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Wanted - ACP cut to size

Posted: Tue 09 Jul, 2019 7:05 pm
by The Crofter
Not sure if this is the right section.

I have a project that requires an os map to be recreated as a 4x4 grid of individual panels. In addition to the map panels there will be 4 others on either side containing key, text and general info, each separated by approx 3mm. The map panels are 3mm acp, 230mm x 230mm, side panels are 230mm x 115mm. To allow for spares and testing I need 20 x main and 12 x sides. I no longer have the capacity to cut my own panels and would have used a keencut which deforms one edge. There are plenty of online companies that will cut acp but again they use a guillotine. I really need a square edge.

I am hoping that there is someone on this forum that has a Verdi powered cutter, or similar, who could cut the panels for me. I also need to maintain a high tolerance on the final size as even a few mm would spoil the look. The verdi has a production stop so I would assume repeated cuts would not be more than say 0.2mm off which would be great.


Re: Wanted - ACP cut to size

Posted: Wed 10 Jul, 2019 6:13 am
by GeoSpectrum
Gainsborough plastic use a high precision saw and I've used them many times. They are near to me but I think they may post.

Any good sign makers should be able to help.

Re: Wanted - ACP cut to size

Posted: Wed 10 Jul, 2019 10:06 am
by Keith Hewitt
I had to Google it, so to save others >>>

ACP = Aluminium Composite Panel, also known as Di Bond

The older you get , the more you realise how little you know :clap:

Re: Wanted - ACP cut to size

Posted: Wed 10 Jul, 2019 4:07 pm
by Justintime
These guys say they'll cut to size...just the first one that came up on a google search ... /c-24/c-87
Or like you say, a local signage company, but mine would put a higher mark up on it than an online store i think..

Re: Wanted - ACP cut to size

Posted: Thu 11 Jul, 2019 6:00 am
by poliopete
I have found the postage/delivery charge for one cut to size item from the online store makes it more expensive than collecting from a local supplier.


Re: Wanted - ACP cut to size

Posted: Fri 12 Jul, 2019 7:52 am
by GeoSpectrum
or...make cradled panels, make a frame out of Rose and Hollis F9, rough cut the the ACP slightly over size, bond the panels to the cradle with gorilla glue and trim with a hand held router with a trimming bit. Done that a few times...

Re: Wanted - ACP cut to size

Posted: Fri 12 Jul, 2019 8:56 am
by Not your average framer
Alan's idea is quite a practical one to consider. The cost of getting a panel cut to size elsewhere and the delivery cost is not always helpful. The issue of rough cutting prior to trimming for Alan's idea can be quite a bit more straight forward than many of us might be thinking and beyond this the trimming bit is quite simple.

There are at least four possibilities I will mention, the first is an ordinary woodworking bandsaw. I have a bog standard budget priced woodworking bandsaw and it cuts through thin aluminium panels will little trouble, it's not fitted with a metal cutting blade, but it does not seem to mind if you don't feed it through too fast. A proper metal cutter blade will have smaller teeth to stop the blade trying to cut to fast into a tougher material, but it can be done.

The second possibility would be my bench end gillotine, this is a heavy duty guillotine with a 10mm thick tool steel blade and is rated to cut 16 gauge steel, so an aluminium composite panel is not likely to be much of a problem.

A third possibility would be an electric jig saw. It's surprising what you can cut with one of these using the right blade. You can buy a budget jig saw for about £15 to £20, or more if you want something with a bit more quality. I know my Keencut system 4000 hardboard cutting rollers will cut this if push comes to shove, it's not as easy as you might think.

Another option is a tool used in garages for cutting bits of bodywork steel before using the steel for patch welding. It's quite cheap and cheerfull, it fit into the workshop bench vice, it has two hardened cutting wheels and a geared wheel with a handle and cuts thin steel quite easily. It's not always the neatest cut, but if it,s going to be finish trimmed with a router, it's o.k.

