there you go.
Dec 15, 2007, 12:37 PM - Re: Grinding plastic
If you have access to a lathe you can easily make grooves etc in PVC without much melting.
Dec 15, 2007, 1:49 PM - Re: Grinding plastic
Thank you very much. I really don't want to get burned by globs of melted plastic.
Dec 15, 2007, 1:56 PM - Re: Grinding plastic
PVC doesn't melt THAT readily. You can grind away. Most you'll get are some tiny rounded melted blobs along the cut edge; no worse than the burrs that will have to be sanded down anyway.
The drilling halfway thing isn't really necessary, either...PVC is strong enough to endure being riddled with holes--it's not like a blaster barrel is put under any weight or pressure.
Dec 15, 2007, 2:01 PM - Re: Grinding plastic
Thanks for the information.
I was planning to either cut or grind some pvc pipe or abs.
Dec 15, 2007, 3:19 PM - Re: Grinding plastic
I'll second what Treadwell said - PVC and plexiglass don't really melt all that easy. It does depend on what bits you use, though, and how long you keep it in that one spot.
You will really want some bit that gets the plastic up and out of the way. You'll be throwing a lot of plastic bits around, and they are a bit hot, but nothing to worry about if you are properly dressed and have the normal safety gear on.
Dec 15, 2007, 3:46 PM - Re: Grinding plastic
Plastic grinds ok just be aware it may not melt but it still gets hot. When I ground plastic it was on a grinding wheel and it was very messy the spray that came off.
I would wear rigger gloves to protect your hands.
Safety goggles are a must. If you have eye protection you are ready to go.
Dec 15, 2007, 4:12 PM - Re: Grinding plastic
Dec 15, 2007, 4:27 PM - Re: Grinding plastic
for plastics i usually use a coarser bit, like those long spiraled drywall router cut out bits (more actual cutting and less friction that you would get from a sanding bit) on low to medium speed, but when plastic does melt, the melted stuff is usually a lot weaker and is barely attatched to the original piece, after a second or 2 i usually just snap the melted blobs with my fingers
Dec 15, 2007, 4:28 PM - Re: Grinding plastic
I have taken PVC pipe and slid it onto a large wooden dowel and then screwed it in place to the dowel. I then chucked the entire lot into a lathe and was able to accurately turn notches around the circumference of the PVC. Depth depends on what PVC pipe is used.
Dec 15, 2007, 4:33 PM - Re: Grinding plastic
Any ideas on how to cut a lengthwise groove across a pvc pipe? I want to run a bit straight across and smoothly.
Dec 15, 2007, 9:24 PM - Re: Grinding plastic
And throw on a long sleeve shirt and long pants. You'll know why if you don't
Dec 15, 2007, 10:48 PM - Re: Grinding plastic
Nevermind, thought you said cutting, not grinding.
Dec 16, 2007, 12:44 AM - Re: Grinding plastic
Something else that works well is if you have access to a dremel with a flexable shaft. You can do your routing in water. I have used this method for styrene and plexi many times. Its important to use a flex shaft for safty. You don't want your dremel in the water.
Dec 16, 2007, 2:05 AM - Re: Grinding plastic
You can submerge the flex-shaft in water, really?! I never knew that...
Last edited by sabergirl; Dec 16, 2007 at 2:06 AM.
Dec 16, 2007, 9:18 AM - Re: Grinding plastic
I wouldn't submerge it, but when your cutting with the bit in the water you get a lot of splashback on the tool. That could really damage you or your dremel if it was splashing on a motor. Usually when your done all you need to do is whipe the shaft off, and maybe a little lube at the end to prevent problems in the bushing.
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