Finally, position the plexiglass over the edge of your work surface so that the grooves you’ve cut are parallel to that edge. First, grab a metal ruler and a utility knife (preferably one with a brand new blade). You will also need a mandrel to connect it to the Dremel. How To Cut Plexiglass With a Circular Saw? In a range of applications, from picture frames to tabletops, plexiglass (also known as acrylic) serves as a cost-effective, shatterproof substitute for glass. Before committing to one blade or another, double-check that its teeth are evenly spaced, with no rake, and of uniform height and shape. Fortunately, it doesn’t take long for do-it-yourselfers with woodworking experience to learn how to cut plexiglass. 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. Use masking tape if the paper has been removed. (source: WikiHow) This method works best for sheets of plastic that are not too big and not too thick. Note: You can use a handheld power sander, but manual wet-sanding typically achieves the best results. 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. For thin sheets, choose a sharp blade. Continue reading for details on how to cut plexiglass—the right way. Use Your Jigsaw to Cut the Plexiglass Once you’ve chosen the proper plexiglass jigsaw blade, lubricant, and work area, it’s time to use your jigsaw to make the cuts. If your project requires a clean edge, expect to devote energy to smoothing the finish. 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. Moreover, you can also cut Plexiglass with a jigsaw. If the cut edge would be visible in your application, take the extra time to sand and buff out the imperfections. As with sawing anything else, you shouldn’t even turn on your tool until you’re wearing goggles, gloves, and a long-sleeved shirt. Dremel rotary tools cut material at very high cutting speeds (from 10,000 to 35,000 RPMs) so the cuts are high quality and are considered a fine finish. Start the process with 120- or 180-grit waterproof sandpaper, in combination with a wood or rubber sanding block. (To cut anything but a straight line, opt for a jigsaw.) These blades are durable and sharper than the others and therefore suitable for their work. 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. The other downside? The problem with kickback is that not only can it shoot a piece of thin plexiglass to your face, but it can also pull your hand towards the blade in the process. Follow these simple steps to cut plexiglass in a circle. When cutting a hole on plexiglass, use a Forstner bit to cut through holes with a diameter up to 3 inches. 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. While the plexiglass is still wet, wipe it with a microfiber cloth to remove the dirt and grime. You can cut straight lines with a circular saw. If using the 561, set the Dremel speed to 6 or 8. 75 $13.99 $13.99. Thin plexiglass should be scored with a utility knife and snapped in two rather than cut. Next, hold the yardstick to the marked line, and run the dull side of a utility knife along the yardstick to score the sheet. Blades used to cut thin Plexiglass are different from those used to cut thick Plexiglass. Once you are satisfied with the appearance of the edge, move on to buffing. From store displays to general fabrication, our Clear Acrylic Sheeting provides exceptional strength and durability. FREE Shipping on orders over $25 shipped by Amazon. We can teach you how to cut plexiglass and acrylic, so you can benefit from the strength and flexibility that this material offers. With the proper force and speed, it should snap off cleanly. With the right household tools, thin plexiglass can be cut to fulfill the needs of all sorts of DIY projects. Measure the ruler against the cutting line and then draw the knife repeatedly down its edge, gradually increasing the pressure with each pass. $9.75 $ 9. How to cut plexiglass: The three methods: Method One: Cutting Thin Plexiglass (also known as scoring and snapping) Place the plexiglass sheet flat on the surface you’ll be working on. Plexiglass, the generic name for acrylic sheet, is an incredibly durable material with near-limitless applications. Thicker plexiglass, strangely enough, allows for the simplest of the cutting processes. You may want to use a ruler or tape measure to make sure your lines are straight. Buff to a perfect polish. Leave the paper covering on the plexiglass and place the sheet on a flat surface. In fact, due to its light weight and durability, many do-it-yourselfers prefer plexiglass, not least because it can be cut and shaped with common workshop tools. Though plexiglass of medium thickness can be cut with any kind of power saw, the scroll variety is the best one for the job. DIY Lite: Build a Clock that Displays the Time—an... Lay the sheet on a flat surface and, using a yardstick and a permanent marker (or a grease marker), measure and draw the line you wish to cut. Acrylic sheets are fairly simple to cut. Plexiglass, sometimes called transparent thermoplastic, acrylic, Lucite and Perspex is a polymer that is often used as an alternative to glass. Acrylic sheeting, commonly referred to as plexiglass sheeting, is the most common alternative to traditional glass. This process is known as scoring and breaking. Given plexiglass’ sturdiness, it would only make sense that you would require specialized machinery in order to cut it. You’ll need a grease pencil or a marker, a ruler to mark where you want to cut, and a glass cutter. Plexiglas Glass Replacement. Even though plexiglass is a synthetic, a clean cut can sometimes be more difficult to achieve than with glass. Next, add the buffing