As in drilling and fastening, there are a few rules to follow when trimming:
– DO NOT use any type of reciprocating saw, including hand saws or saber saws, to trim acrylic windows. The only safe saw is a band saw with a fine-toothed blade (1/4″ or 3/8″ wide raker blade with 14 or more teeth per inch). A band saw blade travels in one direction only and runs cool. A reciprocating blade, even a hand saw, will build up heat and bind, quickly cracking the acrylic.
– DO use a sander to trim windshields and windows. A 4 1/2″ angle grinder with an 80 grit sanding disk works well. This tool is easy to control with one hand and will remove material quickly. A belt sander is also a good choice. A small rotary tool is very versatile and may be fitted with a small cutoff blade for trimming or it may be fitted with a drum sander for cutting notches and working in small areas. Care should be taken, however, to keep the tool from binding when using a cutoff blade.
– DO support the part when trimming or sanding. A padded table or work bench will work well for a work surface.
– DO mark for trim with a china marker grease pencil or felt tip marker. These marks can be readily removed with aircraft window polish or 100% mineral spirits.
– DO radius and finish all edges after final trim is established. Sharp edges and heavy sanding marks tend to be stress risers in the material. A sanding block and 150 grit fine sandpaper will easily smooth acrylic edges.
Drilling, trimming for fit, and fastening acrylic windshields and windows is not difficult, you just have to understand the material, the tools required, and the proper methods. With a little practice and a little time to get the feel of the processes, you will have a very satisfactory installation with a long service life.
STORAGE: DO NOT ALLOW THE WINDSHIELD OR WINDOW TO BE EXPOSED TO SUNLIGHT WITH THE PROTECTIVE COVER APPLIED. EVEN SHORT EXPOSURE WILL MAKE THE COVERING VERY DIFFICULT, IF NOT IMPOSSIBLE, TO REMOVE.