Wednesday, March 06, 2013

How to Cut Acrylic

There are two ways to cut Acrylic sheets, by hand or by using a circular saw.  Both are effective but when cutting over 1/8" thick piece of Plexiglass or Acrylic this method gets very difficult. 

For cutting by hand you need a straight edge ruler, a metal ruler is preferable, a utility knife and safety glasses.  Put the straight edge on the acrylic and run the knife down against the edge of the ruler to put a score line in the acrylic.  I suggest running the knife multiple times down the line so that the line becomes easier to snap.  Now take the sheet with a hand on either side of the score line and snap it.  This is the same way that glass is cut.  The thinner the sheet the more effective this technique is.

To cut with a circular saw what you need is a 80 tooth or higher blade.  The higher the tooth count the less chipping you will have.  Slowly feed the acrylic into the saw, you will get a white melted edge that forms on both sides of the blade, that is alright, the key here is not to make too many chips in the plexiglass.  After cutting you can clean up the edge with a utility knife being dragged down the edge or you can run the saw cut edge through a Jointer which is preferable. 

You can see more extensive instructions on cutting acrylic at our technical pages on our website.


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