attachment to the drill and apply the polishing compound to the plexiglass. Score again and again, as many as 10 or 12 times, until you have made a deep groove in the plexiglass. With a steady hand, you can cut a straight line or any other shape you would like. For a detailed demonstration, refer to our video below: But to cut a thick sheet of plexiglass you will need a power tool as the circular saw or jigsaw. Learn how to cut plexiglass so the process becomes safer and cleaner. Now clamp the sheet’s corners to the table. You can cut a thin sheet of plexiglass with a knife or scoring tool. I was wondering how thin does plexiglass come, I know it goes to 4 inches and maybe more, I was wondering if it came in any thickness less than 1/8", and I know how to cut it using the score X8 and snap method, I was just wondering what main stream store would I be able to find the cutting tool for it in and what exactly is it called ? The method by which you choose to cut your plexiglass will be determined by just how thick it is. After readying your tool, measure and mark the plexiglass, then cut as you would any other material, clamping if appropriate. Whichever cutting method you choose, you may find that the cut edge doesn’t look terribly attractive. 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). 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. In reality, however, that’s not exactly true. Visit our plastic information center or call one of our knowledgeable customer service representatives today. Finish by sanding with 600-grit paper. 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. Along the lines you marked, carefully score the Plexiglas five to 10 times with a glass cutter. 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. If your sheet is relatively thin--less than 3 ⁄ 16 inch (0.48 cm)--you can use the scoring method. Thin plexiglass is easy to cut for DIY projects. An industry favorite way to cut thin plexiglass is through the use of a circular saw blade with carbide-tipped metal. Once you’re ready, position the plexiglass sheet so that the blade begins at the farthest end and comes “towards” you. Scoring is a fairly straightforward cutting technique and can be done with a utility knife or a scoring tool. For one thing, it scratches easily. For VEX Robots, Hobby, DIY, Industrial, Crafts. 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. As the plexiglass becomes smoother, transition to successively finer grits. 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. First, grab a metal ruler and a utility knife (preferably one with a brand new blade). A table saw can also get the job done if you’re working with a larger sheet of plexiglass and need the extra space in which to work. You agree that BobVila.com may process your data in the manner described by our Privacy Policy. 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. Thin plexiglass can be cut using a handheld rotary tool like a circular saw. Versatile and tough though it may be, plexiglass isn’t perfect. Thin PLEXIGLAS® sheets up to 4 mm in thickness can also be cut with a scoring knife. To finish, hold the scribed line to the edge of your work surface, and secure the plexiglass in place with a clamp. If your plexiglass is on the thicker side, it is advised that you use a saw. For thick sheets, use blades whose tips are of carbide. Start and end of the sheet have to be cleanly scored. Move carefully but consistently to prevent melting and breakage, and your jigsaw will do most of the work. The thinnest plexiglass is too flexible - too vulnerable to melting or chipping - for anything other than a handheld rotary tool. Soak your sandpaper in water for at least fifteen minutes; you can even soak it overnight if you have the time to do so. Copyright © 2021 Acton Media Inc. All rights reserved. The simplest way to cut plexiglass by hand is the “score and snap” method. If you're a do-it-yourself-er, you've likely needed to use acrylic sheeting in a project. Plexiglass products are cut with a high-speed tool. Once you’re finished, the cut portion will fall from the rest of the sheet. Consider The Procedure On How To Cut The Glass For thicker sheets of plexiglass, cut with a power saw—be it a circular saw, saber saw, or table saw. From metals and wood to fiberglass and plexiglass, Dremel rotary tools can handle the job quickly and efficiently. Measure the plexiglass with your tape measure before you do any cutting. Some place a piece of wood over the sheet and clamp that down on top. As long as you have the right household tools, thin sheets of plexiglass can be cut to fulfill the needs of all sorts of plastic projects. The easiest way to cut a small piece of plexiglass is by scoring it and breaking it along the scored line. Second, bear in mind that even if you’re careful, it can be difficult to cut plexiglass without leaving a rough, irregular edge. Simply cutting plexiglass to size is easy by comparison. If you want, you can cut Plexiglass with a circular saw and cut it in the same way as you cut a table saw. Place a corresponding mark on the side parallel to the side that you marked previously. For this, you’ll need the following…. With the part you are going to cut hanging over the edge, using both hands, grasp the plastic near the center and apply even pressure very quickly to the sheet. Disclosure: BobVila.com participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for publishers to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Here’s a few things to keep in mind if you’re interested in working with this amazing material. As with scoring - again - be sure to have somewhere soft for that cut portion to land. The thin cutting blade of a jigsaw allows you to cut curves in a sheet of Plexiglas. Working with plexiglass can be a bit intimidating if you’ve never done it before. 