How Do I Cut 1/4-Inch Plexiglass?

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Band saw blades vary in size and can easily be switched out.
Band saw blades vary in size and can easily be switched out. (Image: sägeblätter image by fotohansi from Fotolia.com)

Plexiglass is a clear thermoplastic. It is used in everything from aquariums to aircraft windows for its durability and comes in varying degrees of thickness. There are a few ways to cut plexiglass, but a saw is the simplest method.

Saws

Any type of saw may be used to cut plexiglass. Hand saws and electric saws alike will do the job, but for a smoother cut, a stationary saw such as a band saw or circular saw machine is best. These have blades that can be switched out and can cut varying degrees of thickness.

Blades

Because plexiglass is easily chipped and broken, an appropriate blade must be chosen. For thin sheets of plexiglass, thinner blades with fine teeth are ideal. Larger blades with many teeth may melt the plexiglass due to heat caused by friction and will cover more area than desired.

Maneuvering

A stationary blade works better than a manual saw because a stationary blade cuts in any direction the plexiglass is swung. Tight corners and curves can be cut easily because the blade is stationary and cuts are made by maneuvering the glass. Cutting plexiglass with a hand saw requires the glass to be clamped down. Smooth cuts with this method depend on the user's precision and will most likely have to be sanded with sand paper to fully smooth the edges.

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