These days, many of us are find ourself getting into doing a bit more than just the basics of picture framing and I think it often make good sense the we consider how we can handle some of these extra tasks that we would otherwise out source, where the task is simple and we can keep the profit from that task in house.

A final option could be repeated scoring using a standley knife and a straight edge, but it's a bit tedious and not so good if you slip and scratch the panel, or slice into your fingers. Personally, I don't regard this as a very smart option and not the safest either.

Re: Wanted - ACP cut to size

Posted: Sat 13 Jul, 2019 3:19 am
by GeoSpectrum
Or a CNC.....I’ve got one on my shopping list.

Re: Wanted - ACP cut to size

Posted: Sat 13 Jul, 2019 8:21 am
by Not your average framer
Now your talking!

Re: Wanted - ACP cut to size

Posted: Sun 14 Jul, 2019 5:49 am
by GeoSpectrum
An Ooznest Workbee if you are interested. It’s a little way off but I have use for one, or so I keep telling myself. :lol:

Re: Wanted - ACP cut to size

Posted: Sun 14 Jul, 2019 8:49 am
by Not your average framer
What tasks do you have lined up for it? It sounds interesting, how clever do you have to be to use one? How much does something like that cost?

As you have probably already figured out, I like things that I can use to make things. I've been thinking about a 3D printer as well to create items of frame ornamentation, I don't suppose it would ever pay for it self, but could be interesting. I have little idea about programming things like this, if it's not too complicated, I could probably be tempted. These are not things that I can't get by without as I am already pretty good at doing most things using traditional methods.

Taking impressions of existing details on frames and casting patterns for mould making and then casting the moulds is something that I already can do and it's largely a no brainer, in fact once you been shown how to do it, anyone can do it. I also am pretty good at woodcarving, in fact there is not a lot to doing that either, nobody taught me I just picked it up as I when along. I'm only doing it to repair frames, or create mould patterns. Much of the secret to success is in your head, if you start off thinking that something is going to be difficult, you are already setting yourself up to fail.

By the truth is that it is not difficult at all. I carve using MDF, Obeche and Limewood. It's quite easy if the wood is fine grain, consistent, reasonably soft to work with and with no knots. It's not particularly quick to do, but it's not excessively long winded either. It's quite restful and very enjoyable and satisfying to do as well. In spite of what some people may be thinking carving a few mould pattern is actually no big deal, but it's not likely to be your thing if you are not a reasonably patient person.

Re: Wanted - ACP cut to size

Posted: Sun 14 Jul, 2019 11:23 am
by GeoSpectrum
The workbee comes out at around £1800. Depending on options and size. Its a build it yourself kit.

I've just built an entry level 3d printer and the research and practice I have down so far suggests the quality you can get is not good enough for frame decoration. You might be able to do this with a cnc but a pretty expensive one and there would be a steep learning curve and a lot of time before you could produce anything worthwhile. You also would need to be pretty handy with a CAD/CAM program such as Fusion 360.

It's doable but not at easy as first appears.

My use case is cutting flat plywood, diBond and milling simple aluminium parts for a project I'm working on. The 3d printer is printing some small fittings for the same as we speak.

Re: Wanted - ACP cut to size

Posted: Sun 14 Jul, 2019 2:24 pm
by Not your average framer
It all sounds like fun stuff to have. Enjoy! 8)

Re: Wanted - ACP cut to size

Posted: Fri 23 Aug, 2019 5:57 pm
by GeoSpectrum
Just an update to this. I’ve just ordered the Workbee CNC. The more I looked the more I could see opportunities to add value to what I do. It will be a bit of a learning curve but I’m looking forward to it.

Re: Wanted - ACP cut to size

Posted: Tue 27 Aug, 2019 2:49 pm
by lawrieh
I use NEplastics. They deliver and depending how much you need cutting they often do it for free or a small cost. They have always been MM accurate for my orders. Will also cut to any shape for a fee using CNC.