How to secure polycarbonate (Lexan) to enclosure door

I’ve been trolling through the forum archives and YouTube videos but I haven’t really seen this question answered…

I bought a piece Polycarbonate (48” x 24” 0.5” thick).

My intent was to cut out a window in the front of my enclosure 47” x 23”, therefore providing a .5” rabbet.

Thus the question What is the best method to secure the polycarbonate sheet? …glue, screws, combination, and what is the right product (glue type, screw type) I should be using?

Or alternatively, should I be fully recessing the polycarbonate in the 3/4 MDF and then using a piece of trim on the inside to create a channel?

1 Like

So, you’re making your Shapeoko bulletproof? :smiley: Must live in a rough neighborhood! :smiley:

I’m tending to think that you should cock your head to one side and consider that sheet of poly AS the door. Then put some trim around it. :smiley:


My inclination would be a plastic sheet with no features with the edges wrapped in in some sort of gasket material placed in a recess and held in place by strips on the inside held in place with screws and washers — that way if there’s a need to replace it (polycarbonate scratches easily) it’s a simple pair of cuts to get it to size.


I forgot to mention for you to look at Outwater for mounting hardware. Might take awhile to go through so much stuff there.

Architectural Products & Extrusions By Outwater


So my goal was to reduce sound as much as possible. My fear was, that by adding clear windows I would reduce the sound proofing of the enclosure, and therefore I believed I needed something as thick as my 3/4 MDF.

At the last minute because of cost, I downgraded from 3/4 to 1/2 inch Polycarbonate…and right now, I’m glad I did, that stuff ain’t light, and thus I now realised that I needed to ask the collective for advice before putting it in the window hole.

In terms of bulletproof @CrookedWoodTex …I did knock over and smash a bottle of bourbon on my concrete floor last night as I was manoeuvring more materials for the vacuum enclosure…maybe I should be using the polycarbonate for the bar and not the shapeoko

For soundproofing, it’s not thickness that matters but mass. Polycarbonate is significantly more dense than MDF so you can get away with it being a bit thinner. For my Nomad, I have 10mm thick MDF walls plus 6mm thick polycarbonate windows.

That’s some serious plastic. I also have 12mm of polycarbonate but for soundproofing I’ve got two 6mm sheets with an airgap between them.

As for the original question, I second @WillAdams’ suggestion. For Aluminium profiles, there’s this stuff:

It slides into the slot and holds your glass/polycarbonate for you. I think it’s a soft rubber so shouldn’t transmit too much of the sound.


The reason I’m suggesting to look at the poly as the door and add some pretty trim, is because of the mass of it and it is about the same size as the opening.

Relatively speaking your going to have to have some heavy trim to hold the finished door together.

PS. I hope it was a cheap bottle of bourbon and not your best! :smiley:

1 Like

I threw this together for exactly that purpose - windows in my bi-folding doors - which provides a 5mm rebate for the perspex to sit in.

For the moment, I’ve taped the perspex into the frame, but I intend to use thin stripwood on the inside, which I will screw in place, and on the outside - if I can be bothered - I might some right-angled stripwood to cover up the (now exposed) plywood.

File and photos attached.

Door Window.c2d (950.5 KB)



For all my of machines, like router tables and the like, I use Acrylic as the door. Plastic is normally quite expensive, and is essentially sold by weight. So it makes financial sense to have a frame, with thinner plastic for the window. I tend to have a glut of thicker plastic laying around, scraps, and rarely touch thin material. I machine a rebate in the exterior, and machine the door to fit inside. Couple hinges or piano hinge, and an appropriate latch(s).


The question is do you think this will ever need to be replaced. If the answer is yes then a trim nailed or screwed in. If the answer is no then sealant would be good. Either method would hold your window in. Even with sealant it would be possible to replace window but it makes it harder digging out the sealant.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed after 30 days. New replies are no longer allowed.