Starting off with the right tools is essential if you want to be successful on any DIY project and this is one of the best tips you can follow on how to cut Plexiglas. In order to produce a smooth edge and to keep chipping down to a minimum the ideal tool is the carbide tipped triple chip saw blade however you can also use a router, however if choosing this option then it should be at least 1.5 HP and it should also have changeable collets.
While these are two of the most popular options there are others which will be looked at.
A steady rate of cut will make all the difference to how much melting you will get on the Plexiglas. Some melting can be expected as Plexiglas is an acrylic plastic, heat will be generated when cutting with the saw or router but melting can be kept to a minimum by keeping up a steady rate of cutting. A great tip is to make a rough cut first by doing so you will reduce stress and can cut again to the finished size.
Using a scribe to cut Plexiglas
Although the two methods above are ones that are widely used there are other tools which can be used to great success. A scribe or jigsaw are two other common tools, however you do have to be extremely careful with Plexiglas as the surface can scratch very easily.
A scribe can be an easy option for cutting Plexiglas but there is a knack when it comes to using it, a scribe is hand held and has a sharp point which you will use to cut the material by dragging it over the Plexiglas. When using this tool as a cutting method it is essential that you have a straight edged rule you can hold and follow as you draw the line.
Start by marking your line on the glass on both sides of the Plexiglas, you cannot cut through by making just one cut you will have to turn over the Plexiglas several times and make cuts on both sides before finally cutting through, however when done correctly the scribe can give one of the cleanest cuts.
Using a jigsaw to cut plexiglas
A jigsaw can be used to good effect and can give a clean smooth cut however just as with the scribe there is also a knack to using a jigsaw as it can cause the Plexiglas to bounce and if this happens then you risk getting anything but a smooth cut.
If you are going to use a jigsaw then it is imperative that you have to use a very fine blade, using any other will cause a jagged cut with rough edges which will then have to be smoothed. To start cutting with a jigsaw you should place the portion of Plexiglas that you are keeping onto the surface you are cutting on, on top of a cloth, this will minimize scratching the surface.
If you place a cloth on top of this portion you can then hold it down solid which will minimize the amount the Plexiglas will bounce once you have commenced cutting. You will need to keep even pressure whilst cutting and some melting can occur on the edges of the Plexiglas, if this happens you should be able to smooth this away using a fine sanding.