Turning acrylic: don't like the smell!

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Forum topic by ShannonRogers posted 05-31-2008 05:22 PM 1661 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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540 posts in 5250 days

05-31-2008 05:22 PM

Topic tags/keywords: acrylic pen turning smell

I am making 9 pens for a customer and she has requested acrylic for the blanks in a color scheme that matches her school colors. This is my first foray into acrylic. I have turned 4 of them so far (I’ll post the project when all 9 are done, they look cooler in numbers) and the smell is just horrific. It has migrated throughout my entire house. It was the worst at the drill press, so I really slowed down the feed rate and backed up the quill a bunch to keep from overheating, but I still get a strong smell while at the lathe. Am I doing something wrong here or does it just work like that with acrylic?

Any tips for controlling or quickly eliminating the smell? My vote is to go back to wood!

-- The Hand Tool School is Open for Business! Check out my blog and podcast "The Renaissance Woodworker" at

2 replies so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5451 days

#1 posted 06-01-2008 03:55 AM

I always thought that a faster speed and feed works better. Less time for things to heat up and the chips take the heat away with them.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View trifern's profile


8134 posts in 5230 days

#2 posted 06-01-2008 04:32 AM

Acrylic does have a peculiar odder. I don’t find it as objectionable as some of the dyed and stabilized wood blanks. I really like the finished product though.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

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