Can You Cut Plexiglass with A Table Saw? – Case Study You’ll Never Forget

Have you ever thought of branching out your DIY projects and looked for an alternative for shatter-prone glass? If the answer to that is yes, then we highly recommend that you try your hand at plexiglass.

Now you must be wondering can you cut plexiglass with a table saw and if it’s possible to cut the plexiglass without scratching it.

These types of questions will come to your mind if you are looking to work with plexiglass. To get the answer to these questions, you need to understand plexiglass and how it works.

To begin with, let me tell you, it is an incredibly cheap & durable material that has near-limitless applications.Acrylic, which is the generic name for Plexiglass, can be used for windowpanes, enclosures, and furnishings.

Plexiglass looks attractive with smooth and precise edges which is why you need to cut it properly. You can use plexiglass for tabletops and picture frames and other furnishings.

Sound great, isn’t it? You must be tempted to start working right away. Hold your breath, regardless of its benefits, there are things you need to keep in mind while working with plexiglass.

Though plexiglass is shatterproof, they are prone to scratches and require careful handling. A film is present on the plexiglass to avoid scratches.

You should only remove the film when you are ready to cut and shape it. Keeping the film on will reduce the chances of scratching.

Types of Acrylic

Before you cut Plexiglass, you need to know about the different types of acrylic sheets available. This is because you require different plexiglass blade depending on the type of sheet you intend to use.

These are soft acrylic sheets which is why they need careful handling. They can be cut using a table saw, though it is better to practice on a straw piece of the sheet first.

  • Cast Acrylic Sheets

This is the most used plexiglass, albeit a tad pricy. These sheets are hard and can be easily shaped using table saws without any fear of glass melting.

  • Extruded Acrylic Sheets

These are extremely soft sheets and vulnerable to heat. They should not be shaped using table saws. One can use non-melt plastic cutting saw blades in that case.

Are you wondering what the possible ways are by which you can cut a glass sheet? Or maybe wondering how you can cut it? Here is how can you cut plexiglass with a table saw.

How can you cut plexiglass with a table saw?

If you are using thick sheets of acrylic, the answer to the above question is certainly yes.The table saws are the most recommended and common way of cutting thick sheets of plexiglass acrylic. But you need to know whether can people crop plexiglass with a table saw as well.

Here is how you can cut plexiglass with a table saw.

 Safety glasses

The plexiglass has sharp shards that get thrown all around the place where you do the cutting. If not careful, these sharp shards can easily cut your eyes and cause a severe injury.

So, while you cut plexiglass, make sure that you are always wearing safety glasses.In addition to safety goggles, you should wear work gloves and a long-sleeved shirt to avoid getting hit by the shards that fly around when you cut the glass.

 Choose the right blade

Since there are varieties of plexiglasses available, the type of blade also differs for each one of them.

Using saw blades with carbide teeth is optimum. The right acrylic table saw which are designed to cut plexiglass tend to have 60 to 80 carbide teeth as opposed to 24 teeth that are normally used for cutting wood.

If not carbide teeth, standard saw blades with few teeth can be used to cut soft plexiglass varieties as those cause less friction.

One can cut the harder varieties with saw blades having more teeth, thereby reducing chipping of the glass.

Clean the table

Do not remove the protective film on top of the plexiglass until you have finished the cutting and furnishing.Keep your work area organized. Lay the plexiglass material on the worktable and check that no part of the material is hanging off the table.

Measure the Plexiglass

It is advisable that before you start cutting, you mark the measurements on the plexiglass sheet with a red pen. This makes it easier for you to cut the correct dimension.

 Mark off the size of your desired dimensions on the piece using a tape measure. Using a marker or a grease pencil, trace the measuring line with several small dashes.Now using a ruler, connect the dashes to mark a line along the path.

Speed of saw affecting the size of the cut

The speed of the saw blade is very important for making the desired cut and the criticality is such that a blade with has a high speed and even the one with low speed can cause a blunder.

 Considering your query, can you cut plexiglass with a table saw and if you are thing about opting for a high speed saw, I must say you that a saw with excessive speed is not a good choice.

It will produce a lot of heat which can melt the plexiglass. Especially for softer plexiglass materials, the speed should be slow as they tend to vibrate a lot.

Apply Pressure

This is where the work process differs when it comes to cutting wood and plexiglass. Plexiglass being lighter and softer tends to vibrate a lot. These vibrations can cause the saw blade to shift in its path and make a jagged cut.

Also, these vibrations may even lead to kickback which is extremely dangerous for you as you may end up losing a hand.

Therefore, while cutting plexiglass using a plexiglass cutter home depot, apply firm pressure on the material for the best results without facing any accidents.

Start cutting

Be careful when you are cutting the plexiglass. Apply gentle and firm pressure on the material.Start the table saw and feed the plexiglass slowly through the blade of your saw. Cut slowly.

If you see chipping, change to a blade that has more teeth. Slow down if you see the glass melting.

Crosscutting

The corners are the weakest points of your plexiglass material. Most of the time, even with the right speed and good control, the corners may get chipped. You can prevent that by using a two-step method of cutting.

