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I'm wanting to make a homemade shorty windscreen. I *think* it should be easy enough to heat the plexiglass / acrylic in the oven and get it formed to my desire shape. Anybody have any tips on this? One thing I heard regarding heating acrylic in your oven is it gives off flammable gases which could cause a... well you know what I mean. :(

TIA
Scott
 

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I attempted to reshape the Suzuki tall screen. It ended up in the trash.

Getting the stuff warm enough to shape is easy. The trouble is that the whole screen is now pliable and I only wanted certain places changed.

With a jig I probably could have done what I wanted.

Suzuki euro sport screen is the answer.


I see you're in the NW. I have my cut down stocker if you wanted to try it.
 

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You might want to consider using Lexan and not plexi. Lexan is a lot tougher and less prone to shattering when hit. Easier to cut and form too. Just my 2 cents.

Jerry:)
 

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Somewhere, on this forum I think, there was a post with instructions on how to make your own screen using Lexan. There were a few things to watch for. Mostly temperature as I recal.
Try a search here and perhaps the other forum.
Somewhere I saved the instructions so I could make one last winter. Now where did I put those instructions...
 

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I'm not sure if what you call "Plexiglas" is the same as what we call "acrylic" but I have made a screen from 6mm thick black acrylic. Having done this I would probably use 4mm acrylic if I made another.

Here's how I made it, started with a square sheet aprox the same size as the std screen that would fit in the oven on an angle, I made mine a little wider the the original.

Removed the std screen, placed it on the bench edges down but elevated on a block of wood.

Add a few layers of newspaper on top to protect it from the heat.

Remove the adhesive protecting paper from the acrylic and pre heat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Place the acrylic into the oven for 10 minutes or until it has reached 170 degrees. It will be flexible like a sheet of rubber at this temperature so be careful handling it.

Remove it and place it on the original screen, this will mold it to the correct shape. Once cool it will retain the curve from the original screen.

I then stuck the protective paper sheet back on the acrylic and used the original screen for a template to mark the holes and shape.

Cut the screen with a fine tooth jigsaw, be patient and work slowly. Select two drill bits, one small for a pilot hole and one the correct size. Blunt both on the grinder so the edge is not undercut, this will prevent the drill from biting into the soft acrylic and cracking it.

I used an orbital sander on the edges and finished off with some fine wet and dry paper.

All this cost me $40 and two hours work. An no more buffeting :)

I'll take some pics and post them this weekend
 

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Pictures of acrylic shorty screen.





 

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Discussion Starter #8
Pictures of acrylic shorty screen.

Thats just about what I'm looking for. Thanks for post and instructions.
:)
Scott
 

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A few general comments.

Plexiglass is a trade name for Acrylic. HD has thin acrylic sheets: plastic supply houses will have many sizes and thicknesses, including cut pieces that may be usable for a screen. It's probably the most common material used because it's clear, easily formed, and scratches can be buffed out. But it is fairly brittle, especially at extreme low temps.

Lexan is the GE trade name for Polycarbonate. Polycarbonate has much higher impact resistance than acrylic and better temp resistance. But if it is scratched you cannot buff out the scratches. So it is a great choice for a low screen or a solid color one like the one above, or if you are careful for a taller screen.

The other material that seems to used for windscreens is Polyvinyl Butyrate, also sometimes called just Butyrate. It is clear but feels flexible. I had a BMW windshield on my old R65 I believe was Butyrate.

If you are using the original windshield as a pattern, trace it with paper then make the new sheet a little bigger to allow for the curvature.

When drilling any plastics, the standard angle for a drill bit does not work well and will often crack acrylic. Either start with a timy pilot hole and use a progression of sizes, buy plastic bits, or grind the tip of your drill: you can find recommended angles on the web.

Drill all through holes a little oversize to allow clearance for the screw, as otherwise cold temps may cause cracking.

Sand the edges until they are relatively smooth to prevent cracks. For a clear look, use a solvent to wipe the edge lightly.
 
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