Again! It has melted. Again! The edges have burned! Yet another sheet is chipped off. What is this so delicate and yet so important that you want to cut it and use it. It is the Plexiglas!
You have so many projects that can have a perfect look if you use the ideal square Plexiglas. The problem is how to cut the Plexiglas on the table saw? Don’t worry! Here we have compiled a tutorial for your better understanding.
By following the small tricks and tips mentioned below, you can easily accomplish your target. What is needed? A deep insight into the guide.
What is a Plexiglas?
It is a plastic body acrylic sheet and also a thermoplastic. It means you can melt it down for use and reuse. This is an excellent material for various uses. Since it is a polycarbonate synthetic base, so it is very lightweight.
Why I prefer it over glass?
As it is lightweight, cheap, and durable. It has been preferred over glass for glass is heavier, so it increases the weight of the things it is used in. Glass products are expensive, so for a budget-friendly project, you want Plexiglas, or don’t you?
Glass can break at any time. Since you know if you drop it any time accidentally, it won’t break. So instead of using glass by dropping it and lose it, you would probably prefer to drop it and reuse it product!
However, there is a drawback associated with them. They get scratches on the surface that interferes with the clarity and sharpness of the visuals.
Do you know where can you use this Plexiglas?
The plexiglass has gained lots of popularity over a short span of time. It has been widely used in making frames, plastic models, or projects. It is good for making glasses, where your nose is thankful to you.
Wondering why? As the glass frames were heavier on the nose, the Plexiglas lessened a lot.
Options for cutting the Plexiglas:
There are a lot of options in the market for cutting the Plexiglas. Starting from the very simple and handy approach to complex ones.
The most economical and most rough one is manual. Now You can use either hand Plexiglas cutting knives or tools. You may use it, but the ends are chipped off.
Sometimes, it is not separated properly. You may replace it with a jigsaw! It is also not a good choice. Because it melts the borders. Well, if you are planning to use a circular blade, the result is disastrous.
The big size and specific shape of the blade pass through the sheet-like the bite of a tiger. That leaves nothing behind. Just rugged remains. So don’t rely on that. Another option is using a ply woodcutter.
It can be used but very delicately and with lots of precaution. What’s better, cheap and reliable? If you don’t know the answer, move on to the next section.
Why I prefer the table saw over others?
The best choice so far is a table saw. But with the appropriate blade. You can use it for more than just simple square cuts.
It can give you Plexiglas with bevel ends, and we will not let you stop here. You can make grooves along the borders by using it.
Technically speaking, the saw table blade moves through the edge at a linear speed that is not very high compared to its competitive devices. So, before a further delay, let us start cutting!
How to cut plexiglass on a table saw | stepwise guide:
» Don’t forget to wear your safety gear:
Always remember safety first. So wear your rubber gloves. This will protect your hands from any cuts while feeling the edges. Plus, it will safeguard against any blade injuries.
In addition to this, you need to wear your safety goggles. It protects your eyes against any flying chips. Now you are ready to proceed.
» Basic specs required for the saw table blade:
Blade selection is essential. It should have a specification that best suits your Plexiglas. These are that the blade should have a diameter of ten inches.
The teeth should be pyramid-like and equally spaced. Such specific blades have sixty to eighty teeth that are carbide tipped.
Make sure it doesn’t move across the sheet very fast. Move slow and steady. A good tip is that if you find the edges are getting chipped during the cutting, this is an indication that you need to use blades having more teeth.
Likewise, if you notice melting, stop there and replace it with a blade having fewer teeth. Once your blade type is decided, keep its level about half an inch higher than your sheet level. Now we prepare our Plexiglas.
» Preparations of the Plexiglas before it’s over:
As this is very delicate and prone to get chipped off corners. So, it would help if you had some safety measures. You can tape your borders if the sheet is very thin.
You can take two plywood sheets equal in size to it. Place them above and below it. So your sheet is sandwiched. Now move the fence along its borders. In addition to this, never forget to use a push block on it.
These measures will provide extra resistance to the sheet plus prevents it from fluttering. It avoids the kickbacks too. Now move it very slowly but smoothly.
» Here you go:
Make a small cut along the marked line. Keep moving, and here you go! A complete square border sheet is in your hands. You can adjust the angle and use the table saw to get you some bevel cuts.
If you want further fine finishing of the edges, you can use sandpaper or other fine filing tools.
Once done, you can confidently use it to photo frame your wedding anniversary picture!
Making cuts through the acrylic sheets of Plexiglas has never been an easy task. Especially the difficulty level increases if it is fragile. So, make sure that you cover the edges adequately.
Also, be careful with the feeding speed. Once all the precautionary measures have been made. Go slow and steady as it wins the perfect square and smooth edges.
You can further treat your borders with sandpaper. Enjoy making your projects with Plexiglas sheets as many and as much you want!