| Home | Articles | CP reprints |
PLEXIGLASS HINTS FOR PERFECT CANOPIES
1. Cutting: An abrasive disc powered by a high-speed drill, a Dremel tool, or a hand held circular saw is recommended. We have found that abrasive cut-off wheels of aluminum oxide or silicon carbide provide excellent cutting results. A six inch disc is available at most hardware stores for around $3.50. A small grinding disc or Dremel saw disc will also give good results. Reciprocal saber saws are not recommended and will probably break your canopy. A tool that progresses slow and hot on the canopy to grind through the canopy is best. Tape a poly plastic cover on the canopy and mark your outline with masking tape. Never cut a cold canopy. Allow the canopy to warm to 70 degrees or more for at least an hour. Dont allow the canopy to vibrate or chatter during the cutting or it may chip and crack. Support your canopy on a flat surface so it will not twist or spread during the trimming. Duct tape is handy to hold things in place. Remember: cut slowly, dont push the cutter. Let the tool do the work. Be sure to use eye protection. Plexiglas chips can be a problem in your eyes since they are clear and difficult to see.
2.Drilling: The drill should be ground off to a zero rake angle to prevent digging in, chipping and cracking the Plexiglas. A standard drill bit, ground with no cutting edge pitch, is a safe method of making holes. Be sure to make the holes oversize to allow for motion caused by thermal expansion and contraction. The drill bit should not be allowed to chatter or it will chip and break the Plexiglas. Dont push the drill. Let it cut at its own rate.
3. Cleaning: A damp soft cloth or an air blast will clean the sawdust away. The damp cloth will also dissipate static electricity. To clean dirty Plexiglas use plenty of water and a non abrasive soap or detergent. Dry with a clean chamois or soft cotton. Never use acetone, benzene, carbon tetrachloride, lighter fluid, lacquer thinners, leaded gasoline, window sprays or scouring compounds. Grease or oil may be removed with kerosene, white gasoline, naphtha or isopropyl alcohol. Small scratches can be buffed out with "Mirror Glaze" HGH-17 and a lot of rubbing. Hard automobile paste wax should he applied as a protective coating and buffed with a soft cotton flannel cloth. Do not use cheesecloth, muslin or shop cloths, they scratch. For deep scratch removal, procure a hand polishing kit from a Plexiglas dealer or your canopy supplier.