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For using plexiglass efficiently we need to know how to cut plexiglass in a proper way? Plexiglass is very useful material. It is cheap and durable. Plexiglass also is known as acrylic plastic sheets. It is made of rigid plastics. It is lightweight, inexpensive and lasts for a long time. It is a very popular substitute for glass. It looks like glass but it does not break easily as glass.
Plexiglass is a very versatile tool that can be used in many ways like craft activities, window replacement, picture frames, tabletops and many more. Also, it is used a lot as a shatterproof substitute for glass. It is very useful because you can cut it very easily in any shape with common workshop tools and measurements.
The only drawback according to us is that plexiglass does scratch very easily. That is why it comes wrapped with a thin protective paper. Do not remove the paper as long as possible.
You need to cut and handle plexiglass with care to avoid scratch. You can cut a thin sheet of plexiglass with a knife or scoring tool. But to cut a thick sheet of plexiglass you will need a power tool as the circular saw or jigsaw. You can cut straight lines with a circular saw. You will need a jigsaw for cutting shapes out of the sheet.
How to cut plexiglass sheets:
How to Cut Thin plexiglass:
1. Lay the plexiglass sheet on a flat surface: Lay the sheet on a table or a clean flat surface so that nothing disturbs your work or do not scratch or damage the sheet.
2.Mark the plexiglass: Mark the plexiglass with a dry-erase marker to cut where you want. Use a ruler as a guide and make a straight line where you want to cut.
[Note: Use a removable marker so that you can remove the mark after cutting the sheet.]
3. Score the plexiglass with a sharp knife or glass cutter through the mark: Score through the line with a knife at least 5-10 times until you make a deep groove.
4. Turn over the plexiglass sheet and score the other side: Flip over the plexiglass and score it in the same manner through the line.
5.Set the scored part to the edge of the work surface: After scoring both the sides, move the plexiglass to the edge of the work surface.it will give you a comfortable position to snap off the scored section.
The portion of the plexiglass that you want to snap off, should be hanging at the edge of the work surface.
6. Hold the plexiglass with a clamp and break the plexiglass through the scored line: use a clamp to hold both parts of the plexiglass. Then apply a sharp downward pressure to the hanging portion and break the plexiglass smoothly. The cut should be clean through the scoring line.
Cutting a thick sheet of plexiglass:
If you want to cut thick plexiglasses or more complex shapes, you will need power saw. You can use power saw like a circular saw, table saw, jigsaw, etc. With a circular saw, you can cut straight but with a circular saw,
you can cut both straight and rounded or any specific shape with a jigsaw. Whichever the saw you are using, the blade is the most important factor for your work. You should use the right blade for the job.
You need to use the blade which is specifically designed for acrylic or designed for cutting copper or aluminum. Before changing the blade, You need to recheck the teeth of the blade.
The blade’s teeth should be evenly spaced with the same height.
How to cut plexiglass with a jigsaw:
When you own a jigsaw, think you have the grand master of cutting intricate shapes. From lumber to plexiglass, this versatile tool can cut everything with ease. The way you cut lumber with a jigsaw, you cannot do the same for plexiglass.
Since plexiglass is very fragile, you need to do it carefully and properly. Recently we got a question again and again that how to cut plexiglass with a jigsaw. That’s the reason we are here. We will tell you how to cut plexiglass safely and precisely.
Albeit, you can use a different power saw to cut plexiglass. Jigsaw is the best choice among all if your project requires cutting plexiglass in non-liner shapes. You must know the proper way to cut plexiglass to ensure accurate cuts. Read on to know more.
Best Plexiglass jigsaw Blade:
Preparation and Tools
- At first, choose a jigsaw that is designed for cutting plexiglass.
- Choose the right jigsaw blade for plexiglass. Use an uncoated blade with fine teeth. Also, keep some extra plexiglass jigsaw blade nearby for an emergency.
- Take a clamp-on guide to keep the plexiglass in place.
- Use a ruler and marker to draw the line and printer’s tape or masking tape to prevent splintering.
- Put on your safety glasses, earplugs, masks, and gloves and closed-toe boots to avoid any unwanted incidents.
- Cutting plexiglass with jigsaw requires skill, so it is better to practice on few scarp pieces of plexiglass.
