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Old 09-14-2004, 05:02 PM   #1
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Default best way to cut plexiglass

I recently aquired some 1/4" and some 3/8" plexiglass, and was curious as to how the best way to cut it is. I have access to a table saw, jig saw, band saw, etc. Any help is appreciated.
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Old 09-14-2004, 05:11 PM   #2
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You should use a special cutter and contrary to glass cutting go over the line enough times so that you have cut a fairly deep groove. The best way is to use equipment such as the Fletcher-Terry but you can purchase special hand held knives for this
purpose. If you don't have a Fletcher, clamp a guide to the plexiglass so that you can go over the line several times. [I had summer job once doing this]

Once the line is deep enough, use the edge of a table and snap.

You will have a very unpleasent experience if you use a table saw!

A better solution is to find a glass place that will cut it for you. In the past I have been lucky to find places that have charged no more then a few bucks or if its a simple square cut, one guy did it for me for free. Took only a few minutes and I gave him $5 for his trouble.
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Old 09-14-2004, 05:20 PM   #3
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Thanks!
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Old 09-14-2004, 05:22 PM   #4
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i use my table saw with a fine tooth blade, you go nice and slow and it gives you a really really nice cut! before you cut though tape the line you gonna cut down with some masking tape and then re-draw your line so you can see it, that tape will just prevent rough edges
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Old 09-14-2004, 05:29 PM   #5
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I had some 3/8 plexiglass and what I did to cut it was, I used a very sharp box cutter knife, and scored the line where I wanted to cut. Keep scoring the line till you get a nice groove but not too deep. Then place the plexiglass on the edge of a flat surface (flat table with flat edges), and make sure the line you scored is on top of the table edge. Then carefully bend/snap the plexiglass. It should come out clean (mine did, did 2 of them using same method). I know this is NOT the best way, but I found it to be good when you don't have the proper equipment.

My dad said to avoid using power tools, because sometimes if the blade is moving too fast, the plastic will be messed up.
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Old 09-14-2004, 05:48 PM   #6
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It depends on the type of plexiglas. When use a polycarbonate type of plexiglas at work. (does not shatter like true plexiglas) We use a table saw for straight cuts and a band saw for curves and specialty cuts. But like was mentioned on a table saw be careful because the piece will kickback very quickly. Good luck
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Old 09-14-2004, 06:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by DOMOisCOOL
I had some 3/8 plexiglass and what I did to cut it was, I used a very sharp box cutter knife, and scored the line where I wanted to cut. Keep scoring the line till you get a nice groove but not too deep. Then place the plexiglass on the edge of a flat surface (flat table with flat edges), and make sure the line you scored is on top of the table edge. Then carefully bend/snap the plexiglass. It should come out clean (mine did, did 2 of them using same method). I know this is NOT the best way, but I found it to be good when you don't have the proper equipment.

My dad said to avoid using power tools, because sometimes if the blade is moving too fast, the plastic will be messed up.
Since I just cut 40 + pieces of 1/4 plex-glass I can help you here...
Spend he $3.95 at Lowes/Home Depot and get a plex-glass cuter...

Score it like it said above with 1 minor point..

DO NOT I REPEAT DO NOT go back and forth scoring it. ALWAYS go the same way. I shattered a couple of pieces when I went back and forth.

OK another tip, use a piece of metal as your straight edge.. and clamp it down... After scoring it at least 10 times, put the scored edge over a table ( about 1/16 of an inch ) Use the meta straight to clamp it down ( about 1/2 inch ) back from the score.
Pull down on the piece that is hanging over the edge, not to fast and not to slow... It will sound like a small fire cracker when it breaks.... Use very fine sandpaper to go over the cut edge...
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Old 09-14-2004, 06:18 PM   #8
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you can also use a router to cut it. us a straight edge and a bit with a guide.
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Old 09-14-2004, 06:48 PM   #9
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i used to work at a hardware store that sold plexi-glass... score it a few times, then snap it off seemed to work well, but does that really work for something as thick as 3/8"? i would think a real fine bandsaw blade (in the 18-20TPI range) would be the way to go.

out of curiousity, making anything rc related?
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Old 09-14-2004, 07:47 PM   #10
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I work in a sign shop and cut plexiglass everyday on a table saw. You need a special blade to get a really good cut and its best to use a miter gauge. But if you have to ask the best way to cut plexi then Im sure the above suggestions on scoring it(which this is the first time i've heard of that) because it seems alot safer for you.

But since your asking, the best way to cut it is on a laser or computer router !(which i run both at work). The laser is only a 100watt laser so its only good up to 1/2.
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Old 09-14-2004, 10:06 PM   #11
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Get a table saw and a plexi glass blade, the blade is around $20 or more, depending on what brand. Its convienient if you already have a table saw.
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