Cutting Plexi-glass w/o Splintering It

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Cutting Plexi-glass w/o Splintering It

Postby Todah Tear » Tue Jun 13, 2006 9:48 am

Help!
Does anyone know of a way to cut plexi-glass with out splintering it. Is there a special blade that can be used on a jig saw to cut it.

I have tried heating the blade of a knife; that works, but not fast enough and can be ineffective because the p-g joins back together once the blade passes through. :?

Thanks,

Todah
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Postby Ira » Tue Jun 13, 2006 9:57 am

I don't get it--isn't Plexiglass just like Lexan, or is it really different?

I had no problem with my lexan using a fine jig saw blade.

Maybe some 3-in-one oil?
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Postby Arne » Tue Jun 13, 2006 10:04 am

first, tape it.... second, use a very fine tooth blade... I just cut a hole in my cylcle windshield with using a dremel with a minature saw blade..

I've cut down about a 1/2 dozen cycle windshields after taping using a jig saw with a fine toothed blade... similar to a hacksaw blade.
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Postby dwgriff1 » Tue Jun 13, 2006 10:19 am

I've always used a table saw, cutting before I removed the paper.

A sharp fairly fine tooth blade would be my prefernce, but I might use a fine, fairly dull blade. Push real gently.

In frame shops, they cut 1/8" plexi with a scoring tool, similar to a score awl used in Laminate work. They score a couple of times and pop it. It would probably work with thicker material, but I'd sure score both sides.


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Postby angib » Tue Jun 13, 2006 11:23 am

Same as above - put tape where the cut will go, use a fine-tooth blade, push very gently, switch off the pendulum action if using a jigsaw.

But then I'd add - hold the workpiece down - for example, lay a piece of thick plywood over it near the cut and clamp it down. My experience is that the edge chips and cracks when the plexi isn't supported and is free to move around.

If you want to go bananas with it, clamp the plexi between two sheets of old ply and cut the whole lot.

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Postby 48Rob » Tue Jun 13, 2006 11:31 am

Plexi-glass is much more prone to cracking than Lexan...
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Postby Ira » Tue Jun 13, 2006 11:50 am

48Rob wrote:Plexi-glass is much more prone to cracking than Lexan...
:thumbdown:
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That answers my question. Don't know if it comes in different thicknesses, but the Lexan I used off the shelf from HD was real thin.
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Postby Chris C » Tue Jun 13, 2006 11:57 am

Okay, here's one where I KNOW I know the answer!!!!! 8) :lol:

I used to own a plastic manufacturing plant and we always used the smallest diameter blade we had.............usually 8", on a table saw. Back then all we had available was a standard plywood blade. It would cut smooth but you had to listen to the blade. The biggest problem with acrylic (Plexiglas is a trade name) is burning. So a large blade with burn. To lower the tooth speed, decrease the diameter of the blade and have fewer teeth. Today I find that a carbide blade meant for a builder's saw (circular saw) does a really good job because not only is it small in diameter, but has fewer teeth.......thus less heat.
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Postby asianflava » Tue Jun 13, 2006 2:35 pm

How thick is it? If it is thin stuff, 1/8in or 1/16in you can score it and break it. If this is lexan, forget about it. If you need to cut curves, I was told that a bandsaw with the blade on backwards is the best.

After you cut it, hit the edge with a torch to clean it up. you just need to heat it up a little to get that "Flame Polish" just be careful not to catch it on fire.
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Postby Juneaudave » Tue Jun 13, 2006 3:07 pm

I always cut it with a bandsaw, or with a plywood blade backwards in a table saw.
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Postby Todah Tear » Tue Jun 13, 2006 4:08 pm

Wow, talk about a wealth of information. You guys are the greatest! I'm off to my local ACE hardward store.

BTW, the plexi is 1/8".

Thanks a bunch!! :applause:

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Postby 48Rob » Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:36 pm

Hi Chris, ;)

You may well be right, having been in the business, but what I understand is that plexiglass is poly(methyl methacrylate) a thermoplastic polymer.

And Lexan is Polycarbonate.

Plexiglass tends to shatter/crack more so than Lexan.

The names are used interchangeably, rather like "restored" and "repainted".

They are similar, and look the same on the surface, but are different underneath. ;)

Lexan is softer than plexi and scratches more easily, but is stronger.
Lexan is used for bullet proof windows.

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Postby mikeschn » Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:50 pm

So how thick would the lexan have to be to make my tear bulletproof? :o

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Postby PaulC » Tue Jun 13, 2006 7:58 pm

mikeschn wrote:So how thick would the lexan have to be to make my tear bulletproof? :o

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Postby Nitetimes » Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:06 pm

mikeschn wrote:So how thick would the lexan have to be to make my tear bulletproof? :o

Mike...


Not sure but you'd need a bigger axle!! 8) 8) Much bigger
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