Best way to hold down acrylic to waste board?

HI I am cutting 12" square 1/8thick acrylic need to cut all the way to all of the edges. I saw somewhere in the past a youtube video where the person used masking tape on the bottom of the acrylic and masking tape on the waste board and used superglue between the two pieces of tape. Anyone tried that? I think I will try it unless someone knows a better way to hold my acrylic down to the waste board.

ok thanks

The best method I have found is to cut a 12 inch pocket about .1 inch deep in a scrap piece of MDF that is secured to your wasteboard. (Be sure to dogbone the corners so the acrylic will fit).

The most important part is to be sure the pocket you cut is the exact size as your acrylic so the acrylic fits very snugly into the pocket. Then you can just press the acrylic down into the MDF pocket and it will stay put while you have access to entire surface.


sound good just just thinking I have to cut the acrylic all the way to the edges 100% . so my bit might hit the mdf not sure

There is another method I have seen.
Make a pocket as was suggested but leave a place for a wedge area on 2 sides that touch each other. Then use wedges to secure it in place.

Hitting the MDF is not a problem (it will atcually help clean off the acrylic that accumulates on the bit)

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Yep, works incredibly well. I do not use clamps anymore as this method works so well for most things.

ok thanks.

Same for me…since I saw that I have used the tape and superglue method on everything from 1/8 ply, 1/4 acrylic, to 8/4 hard maple the other day…and it works great!!

When I was buying some acrylic recently, they had rolls of very thin double sided tape designed to join acrylic together. ‘Got to be a good idea’ I thought.
Turns out that it’s designed for PERMANENTLY joining acrylic and it was impossible to remove, at least not without some chemical assistance and serious elbow grease :frowning:

Used the masking tape/super glue method for the next job.

I use the super glue / masking tape method for just about everything. If you’re careful where you place the glue drops you can carve without using tabs.


As long as the wasteboard and acrylic are dust free, this stuff works great!

It is a little expensive but it sticks great and is relatively easy to remove.

Damn I cut acrylic all day long and never thought of that.

I started doing that last year when I had to make about 20 edge lit acrylics for family gifts. I was having a problem with the shallow cuts not being a uniform depth due to very slight wasteboard unevenness, so I took a scrap of 3/4 MDF and milled out a perfectly flat pocket and then discovered it made the production process so much eaiser since I could just press the acrylic sheets in, cut them then pop it out and do the next one with out having to rehome anything.

Hi Guys,
I am a bit curious. I haven’t done much acrylic / Perspex (I am in South Africa) :slight_smile: , but what exactly is the problem with using normal double-sided tape? The last Perspex / Acrylic cut I made, I stopped halfway as the bit started vibrating so bad, I thought it was going to break something. Was it because of the double-sided tape, or was the feed rate to high?
I also read the article on the super glue and masking tape method, but can’t remember the details (Does someone still have the link to this?)
Last question - This guy used two part superglue, will normal superglue work? Remember I am in Africa - Don’t have all these specialities here.

I use regular “1 part” super glue (cyanocrylate) that I sometimes get at the dollar store and blue 3M masking tape. It works very well.

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Yes BUT not as well, and it won’t dry as quickly. When you use the accelerator with the super glue the super glue dries almost instantly and bonds better.

Yep, clamps are year 400 B.C. technology :smile:

I found that the tape I was using, while it sticks very well to acrylic, it doesn’t stick that well to porous surface like MDF.
I ended up using a piece of formply screwed down to the waste board. The tape sticks very well to the phenolic coating on the ply. (I’ve since found that mineral turps is the magic fluid to remove the gum residue from the tape)

After trolling through the forums I also got the speeds and feeds sorted:
Feed speed: 1900mm/min
DOC: 0.2mm
Bit: 2mm, 2 flute end mill

I did manage to break a bit due to insufficient work holding. I’d left the protective paper on the acrylic and as the part I was cutting was very small, it moved just as the cut was finishing. Next time I’ll remove the paper
No sign of any melting though and a great finish to the part (27mm diam)

We use double sided template tape and CAT tape for higher temps.(aluminum) and better holding power. Also the “Ultimate Pry Tool” is a must have to get them apart without damaging the part. The tape and tool can be found here, we buy a lot of custom router bits from this guy as well.