Face Shields, Sneeze Guards, Machining Plastics and Acrylics

While we have found ourselves in the midst of a situation no one could have imagined we would ever be in, quite a few of our customers have to stepped up and contribution their production capacity and be a part of the solution to nationwide shortages of personal protection needs. For those volunteering their time and efforts, we commend you!

In this article we will highlight particular tools that may be needed in the production of urgent supplies. The common applications that we have seen among our customers has been for face shields and sneeze guards.

Parting Material for Face Shields

The material that we have found most common for the face shields is .02″(.51mm) PETG. Typically we would suggest a Polished O-Flute up-cut bit for most rigid plastic materials. The reason for this, is to get the plastic chips out of the cut so they won’t melt and form back to the material. However, when you cut material that is .5mm thin you have the risk of an up-cut bit pulling the material off the table. An alternative bit for this is a Straight O-Flute as it won’t have the tendency to pull the material off the table. Some CNC Machine have a “shoe” that is under the shroud that applies pressure on the material which in this case an up-cut can work. If there is no shoe and the material is very thin we recommend a Straight Polished O-Fute.

Should I go with 1 Flute or 2 Flute Bits?
Due to the nature of face shields, being typically sized 9″ x 9″ (with a radius on the corners) the machine has trouble getting to full speed before it reaches the next turn, so a single flute is a better choice. If the tool has 2 Flutes and is not moving through the material fast enough, the chip load will be too small, creating excess heat and cause melting.

Cutting Material for Sneeze Guards

Sneeze guards, which are commonly seen in use at grocery stores, banks and gas stations, are manufactured with a more rigid plastic and acrylic than the face shields. The most common thicknesses that we have encountered are 1/4″ and 3/8″. For machining these, a Polished Up-cut O-Flute router bit will work best.

Rounded Edge
Some customers have found that that it’s easiest to finish the edges with a Solid Carbide Rounding Edge Straight/Upcut Bit. The style of cut depends on how strong your material hold down is. We recommend a Straight O-Flute for weaker material hold down and Up-Cut for stronger material hold down.

We want to thank all the customer’s that are donating their time to provide resources to the healthcare industry, if we can provide any information to assist with the production of the live saving equipment please reach out 800.544.8436


At GDP|GUHDO, we have put our resources together to provide a comprehensive CNC Tooling Guide. This guide is designed to provide the knowledge to support the most efficient use of your CNC tooling.  We want to put the information into your hands any way that you can use it, so we also have a downloadable link to a PDF version of the presentation here.

Below is a directory for both the video presentation and the PDF presentation.

Topic Slide # Time
Introduction to CNC Tooling 1-7  0:00
Tool Holders and Clamping Systems 8-22  3:37
Drill Bits and Adapters 23-26  10:11
Sizing Jointing Rebates, Dado Cuts and Grooving 27-47 11:30
Other Common CNC Tooling 48-53 22:57
Material Specific Tooling 54-63  25:52
Profile and Custom Tooling 64-68 28:54
Saw Blade and Grooving Adapters 69-72  31:33
Other Tool Tips 73-80  32:32


Tooling for Alucobond

 From buildingindustry.org

Alucobond is a type of sandwich panel which was first introduced in 1969 and is now widely used in the residential and commercial construction industries. This ACM, (aluminum composite material) consists of two sheets of smooth 0.02” aluminum, thermobonded to a polyethylene core. The result is a light composite material that offers many benefits including perfect flatness, rigidity, weatherproofing, impact resistance and also features vibration dampening characteristics. These characteristics make this product truly unique and popular and it’s available in a wide variety of colors and textures.

 While standard tooling may be utilized,  you may find it a bit challenging.   We offer specific tooling for machining this unique product. For sawing, we offer a line of saw blades specifically engineered for quality results in terms of finish quality and extended tool life. These saw blades are designed for use on horizontal, vertical and most table saws and are available in sizes ranging from 250 mm up to 550 mm.

Positive Rake Angle Saw Blade

Positive Rake Angle Saw Blade

For folding applications, a “V-grooving” cutter head is available in two variations, 90 and 135 degree. This specialty cutter head is designed to be used on CNC aggregates, panel, vertical or table saws.  For CNC routing applications, a 90 and 135 degree profile router bit is also available for folding applications. These tools are specifically engineered to be used on Alucobond or similar products and will produce excellent results.

V-groove Router Bit

V-groove Router Bit

V-grooving Cutter Head

V-grooving Cutter Head

For additional information or questions,  contact Team GDP|GUHDO and we are happy to help you select the right tool for your specific application.

Keys to Cost Savings while Machining Solid Surface Material

At GDP|GUHDO we strive to help our customers optimize cutting tool performance and cost – we recently contributed this article to the ISFA (International Surface Fabricators Association)  for the Q4 2014 issue of Countertop & Architectural Surfaces Magazine .

Keys to Cost Savings while Machining Solid Surface Material

While the homogeneous composition of solid surface material doesn’t generally pose particular machining challenges, there are great ways to reduce your overall tooling expense, increase tool life, improve finish, reduce down-time and maintain a smoother work flow by selecting the correct cutting tool for the application.

Whether tooling is needed for use on a hand-router at installation site or production tooling in the shop, options available to streamline production, reduce down time, eliminate sanding and cut cost are overlooked all too often.

While most saw blades look similar, on closer inspection there are marked differences in tooth design/grind, angle and tooth count that affect the quality of cut and how long the blade will perform well before getting dull. These differences in tooth geometries are the result of much research and testing, to accommodate the wide range of materials and composite panels that all present their own unique cutting characteristics. For cutting solid surface material, the tooth design that provides the longest, cleanest cutting performance is (more…)