Cutting Plexiglass with A Jigsaw
So, you have all the tools in your hand. It’s time to learn how to cut plexiglass using a jigsaw. Follow the steps to learn more;
Step 1: Set the Plexiglass on a Stable Surface
First and foremost, choose a stable surface that supports the plexiglass while cutting. Make sure the plexiglass doesn’t fall. If you are cutting edge of plexiglass, use a workbench or table as a workstation. Or for cutting in the middle, use sawhorse as a workstation.
Then, lie your plexiglass over the workstation. Secure the plexiglass with a clamp-on guide along with the workstation. Make sure the plexiglass doesn’t slide or wobble.
Step 2: Mark the Cutting Line
Take a ruler to measure the line you are going to cut roughly. Now mark along the line with a marker. It is better to use a dry-erase marker as you can erase the line later. In case of curved shape, use a round or stencil to mark as you want.
When you mark over the plexiglass, you basically mark on a brown film paper. This paper comes with each plexiglass to protect the glass from scratching. However, make sure to draw the line accurately.
Step 3: Safety Preparation
Remember, plexiglass can easily chip when you cut. Make sure that the small pieces don’t harm you. So, wear safety glasses, masks, leather gloves, and earplugs before you start. For more safety, you can use masking tape over the cutting line.
Step 4: Start Cutting
Before you start the tool, make sure to plug the saw into an extension cord or wat outlet.
- Cutting Straight line
At first, hold the trigger down and the guide plate against the surface of plexiglass. For cutting straight lines, start cutting slowly from the edge. After you cross the centimeters, the blade will begin to heat up.
Now you can cut more easily. Don’t start with high speed initially. It may break the plexiglass and your jigsaw, as well. When you see the blade begins to pull away from the cutting line, simply turn off the jigsaw. Start again slowly and then increase the speed.
- Cutting Curved line
If you plan to cut shapes with twists and turns, start by drilling a hole. Use a drill bit that is compatible with the glass. For cutting the curved line, you will need a sturdier plexiglass jigsaw blade. Otherwise, the jigsaw blade cannot take the twist and turns.
After making a hole, insert the blade into the hole. You must start the jigsaw at full speed from the beginning. Elsewise, the blade may bend or damage. With the full speed in the blade, use steady pressure to cut throughout the sheet. Follow the cutting line. Make sure the jigsaw doesn’t jump off the sheet.
Step 5: Turn Off the Jigsaw and Clean Up Edges
Once you are done with cutting plexiglass with the jigsaw, turn off the machine. Remove the brown film paper and masking tape from the plexiglass. Now, if you see any rough edges, sand the edges with a fine-grit paper. Finally, your plexiglass is ready for use as you wanted.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)
Q: How to avoid the melting while cutting plexiglass with a jigsaw?
A: Since the plexiglass is plastic-made, so it is prone to melting from blade friction. To avoid the plexiglass from melting, you must cut steadily. Also, don’t pause in a while cutting.
Q: What is the best jigsaw blade for plexiglass?
A: As we mentioned before, any uncoated blade with fine teeth works better for cutting plexiglass. Also, the carbide-tipped blade endures smooth edge and no-melt.
Q: How to prevent any plexiglass breakage?
A: Another big issue is that plexiglass tends to break easily. Even after being durable, it is somewhat fragile. So, experts suggest using a cooling lubricant or water or masking tape. It protects the plexiglass even after the high speed of jigsaw.
Q: What is the easiest way of cutting plexiglass?
A: Though jigsaw works too well, it is better to cut plexiglass with hand using wheel scope. For any basic cutting shape, scoring, and then snapping is easier.
Q: How to cut plexiglass that is already bent or wrapped?
A: You can still cut the plexiglass, even though it is bent or wrapped. If it is thin, simply score and snap the plexiglass. Or else, for thicker glass, you can use a circular saw or jigsaw.
Learning how to cut plexiglass with a jigsaw seems overwhelming for beginners. Luckily, with these simple and easy-to-follow steps, you can easily make clean and customized cuts. It’s time to make your favorite crafts, tabletop, and a picture frame with your DIY knowledge. Also, you need the best jigsaw and best jigsaw blade to cut plexiglass.