Even though plexiglass is a synthetic, a clean cut can sometimes be more difficult to achieve than with glass. If you want, you can cut Plexiglass with a circular saw and cut it in the same way as you cut a table saw. That’s why sheets of the material come covered in a thin layer of protective film. FREE Shipping on orders over $25 shipped by Amazon. For thin sheets, choose a sharp blade. Easier to Cut, Bend, Mold than Plexiglass. Along the lines you marked, carefully score the Plexiglas five to 10 times with a glass cutter. Simply cutting plexiglass to size is easy by comparison. Then, gently pour soapy water over the plexiglass and let it run across the surface. Plexiglass products are cut with a high-speed tool. Outfit your electric drill with a buffing pad and, after applying a polishing compound formulated for plastic, bring the plexiglass edge to a perfect polish. Next, add the buffing attachment to the drill and apply the polishing compound to the plexiglass. Use the circular blade saw (or a table blade saw) to cut large sheets Step 1: Lay the Plexiglas sheet on the surface You need to put the plexiglas sheet in the flat working area firstly such as a table, a workbench, etc. Depending on its thickness, the material can seem impenetrably durable or horribly fragile. Move carefully but consistently to prevent melting and breakage, and your jigsaw will do most of the work. In a range of applications, from picture frames to tabletops, plexiglass (also known as acrylic) serves as a cost-effective, shatterproof substitute for glass. Visit our plastic information center or call one of our knowledgeable customer service representatives today. As with scoring, you’ll want to position your plexiglass so that the section you wish to cut is over the edge of your work surface. For a thin sheet of plexiglass—that is, material up to about 3/16-inch thick—use a scoring method not dissimilar from a technique used to cut actual glass. Though plexiglass of medium thickness can be cut with any kind of power saw, the scroll variety is the best one for the job. Now clamp the sheet’s corners to the table. One note of caution: If the blade overheats, the material may chip or crack. Cutting acrylic by hand is the easiest way to go for a beginner who isn't familiar with power tools. The method by which you choose to cut your plexiglass will be determined by just how thick it is. In reality, however, that’s not exactly true. Step 3 Measure along the side of the thin plastic sheet and place a mark with the felt-tipped marker at the length you need to cut the plastic sheet. Note: You can use a handheld power sander, but manual wet-sanding typically achieves the best results. Then, with sharp downward pressure, snap off the portion of the plexiglass that extends beyond the work surface. What's The Easiest Way To Cut Plexiglass? Thicker plexiglass, strangely enough, allows for the simplest of the cutting processes. All you need is a thin acrylic sheet, a straight edge that is longer than your cut, clamps and a scoring knife.. Clamp Down the Straight Edge on the Cut Line Here’s a few things to keep in mind if you’re interested in working with this amazing material. You’ll need a grease pencil or a marker, a ruler to mark where you want to cut, and a glass cutter. This allows you to get a smooth and high-quality seam. You will also need a mandrel to connect it to the Dremel. Measure the ruler against the cutting line and then draw the knife repeatedly down its edge, gradually increasing the pressure with each pass. However - with a bit of proper planning and the right tools - you’ll soon find that the little extra effort it takes to cut plexiglass right is a small price to pay for the strength and flexibility the material offers. 2. If the cut edge would be visible in your application, take the extra time to sand and buff out the imperfections. Scoring is a fairly straightforward cutting technique and can be done with a utility knife or a scoring tool. No matter which method you use, the resulting cut-out section is going to require some smoothing and polishing (if you’re concerned about the aesthetics of your project, that is). Leave the paper covering on the plexiglass and place the sheet on a flat surface. 