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Polycarbonate cutting Answered

So, I had an idea some time back, to inset a rectangle cutting of a lens off a pair of glasses, into an eye cup for your camera. Costco sell their lenses to minors for 20 dollars, if I could get them to sell me just lenses, would a glass cutter like they have at home depot (i think) be able to cut it down to a small rectangle? If not, how could I cut it?

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Sedgewick17 (author)2007-06-19

There are two ways, which I know of for cutting glass. The first method is to score the glass into the shape that you want, using a glasscutter. Then you heat the glass with a blowtorch for about five seconds and plunge it into a bucket of water. Be careful not to heat the glass too quickly or it will fracture. If you have done this properly, you should have a neat cut where you carved. The second method is to make a device similar to a foam cutter, which uses a small gauge silver wire that has enough voltage passing through it to turn is cherry red. Once it has reached the right temperature slowly carve out the shape that you need being careful not to apply to much pressure as to snap the wire.

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jtobako (author)Sedgewick172007-06-19

Well, close. Red hot is 500-800 C, most glass melts at over 1000 C (some very heavily leaded glass as low as 500 C). Hot wire is frequently used to cut foam (but rarely at red heat-the wire oxidizes and breaks very quickly at that temp). Nothing, especially silver, is very strong at a red heat. The other part is, if you read a little farther, it isn't glass, it's plastic (polycarbonate) : )

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Sedgewick17 (author)jtobako2007-06-19

I must have missed the part about the piece being polycarbonate. I thought He was working with regular glass. If anyone is still interested though, I could post the instructions for making the glass-cutting machine that I described above.

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That would be an interesting instructable...I fixed the title, to make it obvious that im using polycarbonate.

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I know nothing about polycarbonate,but I will post the instructions for the glass-cutting machine as soon as I can.

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Grim (author)2007-06-18

I you use a glass lens heres a cool trick to cut it with scissors. Fill up your sink with water and submerge the piece of glass and hack away. The water helps reduce the high freq. waves the glass sends to the rest of itself when you cut it so it wont shatter.

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Weissensteinburg (author)Grim2007-06-18

Have you done it before? How hard is the glass to cut?

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Grim (author)Weissensteinburg2007-06-18

It depends on the thickness of the glass, you're cutting a lens so it has a curved smooth surface so I would say it would be quite difficult. I made a new screen for my mp3 player using this technique but the glass was 2mm thick.

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jtobako (author)Grim2007-06-18

It doesn't make a very clean cut, and it ruins the scissors : ) It's the same effect as using a little oil on your (regular) glass cutter. (pop sci, how-2 section had an article on this)

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Grim (author)jtobako2007-06-18

Yeah i think tobakos right especially for a camera lens.

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Weissensteinburg (author)2007-06-15

That's what it is, polycarbonate, it's what costco sells for 20 bucks. But plexi glass is cut similar to glass, so I thought it might be the same. Hopefully costco will cut it custom for me, though...

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jtobako (author)Weissensteinburg2007-06-16

Ask when they aren't busy, and have a tech there (rather than if they use an outside lab).

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Weissensteinburg (author)jtobako2007-06-16

Costco sends away all their stuff to one main costco lab. I'm going to call them in the morning and ask about what they can do.

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jtobako (author)2007-06-15

In Minnesota, kids glasses have to be polycarbonate, so glass cutting skills don't apply : )

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NachoMahma (author)2007-06-15

. You may be able to use a pair of reading glasses - cheap and readily available in different diopters. If you get the "half lens" type, you may only have to make two cuts. . I'd suggest going with plastic lenses, using a coping saw for the rough cuts, and slowly grinding to size. It's really hard (for me, anyway) to make clean breaks on small, thick pieces of glass.

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My dad actually thinks that if i bring the eye cup, costco might cut a lens to fit it, then I could just epoxy it in, and shoot away.

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user

. An attitude like that will get you banned from Instructables. LOL . But it sure would be a lot easier.

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Well seeing as I don't have any real equipment for glass cutting, and don't want to shatter the lenses...

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Well I have an astigmatism(sp?), so I have to order them. The nice thing, is if you're under 18, you get the polysomething break resistant plastic lenses automatically for 20 dollars, as long as you don't need bifocals. Next time I go to costco, ill talk to the people at the glasses area.

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NachoMahma (author)2007-06-15

. OIC. I don't really understand astigmatism (according to Google, that the right spelling), but doesn't being so close to what your focusing on (like with a viewfinder) ameliorate things so that a "mono-focus" lens would work? . I went with contact lenses. My vision is something like 20/200 ("Boy, without correction, you're legally blind.") and my eyeglasses are as thick as Coke bottle bottoms and about as heavy. Don't know if contacts will work for astig or not.

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Astigmatisms just mean the lens in your eye is more football shaped than circular, so whether you're close or far, it's the same. They do have contacts for people with astigmatisms now, but I hate anything near my eye (almost fainted when they flipped my eye lid inside out), and I like the way I look with glasses.

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