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. 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. Easier to Cut, Bend, Mold than Plexiglass. Place the thin plastic sheet on top of the plywood. For thicker plexiglass, you should use a scroll saw. 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 Measure the ruler against the cutting line and then draw the knife repeatedly down its edge, gradually increasing the pressure with each pass. Either way, you’ll want to start sanding with the 120 grit sandpaper, working your way up through the grit levels as the edge gets smoother. With superior resistance to discoloration, impact, and chemicals, acrylic plexiglass sheet is ideal for any application. Any lower may not cut through the acrylic, and any higher will melt the material more than cut it. When cutting plexiglass, leave the film in place as long as possible to avoid marring the surface. Then, with sharp downward pressure, snap off the portion of the plexiglass that extends beyond the work surface. Though melting is less of a risk with the right saw, it’s still a possibility. 2. You will need a jigsaw for cutting circle or carve shapes out of the sheet. Cutting acrylic by hand is the easiest way to go for a beginner who isn't familiar with power tools. If you don’t have a glass cutter, you can use a box cutter. 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. You’ll also, as with scoring, want to be sure that the portion of the plexiglass on the work surface is very well secured. 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. Thicker plexiglass, strangely enough, allows for the simplest of the cutting processes. Place the Plexiglas on a flat work surface. Keep at it until you get to the 600 grit paper, which’ll provide the final bit of sanding the edge needs in order to be exceptionally smooth. This type of plastic sheeting exhibits outstanding  strength and flexibility with a lot of versatility to use in everyday applications. Homeowners who don’t know how to cut plexiglass can be intimidated by the material at first—but we’re here to help! The plexiglass will break cleanly; be sure to have something soft for it to land on so as to prevent scratching. The thin nature of plexiglass sheets causes them to produce more vibrations than wood. 4.6 out of 5 stars 1,200. 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. Interested in learning more about working with plastics? No matter which type of saw you choose for the task, it’s critically important to use the right blade. This allows you to get a smooth and high-quality seam. This can not only cause the sheet to shift and make you mess up your pattern, but it can also cause kickback. What's The Easiest Way To Cut Plexiglass? Flip over the plexiglass, and score the opposite side in the same manner. 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. That’s why sheets of the material come covered in a thin layer of protective film. The Best Winter Camping Destinations in America. Proceed accordingly, water-cooling the blade or pausing your work for a few minutes as needed. Every building material comes with a set of quirks and nuances that you can master with practice. Mark the Plexiglas with a grease pencil where you want to cut it. Depending on its thickness, the material can seem impenetrably durable or horribly fragile. The speed of such equipment can be up to 4 thousand revolutions per minute. Place the plexiglass sheet on a surface and clamp it, to put it in place. How to Cut Acrylic by Hand. 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. There are special blades designed expressly for acrylic, but any metal-cutting blade with carbide tips can do the trick. To clean plexiglass, start by blowing off the large dust particles using your own breath or a blow dryer on the cool setting. Get it as soon as Wed, Jan 13. One note of caution: If the blade overheats, the material may chip or crack. Then, you lay a safety paper wrapping on the sheet. For very thin acrylic or quick cuts that do not go a long distance, this may be the best choice. 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. Use a handheld rotary tool with a cut-off wheel for very thin Plexiglas where the material is too flexible for scoring or sawing. A ¼ inch thick plexiglass and up is safe to be cut with a table saw. After that, the plexiglass undergoes additional mechanical processing. Circular saws are like table saws. Hold the side of the material on the work surface firmly against it (you can secure it with a clamp if you have one, or weigh it down) and then bring sharp downward pressure onto the side positioned over the edge. Otherwise, you'll need to use a saw to cut it. Then, gently pour soapy water over the plexiglass and let it run across the surface. Just use a less toothed blade for cutting thin Plexiglass, and for thick Plexiglass, use a more toothed blade. Cutting plexiglass requires patience. If the plexiglass is thin, using a table saw may be counterproductive as you might chip it severely. That’s because scroll saws produce much less heat than their brethren, which cuts down on the risk of your plexiglass melting as it’s cut. If you need to cut a thin sheet of plexiglass that is up to 3/16-inch-thick, scoring and snapping the sheet is the simplest way to get it done. Not go a long distance, this may be counterproductive as you would any other material, clamping appropriate! 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