Plexiglass is a transparent acrylic glass used as an alternative for glass as it’s less expensive than glass. The material is prone to cracking and chipping when cut. Hence, cutting it requires special methods. While cutting plexiglass with a table saw might be tricky, it’s doable, even for beginners who’ve never laid their hands on such a project. If this is your first time cutting plexiglass, here is the right guide for how to cut plexiglass with a table saw.
Different methods are available for cutting plexiglass, and which method to adopt depends on which tools you have available in your workshop.
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The most common method is using a table saw, which is the focus of this piece. A table saw is the easiest means to get the job done. However, if you don’t have a table saw, it doesn’t mean you can’t cut plexiglass. An alternative tool to a table saw, as regards this task, is a circular saw.
Making a cut usually generates heat. Since this is not a glass but rather a plastic-like material, it’s best to make necessary provisions to prevent too much heat, as this can melt the material. One best way to achieve this is to go slow with the cut and use the right blade.
Step 1: Measure the Plexiglass
Your first task when planning to cut plexiglass with a table saw, your first task is to measure the part you want to cut out of the plexiglass. Use a utility knife to make a mark at each end of the line to cut. Avoid marking through the length to prevent chipping the plexiglass severely. This is more necessary for thinner plexiglass.
Step 2: Choose the Saw Blade
Again, the right saw blade to use depends on the hardness of the plexiglass to cut. Softer plexiglasses are prone to melt easily, and this should be prevented by choosing a saw blade with few teeth. On the other hand, a saw blade with more teeth is great for cutting harder plexiglass. This is to minimize chipping.
Step 3: Prepare Your Table Saw
Now that you have chosen the right blade to cut your plexiglass, it’s time to set your table saw. This includes setting the fence on the table saw to hold the plexiglass in place. When doing this, consider the blade’s thickness to use, as neglecting this can result in a narrow piece.
Step 4: Put On Safety Gear
It’s safe to have your safety goggles on when making any cut with a table saw, but it’s more key when the piece to cut is a glass or plexiglass. This is because plastic shards will try to make their way into your face when cutting such materials. Hence, cutting plexiglass requires that you wear your goggles. Also, put other safety measures in place, such as wear your gloves.
Step 5: Make the Cut
Now, you’re set to make the cut. Remember to go slow with it to avoid generating much heat that can melt the plexiglass. If chipping occurs, stop and change the blade to one with more teeth.
Step 6: Sand Edges
Using a table saw to cut plexiglass should give you a perfect result. However, this doesn’t mean you won’t get splinters glassing, which is due to melting. Clear this by sanding them down with fine-grit sandpaper.
How to Cut Plexiglass with a Table Saw – Conclusion
Besides cutting glass, one other piece of material tricky to cut is plexiglass. This is even trickier than cutting glass, as it can easily melt. Hence, novice craftsmen have a hard time when their project involves cutting plexiglass.
This guide has provided you with the right steps to cut plexiglass smoothly with a table saw. Following these steps to the letter will make you a pro in cutting plexiglass in no time.