75 $13.99 $13.99. First, grab a metal ruler and a utility knife (preferably one with a brand new blade). Continue until you’ve scored a deep line in the plexiglass (it may take as many as ten or twelve scores), then turn the slab over and repeat the process. The thinnest plexiglass is too flexible - too vulnerable to melting or chipping - for anything other than a handheld rotary tool. You agree that BobVila.com may process your data in the manner described by our Privacy Policy. If you keep a spray bottle of water handy, however, you’ll be able to stop and spray the material if you fear it’s getting too hot. A ¼ inch thick plexiglass and up is safe to be cut with a table saw. Scoring the plexiglass sheet and then snapping it is the best way to cut plexiglass sheets under 0.48 cms (3/16 of an inch) of thickness. For each millimeter of sheet thickness, the scriber is drawn over the PLEXIGLAS® once, for example three times for a sheet of 3 mm thickness. Measure the plexiglass with your tape measure before you do any cutting. Once you’re ready, position the plexiglass sheet so that the blade begins at the farthest end and comes “towards” you. The simplest way to cut plexiglass by hand is the “score and snap” method. When cutting plexiglass, leave the film in place as long as possible to avoid marring the surface. Mark the Plexiglas with a grease pencil where you want to cut it. If using the 561, set the Dremel speed to 6 or 8. Continue until you’ve scored a deep line in the plexiglass (it may take as many as ten or twelve scores), then turn the slab over and repeat the process. These blades are durable and sharper than the others and therefore suitable for their work. Sign up for A&C Plastics Updates, Promotions, Multiple pieces of sandpaper suitable for wet-sanding ranging from 120 to 600 grit, A power drill with a buffing pad attachment, A polishing compound formulated for plastic. With a steady hand, you can cut a straight line or any other shape you would like. Measure the ruler against the cutting line and then draw the knife repeatedly down its edge, gradually increasing the pressure with each pass. Acrylic sheets are fairly simple to cut. Consider The Procedure On How To Cut The Glass Place the thin plastic sheet on top of the plywood. Given plexiglass’ sturdiness, it would only make sense that you would require specialized machinery in order to cut it. This can not only cause the sheet to shift and make you mess up your pattern, but it can also cause kickback. How to Cut Acrylic by Hand. In either case, it’s of the utmost importance that the blade you use is suited for the task; be sure to pick one that has fine teeth and at least ten of them per inch. If your plexiglass is on the thicker side, it is advised that you use a saw. Every building material comes with a set of quirks and nuances that you can master with practice. Any lower may not cut through the acrylic, and any higher will melt the material more than cut it. This process is known as scoring and breaking. If the plexiglass is thin, using a table saw may be counterproductive as you might chip it severely. Thin plexiglass should be scored with a utility knife and snapped in two rather than cut. Circular saws are like table saws. Proceed accordingly, water-cooling the blade or pausing your work for a few minutes as needed. Place the plexiglass sheet on a surface and clamp it, to put it in place. Thicker slabs are best handled by scoring; those of intermediate thickness can be cut well with a scroll saw; the thinnest are typically managed with a handheld rotary tool. Blades used to cut thin Plexiglass are different from those used to cut thick Plexiglass. For very thin acrylic or quick cuts that do not go a long distance, this may be the best choice. Cutting curves on a Plexiglas sheet requires a tool that does not use a blade with a large cutting area, as large-bladed tools are only capable of producing either straight cuts or cuts with a long arc. Second, bear in mind that even if you’re careful, it can be difficult to cut plexiglass without leaving a rough, irregular edge. Next, use a straight edge to mark off the size of the piece you want to cut, then score the mark with a glass cutter by going over the mark 5-10 times. First, grab a metal ruler and a utility knife (preferably one with a brand new blade). Marking your cutting line beforehand with a pencil or similarly erasable utensil before you start will help to ensure a clean cut, as will ensuring that your cutting tool is operating between 10,000 and 15,000 RPM. (source: WikiHow) This method works best for sheets of plastic that are not too big and not too thick. For a detailed demonstration, refer to our video below: With the right household tools, thin plexiglass can be cut to fulfill the needs of all sorts of DIY projects. Although for the time being, you may only need to cut a piece of acrylic down to size, learning to work with this versatile, transparent material opens up a new universe of DIY possibilities that you can explore in myriad projects for years to come. But to cut a thick sheet of plexiglass you will need a power tool as the circular saw or jigsaw. Start the process with 120- or 180-grit waterproof sandpaper, in combination with a wood or rubber sanding block. Thin plexiglass is easy to cut for DIY projects. 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