Jigsaws are the most convenient tools to use to cut Plexiglass. Since it has relatively smaller blades and high maneuverability, jigsaws can be used to cut various shapes in a plexiglass sheet and are especially useful for radial cuts. Usually, Plexiglass comes in fixed sizes, and stores like Home Depot don’t cut acrylic products down to size for customers.
This is incredibly frustrating for novice DIY-ers who aren’t familiar with power tools. If that’s you, then there’s no need to worry. After reading this article, you will be able to confidently say you know how to cut Plexiglass the right way.
Plexiglass is a tricky material, but we have some great tips to ensure you don’t scratch or damage it. Plexiglass is an essential material for many DIY projects since it looks like real glass but is a lot easier to work with and much less fragile. We will cover how to cut across Plexiglass and cut it into different fun shapes so that anyone can get it.
The most common way you will want to cut Plexiglass is straight across it. It comes with perfectly straight edges from the factory. It’s best to utilize as many straight edges as possible while cutting just one side to make it fit into our project.
What You Will Need
- A solid work table with a rigid edge
- one or two clamps
- A ruler or straight edge
- Measuring tape
- Masking tape
- A marker
- a sheet of paper (for recycled Plexiglass only)
- A saw blade designed for Plexiglass or plastic
- Deburring tool
- A Jigsaw
Step One: Prepare the Jigsaw
Plexiglass is brittle and can easily break or shatter if not handled with care. Jigsaws usually have a pendulum motion that pushes forward, making the up and down movement of the blade more oval-like.
Make sure that it is switched off or turned down so that you do not damage the Plexiglass. Also, ensure that you are not using a wood saw blade but a blade with more teeth designed for Plexiglass or plastic.
Step Two: Prepare the Plexiglass
Plexiglass comes with a protective plastic sheet from the factory to prevent any scratches or fingerprints. If you use a reclaimed Plexiglass sheet or recycle one you already have, it’s best to cover it with a sheet of paper using masking tape. Skip this step if you are using a brand new sheet of Plexiglass.
Step Three: Mark The Plexiglass:
Measure where you want to cut the Plexiglass sheet and mark the sheet’s top and bottom edge. Align your ruler or straight edge between these marks and use your marker to draw a straight line on the protected side of the Plexiglass. Cover this line with masking tape to ensure there is less chipping, and draw the line again over the tape.
Step Four: Secure the Plexiglass
The Plexiglass mustn’t move as we cut it to keep a straight line. To secure the Plexiglass, place it on a solid workspace with a rigid edge. Let the area we want to cut plus a little wiggle room hang over the edge of the workbench or table. Using a clamp or two, secure the Plexiglass, so it doesn’t budge even when nudged with force.
Step Five: Cutting
Run your jigsaw at around four thousand rpm and ensure your jigsaw is started before it touches the material. It will shatter if you start it when pressed against the Plexiglass.
Start pushing the blade as if to split the line in half along the sheet. Avoid forcing it forward too fast and maintain eye contact with the line. Once you’ve finished, deburr the sharp edge to make it safe to handle.
How To Cut Plexiglass Into Different Shapes Using A Jigsaw
You can cut Plexiglass into any shape you want to make ornaments or DIY projects. The jigsaw is the best tool to create intricate shapes using any material due to the superior control while wielding the blade. However, the jigsaw can shatter the sheet while twisting and turning it on. To avoid that, we use a scrap sheet of wood for stability.
What You Will Need
- Solid work surface
- Sheet of paper
- A Jigsaw
Step One: Draw the Design
To start, draw the design you want to scale on a sheet of paper. This will be the guide we follow while cutting the acrylic. It’s convenient since we will be able to see it through the acrylic sheet.
Step Two: Place Everything Together
Lay the drawing over the sheep of scrap wood and lay the sheet over it. We will move these three items together as if it was one sheet.
Step Three: Secure Everything
Place the acrylic sheet, paper, and scrap wood on the wok table and let the portion you want to cut hang over the edge. Clamp everything to the edge of the table to ensure it does not move while being cut.
Step Four: Cutting
Ensure the blade is started before making contact with the sheet. Slowly but firmly, begin cutting along the lines of the drawing. If you hit a snag, simply push back a few millimeters and move forward again. Do not push back too far, or else you will make an extra notch.
Our Final thoughts
Whether you want to make an acrylic coffee table or a more modest project like coffee mug coasters, you can now, with the help of a jigsaw. By turning off the pendulum motion and limiting the rpm, the jigsaw becomes the best tool to cut into Plexiglass.
Now you can use a material that looks like glass but is far more robust and easier to handle. Try attaching a vacuum to your jigsaw to minimize any debris if you have one. Take care to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to remain safe while using power tools, and take appropriate care to maintain your power tools when you finish using them.