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Wes Reeve
11-19-2012, 4:43 PM
Hey guys,

I'm a 21 year old laser engraver out of Western New York and I've been following this forum pretty religiously for about 3 months and you guys have been an excellent resource, so its about time I introduced myself as you'll probably be seeing a fair bit of me in the future. Hopefully I can be as helpful to you guys as some of you have been for me!

Anyway, now that that is out of the way... On to the question!

I've been toying with an idea for making a beveled edge in acrylic (a simple straight bevel, nothing fancy... its a long shot as is), and I realize that it can't be done by having the piece laying flat... Has anyone here found a reliable way to make a bevel using a jig or other method? I know that the cutting distance is greater on the angle and that may cause some problems, but... can it be done? I'm working with 1/8 acrylic and a 45W Epilog mini24. (I'm assuming power is going to be an issue, it usually is with these machines...)

Thanks for all your help, in the past and the future :)

-Wes

Stephen Sullivan
11-19-2012, 5:17 PM
I have had jig ideas in mind too. You should be able to jig it, but your max cut thickness is still going to be the same.

Mike Null
11-19-2012, 5:18 PM
Wes

Welcome to SMC. This topic came up a short time ago so I think a search might turn up a little info.

My opinion is that other tools will do the job better and faster. For example a table saw with plastic blade or a router. You can also buy beveling machines for plastics from most engraving distributors.

Paul Phillips
11-19-2012, 5:31 PM
Wes, welcome to the creek, be sure and show us some of the things you make when you feel up to it.
This question has come up recently, you can find it here, http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?192547-Can-I-cut-a-beveled-edge-into-acrylic-using-the-laser&highlight=beveled+acrylic
if that doesn't do what you were looking for you might consider setting up a small router table, you can build one from scratch it your handy around the shop or you can buy one similar to this,
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=31809
all you have to do is run the edges through for a quick and easy beveled edge, that's how I do it anyway.
Good luck.
Paul

Rich Harman
11-19-2012, 5:36 PM
Even if you did find a good way to cut the bevel with the laser you would still have to deal with the striations.

Wes Reeve
11-19-2012, 5:43 PM
I always forget about that little search bar, I'll have to stick a sticky note on my sticky notes to use it :rolleyes:

Thanks for the insights. That was my conclusion as well, Mike, but this forum has a habit of proving my conclusions wrong.

Dan Hintz
11-19-2012, 7:44 PM
I don't really think it's worth pursuing... let's say you choose a 45 degree bezel. Assuming you angle the workpiece and not the beam, that limits how tall the piece can be, unless you don't mind it sticking out of the laser (a possibility). Even at moderate power levels, you'd have a difficult time getting through more than 1/2" of cut with any real clarity, so at 45 degrees that limits your piece thickness to 1/4 - 3/8" (not horrible, but not great). Add in the striations Rich brings up and you are better off doing it on the router or tablesaw (I think I'd prefer the router).

Wes Reeve
11-20-2012, 11:49 AM
Router it is then. Thats what I'd figured from the start, but thank you guys for confirming it.

Paul, I'll definitely post some pictures when I get a chance... I just need to figure out what to show off :p

Jim Dawson
11-20-2012, 12:25 PM
5 Axis Laser..... big $$$.

David Fairfield
11-20-2012, 1:08 PM
Been there done that. Made jigs, used 3d graphics. Limited use and not worth the set up time. Until the manufacturers come up with an affordable tilting mirror option the laser is just not the right tool for this job. As others have said, use a table saw, router or a beveler. Welcome to the forum.

Dave

Bill Cunningham
11-24-2012, 10:35 PM
Put a 1/16 or 3/32 border on the piece, then cut around the outside of the border. Looks close enough to a bevel to satisfy all but the the pickiest customer, and their always a pita anyway!