 If you have a query like how does lowe’s cut plexiglass, I must say you that it’s easy provided you follow the below-listed steps.

  • Make a small cut at the side of the sheet first and then stop the blade.
  •  Now turn the sheet over, with the cut you made in the opposite direction. This way you can crosscut effectively.
  •  Be gentle while making cuts since applying excessive pressure may cause chipping and melting.

Sand it down

You might notice some glazing near the edge due to the melting of plastic, they look rough. Here is how you can make the edges smooth and get cuts that are even throughout the surface.

 

Get and waterproof sandpaper and a sanding block that will give you even edges.

  •  Use the coarse grit sandpaper to grind down on the edges. Once they start to smoothen, change to finer grit sandpaper.
  •  Using an electric drill and buffing pad will give you an incredibly smoother finish if you know how to drill plexiglass.
  • If you have prior experience with cutting wood and other material, you might find the process straightforward.

You have to keep in mind that plexiglass tends to melt at a higher temperature. The heat that will inevitably generate due to table saws may melt your glass.

You might be thinking, can they notch plexiglass with a table saw. Well, they can but certain safety measures need to be followed.

How to cut plexiglass in a Circle

Do you want to know if you can cut circles on plexiglass? Then the answer is yes, you definitely can.

There are different ways to do that. Using Forstner bit, you can make as many circles as you want up to 3inches in diameter. You can also cut larger circles using a jigsaw or a saber saw with a fine-tooth.

First, you mark a circle on the plexiglass and drill a hole. After that, you have to place the blade of the saw and start to cut a circle.

How to cut plexiglass with a jigsaw

Now you might be wondering if there are any other ways to cut plexiglass other than with a table saw.

Jigsaws are a great choice when you want something other than a straight cut. They can cut through thick sheets of plastic.

Here is how you can cut plexiglass with a jigsaw.

  • Mark the desired design on your plexiglass with a red marker and line the marking’s edges with a painter’s tape to prevent cracking.

 

  • Make sure the material is firmly planted in your work area. You can use sheet clamps or any heavy material. This helps to reduce vibrations.

 

  • Now position the jigsaw on the farthest side of the plexiglass sheet and pull the jigsaw towards yourself, following the lines that you have marked earlier.

 

  • In case you veer off the mark, just pull the jigsaw backward, reorient the sheet and start cutting again.

How to cut plexiglass with Dremel

Dremel grinders with cutting wheels can cut through thin pieces of plexiglass with ease.

A Dremel is a handy tool to have in your house as it has a variety of applications. They are also good at smoothening rough edges.

Therefore, read further to know how you can work with plexiglass using a Dremel.

  • Wear the necessary safety gear and you must clean the area where you will work before you start cutting.

 

  • Use clamps or any other hard material like the wood board to put weight on the acrylic material. This prevents the plexiglass from slipping as well as lessens the vibrations.

 

  • Using tape or ruler, mark up the start and endpoints on the acrylic sheet. Then draw short lines connecting the two points using a T-square.

 

  • The acrylic sheet must be placed such that the portion that you are about to cut is hanging over the edge.

 

  • Now start cutting and ensure that you are cutting along your design. Be smooth and slow to get even edges.

 

  • Continue cutting and refrain from stopping midway as it can cause jagged edges. If you see the acrylic melting, use water, and lower your speed.

 

Final Verdict

It can feel intimidating if you are working with acrylic for the first time but you need to be very careful while handing since it is your first time. The chances of melting and chipping are greater if you are not attentive.

By now, you must already know the different ways you can shape plexiglass.If you take care of minor details like managing speed and pressure and choosing the right blade, you can easily work with plexiglass.

Now you have a prompt & detailed answer for your query – can you cut plexiglass with a table saw.The extra effort you put in is certainly worth it considering the flexibility and cost-effective alternative it is offering

Also You Can Read

Learn What is A Dual Bevel Miter

Guide to Metal Cutting Blade For Table Saw

Frequently Asked Question

How to cut plexiglass with a jigsaw?

 Jigsaw is used to make irregular cuts on plexiglass. Start cutting from the farthest position and pull the blade gradually towards you.

 How to cut plexiglass with Dremel?

 Start cutting the acrylic with the Dremel rotary tool along with the markings you have made. Keep water handy to lower heat generation and possibly melting.

 How to cut plexiglass circle?

 Mark the circle design on your acrylic sheet and drill a hole within it. Now use the blade of your saw in the hole and start cutting. Using Forstner bit, you can cut multiple small circles.

 How to cut thick plexiglass?

 Saws are the ideal choice to cut thick plexiglass. You can use a fine-toothed saw; a jigsaw or a table saw.

 How to cut plexiglass without cracking?

 Once you have put the markings of your design on the plexiglass, line the edges with a painters’ tape. This helps to cut without cracking.

How to cut thin plexiglass?

 Using a utility knife or a saw blade having a smaller number of teeth, you can cut thin plexiglass.

 How to cut plexiglass with a circular saw?

 Mark the desired dimensions and start the circular saw. Once it reaches 3500rpm, start cutting. The blade you use should be 80 or more.

John Edwards

Leave a Comment

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons