Cutting Plexiglas

I'm making some bird feeders with 1/8'' Plexiglas side panels & I'm wondering what's the best way to cut the stuff? I've been repeatedly scoring the sheet with a razor knife but that takes a lot of effort. There has to be an easier way. Will a table saw blade get hot and melt the material during the cut?
What's the best way to cut Plexiglas.
TIA, Dave
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

You can use a tablesaw but there are safety precautions. If the plexi is thin, use a zero-clearance insert or carpet tape the plexi to pressboard or ply. Use plenty of ventilation. A bandsaw is safer.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Also clamp a piece of wood (2x4) to the table saw fence (just enough to slide the plexi under it). raise the blade (into 2x4) after you clamp the wood to the fence. use a sharp plywood or celotex blade only. feed plexi slowly into saw (under clamped wood).
you will need someone on the other end to pull it through the saw.
Always wear safety glasses. that sh*t flys everywhere.
this is a safe and foolproof way to cut plexi and it will always be straight...unlike a bansaw cut.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It tends to chip a bit and melt itself back together as you cut.
Bob
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My son used my Roto-Zip which worked real well. Of course, you have to use a straight guide to cut in a straight line.
Steve L. wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If you want a really nice, clear edge, "sand" on a flat surface covered with emory cloth. Work down to a very fine grade. Then, spill some ethylene dichloride on a flat (glass) surface and stand the plastic on edge in it for a few minutes. You can then join the soft edge to another piece or let it dry for a very nice edge.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
<snip>

razor knife will just scratch the surface, this type of blade actually plows a little trench, and is also much easier to control. Alot of craft stores carry something similar, and ther are also similar laminate blades that fit utility knives. Just score and snap! Or, if you want to use a saw, go slow and let the chips clear, so they don't weld the cut back together.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Yes. Use a close tooth blade such as a plywood blade but turn the saw blade backwards so that the teeth are facing backwards and feed the plexiglas through normally. The backward blade actually cuts the material (a sharp blade is not necessary but works better) but also melts some so you end up with a bit of ragged plastic (melted) on one side. But you can easily remove that with a stroke or two of sandpaper held at 45 degrees. You can cut very thin, brittle stuff this way without fear of a tooth catching and shattering or kicking the panel.
DJA wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
<< What's the best way to cut Plexiglas. >>
Been working with the stuff for years and a table saw works just fine. This is what plastics distributors use. Select a blade with lots of teeth and a really wide set to the teeth and it will zip through it with little effort. For neat joints, I use a 12" disc sander and a very fine grit abrasive with light pressure. Your solvent joints will then be virtually invisible and very strong. For curved cuts, a slow speed jig saw or band saw with well set teeth again gives good results. Moral to the story, the right tool does the better job. There are many good How To books at your library, craft store, wherever. HTH
Joe
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

quality 40 to 80 carbide tooth general purpose blade. If you will be cutting a lot of it, blades designed specifically for plastics are available but a decent wood carbide wood cuting blade does very well.
--

Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Sometimes old folk wisdom is actually the easiest way.
Bandsaw is good, too.
--

Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.