Sanding Polycarbonate for Frosty Effect

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Posted in WorkshopLighting

Introduction: Sanding Polycarbonate for Frosty Effect

I did this at TechShop Menlo Park. http://www.techshop.com

These large sheets of polycarbonate are to be sanded down for a frosted effect to be used in the construction of large art light-boxes.

Step 1: Peeling

The shiny surfaced sheets are revealed by peeling the protective layer from each side.

Step 2: Sanding

Using an air rotary hand held sander and 40 grit sanding discs and protecting the face with a dust mask we indulge in hours of making circles on this piece of plastic.

Step 3: Break

We pause for a quick break to hear some short but very poignant wisdoms from a book.

Step 4: More Sanding

We roughed up the surface enough to have no more shiny spots. Now we continue to smoothen and frost our surfaces to perfection.

Note: this takes a long time and is pretty hard on the body. If you have a sand blaster, I highly suggest using it for quicker and better results.

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    3 Comments

    Have you tried using solvents and potscrubbers to haze the plastic? But then I don't know what is worse, getting dusted with plastic micro particles or breathing in chemical vapors.

    1 reply

     A Scotchbrite Pad and a garden hose works on acrylic. Not sure if it would work on polycarbonate though.

    Also, a finish sander would work better than a rotating disk sander. (No swirl marks.)

    Very interesting, thanks for sharing!