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Old 07-19-2019, 05:51 AM
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Default plexiglass options/questions

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Lotta creative people here,so I'll try to explain a project simply first,and see what the options are.

I'm in SWFL,and drive forklifts in and outside all day.For the next 3 months,we get tropical storms every afternoon,up to 3 inches in 1/2 hour.

Forklifts just have rollcages,no roof.I have a roll of plastic I'll tape to keep me and the dashboard dry,but its far from ideal.

It sags,leaks,and hard to see up thru,which is very important.

I'd like to get "some type" of hard plastic or "something",maybe 4x4.
Drill a hole in each corner,and bungee or zip tie it to the roll cage to put on or take off as needed.

1)clear,I have to be able to look up thru it
2) own money...10-15$?
3)available,something I can walk into HD/lowes,ace,whatever and buy.

If I was able to explain what I want clear enough..I'd like to hear some ideas or options ya'll got.

Also want to avoid buying a special blade or bit to work with it.

On a side note,I have a liitle fan with a solar panel made for cars to ventilate it while parked that I might add..and some speakers..and a led light..
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Old 07-19-2019, 06:30 AM
~Black.Dog~ ~Black.Dog~ is offline
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1/8" or 1/4" plexi should do just fine. I'm not sure if it would come in under $15 though. It's been a long time since I bought it. They make scoring tools to cut it and some are only a couple bucks. You can also use something like the corner of a good sharp wood chisel. You want to score a good V about halfway through. 1/4" can be cut with a jigsaw but be careful about heating it up through friction. That can gum up your cut and cause it to stick and start a crack. A table saw works also as well as a circular (Skil) saw. I've always used a carbide blade when doing that. I don't think the carbide is necessary, it just what I had on my saw. Drilling is no problem. Just go gently when the bit punches through.

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Old 07-19-2019, 07:03 AM
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NO PLEXI cracks to easy. Use Lexan pay a little more. Holds up much better and will not crack. I have seen Lexan stop a 9mm from 5 feet away. Bullet lodged in a 1/8 thick piece.

I have machines shipped from Overseas and the shields/cover are made from Plexi about a month or so they are cracked, broken, etc. I have been telling the factory but they KNow better so far. Until then I make them ship new or pay me on the cost of Lexan.
"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not" Thomas Jefferson
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Old 07-19-2019, 07:18 AM
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Get permission in writing from management before adding anything to your forklift. If someone gets injured by something you added you could be liable.

The cheapest thing you will be able to find at a home improvement store is the clear congregated roof panels for a green house type application. Home Depot will cut them for you for a fee. Even those will be well over your budget.

Rain on the dash is not that big of a problem, they are weather resistant.

Best thing I can tell you is to get a good rain suit.
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Old 07-19-2019, 10:18 AM
neiowa neiowa is offline
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The forklift I borrow on occasion has a roof and rear window that cinsists is a couple turns of wide skin/pallet wrap. The 24" wide saran warp material. Works quite . Wouldn't work on the side but a home made hard door wouldn't be useful either.
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Old 07-19-2019, 11:44 AM
America's Patriot America's Patriot is offline
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You're not buying anything for just $10-$15 bucks anymore... you need to find some scrap plexiglass somewhere...

I think the cheapest option would be to make your own cover... tarp and plastic sheeting to make your windows. If you can get hold of some vinyl, you can stitch that into the fold locations for reinforcement and to keep the shape (little wind flapping).
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Old 07-19-2019, 12:02 PM
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When I drove fork trucks many years ago we used thick clear plastic and spring clamps on the cage frame when it rained. It worked fine and its easy to use.
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Old 07-19-2019, 08:49 PM
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Thin plexiglass is going to be a shard hazard if something does happen and falls onto it. Major liability.

I agree that if you do durable sheet goods it should be Lexan. Ask the dealer what would be the best thickness for the application. It will be more than you have budgeted. However, it is far less likely to break into shards, if it were to break at all.

I would let them cut it to size. So be precise on your measurements. I would also recommend you use an outer protection layer, such as shrink wrap or even Saran wrap to help reduce scratching while in use. Change out the cover when it first starts to impair vision.

If there is any question about adding something to the forklift such as the top you describe, I would go another route. You have been using plastic sheet. I would continue to do so, and go with a thicker version. Then, rather than just letting it suspend between the ROP bars, buy or make a fairly open grid with rope, cord, strapping, or similar and lay the plastic over it. This will eliminate most of the sag. You can even use a couple of pieces of 1/2" CPVC or anything else that is slightly flexible to create an arch from corner to corner of the ROP cage that will hold the middle of the net/plastic up so it will drain.

As long as the net is open enough weave to be able to see through well, you can change out the plastic sheet whenever necessary, as it is pretty cheap.

The main thing is to not put anything on the forklift that could increase the risks of getting hurt. The Company will not let you and might cause trouble if you do it without them knowing, and you sure do not want to wind up with a two-foot sliver of plexiglass through your shoulder into your chest cavity.

I can probably draw up some kind of illustration if you would like me to, for yourself, or to show your bosses what it is I am talking about.

Just let me know.

Just my opinion.
Jerry D Young
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Old 07-20-2019, 12:45 AM
randolphrowzeebragg randolphrowzeebragg is offline
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I work with Lexan quite a bit, and considering the size of the cage on most outdoor forklifts, I'd try and make a deal with the boss to get him to pay for it if you could install it. I use it to protect my portable solar panels and after ten years it's still clear and hasn't broken. Careful about drilling holes in it, because it has a tendency to fragment at holes. A cheap and easy way to reinforce the edges is to use aluminum "C" channel with two-sided tape with the channel extended a couple of inches from the ends of the plate. I've also used silicone sealant to secure the channel if I don't expect to take the frame apart. You could use the channel to reinforce two edges or all four for a stronger job. Then drill through the ends of the channel and not the plate. The aluminum is cheap, very easy to cut, and on stuff this small I use an old miter saw with a small plywood blade.
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Old 07-20-2019, 02:42 PM
Jeb Sturat Jeb Sturat is offline
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I use a shower curtain when I need a tough clear plastic cover. You can get them in crystal clear with no design on them. They are tough and last a long time. Cost about $15.
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Old 07-24-2019, 10:36 AM
Brettny Brettny is offline
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Sheet vinyl for boat,rv or other such windows qill work great. Its very cheap and about the thickness of a hravy shower curtain.
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Old 08-04-2019, 04:18 AM
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Make sure whatever you use is UV resistant. I am seeing more and more headlights and other plastic things degrading under the UV here in Florida. I have to wonder if the Ozone layer has depleted.

Also, keep in mind that plexiglass and acrylics can shatter into sharp pieces, so if you have a load come loose you might be facing some big shards of nasty plastic.

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Old 08-04-2019, 07:07 AM
randolphrowzeebragg randolphrowzeebragg is offline
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Another option would be clear vinyl like Walmart sells in the fabric department. It's not very expensive, lasts for years, comes in four-foot widths and different thicknesses. It's very similar to the plastic that's used in convertible tops for cars and Jeeps. I'm not talking about the cheap, thin plastic that's sold in the hardware department.
It would be simple to buy a 4'x8' piece of the thickest version and take it to and from work with you. If it starts raining you could unroll it across the top of the cage and tie it off with paracord. Maybe get a section of thin aluminum bar at Lowes or Home Depot, fold the plastic over the bar and glue or rivet it in place at both ends of the sheet. Then roll it up, take it to work, tie the loose end to the top front or rear of the cage, and when it rains roll the rest out and tie off the aluminum bar at the other end of the sheet. Much easier and cheaper than installing Lexan.
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