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How to Cut Plexiglas

Commonly used as an inexpensive, lightweight substitute for glass, this acrylic plastic requires patience when cutting because of its proclivity to chip and melt.

Instructions

  • Step 1: Measure the shape Measure your shape with a tape measure or ruler and mark it with a pencil. New Plexiglas sheets are typically covered with protective paper. Try to leave as much paper as possible on the Plexiglas to minimize scratching.
  • Step 2: Prepare to cut the Plexiglas Put on your safety goggles and gloves. Use the scoring knife to lightly score along your cutting lines.
  • TIP: Plexiglas shards can cut just like glass. Be sure to wear the proper shoes and sweep up the work area when finished cutting.
  • Step 3: Score and break thin pieces Score the Plexiglas where you want it to break, and then line the sheet up along the edge of a table with the scored side facing up. Sharply bend the Plexiglas down and snap it along the scored line.
  • Step 4: Cut with a saw Use a table saw or band saw when cutting through Plexiglas that’s more than ¼-inch thick. Clamp down the Plexiglas to prevent slippage.
  • TIP: Consider using special Plexiglas-cutting blades for your table, circular, or band saw, available at your local hardware store. The blades have many fine teeth and will minimize chipping, cracking, and melting.
  • Step 5: Sand the edges Sand the edges of your Plexiglas when you're finished cutting. Use fine grain sandpaper for a smooth finish.
  • FACT: World War II warplanes were outfitted with Plexiglas cockpits, windows, and gunner turrets.

You Will Need

  • A tape measure or a ruler
  • A pencil
  • Safety goggles
  • Gloves
  • A scoring knife
  • A work table
  • A table
  • circular
  • or band saw
  • Clamps
  • Sandpaper
  • Special Plexiglas-cutting blades (optional)

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