Plexiglass has, over the years, become a preferable alternative to glass. For one, working with plexiglass enables homeowners to take a DIY approach than hiring a professional, as the risk of breakage is lower as compared to glass. Moreover, plexiglass is lighter and more durable than glass, as well as proving a more cost-effective option.
However, there are a couple of considerations to make when cutting plexiglass. Though the material allows you the flexibility to cut and shape it any way you want, you have to make sure the protective film on the material remains intact. Otherwise, the material will get damaged. Moreover, you need to be careful to ensure the edges are smooth and the finish sublime.
To make things a tad easier for you, here’s a look at the different methods you can use to cut plexiglass with precision and perfection:
Scoring is the preferred option when you are working with a thin sheet of plexiglass. The process is pretty much the same as is used for cutting glass. You have to place the plexiglass sheet on a flat surface and outline the areas you wish to cut by drawing lines using a permanent marker. Then, you have to run a utility knife on the line, from both sides, i.e. first through the top, then turn over the sheet, and cut through the line from the back as well. This way, you can easily remove the part of the sheet you have cut out. However, this method is ideal only if the sheet is less than 3/16th of an inch thick.
You have to take a power saw to the plexiglass if the sheet is thicker. The important part of the process is not the saw itself but the blade you use. The ideal choice is blades which are designed to cut acrylic. However, you can use any blade which has carbide and is used for cutting metal. Make sure the blade is sharp with the teeth smooth or you won’t get a smooth finish. Be careful, though, that the blade doesn’t overheat.
So, the bottom-line is you have to select the method to cut plexiglass depending on the thickness of the sheet. To finish the job, use a handheld power sander to polish the edges of the sheet you have cut. This will ensure the edges are smooth and the finish looks great. Keep in mind, plexiglass is one of the few materials on which you can work on your own. If you have to work with wood, glass or metal, it is better to call in a professional for the job.