Cutting plexiglass

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I bought a sheet of 48x24" plexiglass at home depot (maybe about 1/8" thick).
I am trying to cut in 7" slices (each 48" long). Per the instructions from the Home Depot guy, I bought a blade that is supposed to score the Plexiglass and then you snap it.
Well, I am having 2 problems. First, I am finding it hard to score precisely on a straight line (even though I am following a steel straight edge). The blade keeps wanting to slip away slightly.
Second, after scoring with several passes, when I snap it, it ends up breaking only partially along the line (and the rest breaks away at a short angle).
One solution, would be to just be more careful on scoring the line and then scoring even deeper with more multiple passes.
Are there any EASIER and MORE accurate ways to cut plexiglass? Can I use a regular table saw blade (or will it shatter it)? What about a jigsaw or a dremel?
Thanks
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I worked in a sign shop for years where we routinely cut Plexiglas sheets on a table saw with a carbide blade. Cuts great that way.
blueman wrote:

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This will work also. Set the saw to a little less than half the thickness of the plastic and slice a kerf on each side. Now snap it. You will have a little edge in the center that is easy to file, sand or scrape.
This should give you a nice sharp edge.
While cutting use a steady feed rate. Slowing down and stopping will scorch the edge. Usually blades used for plastic have no set to the teeth on the blade.
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Ray Mandeville wrote:

I agree with Ray, but for 1/8" plexy make sure you use a zero clearance tablesaw insert.
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A Roto-Zip works pretty good.
Nova wrote:

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blueman wrote:

I've used a table saw on plexi. It will be stinky, but it can be done. I'd recommend taping the line you're going to be cutting. I think it would be inconvenient to score and break on an 8 foot long axis, so I'd recommend the table saw.
Otherwise, just put the scored plexi on a pipe or something that runs the entire length of the score (score side up), then press down on the plexi with a couple of 2x4s or something, so that the pressure is more of less equal on either side of the pipe. You might need a helper.
I wouldn't recommend a Dremel (it will just melt it... trust me. :-) ), but a jig saw with a blade of medium aggression (i.e. not metal cutting, but not the super jagged either... maybe 10teeth per inch?) might work.
Personally, I'd go with the table saw. It'll be much faster, and you're more likely to get a clean cut with a straight edge. I only say the table saw though because you're doing such long cuts. Usually it's just easier and faster to score and break it, IMO.
-Nathan
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blueman wrote:

1.) Use a utility knife blade with the tip broken off or use the blade backwards, so the straight, non-beveled side of the blade is dragging on the plastic. Scoring plastic is more like scraping than cutting.
2.) Slightly angle the blade so that it plows slightly into the straight edge.
I've cut miles of styrene and plexiglasses by hand with this method with excellent results. Try it!
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The reply that said tape the plexiglass was good. I've taken 3" masking tape, and scored a line straight down the middle of the tape. Worked everytime.
blueman wrote:

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Use a tablesaw with a blade for plywood and install it backward.A slow feed speed and you will never cut it any other way.Blade height just above the plexi and pressed against the table.

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blueman wrote:

Should have bought the plexi at a local glass company and had them cut into whatever sizes you needed.... Ive done that before just for my own convienience... just have to call them with the dimensions and pick up... ~:>
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blueman wrote:

You have been given good advice on cutting plexi. Score and snap is the way to go. a freind has a shop where he fabricates plexi. there is a special blade designed for the purpose but it isn't common. YOu have to go to a plexi supplier to find it. It has a hook on the end so that the cutting edge faces toward you and he always scores by draggin the blade toward himself. then he snaps it over the edge of the table. He makes one heavy score and then snaps. he then uses a buffing wheel to smooth the edge.
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I'm surprised I didn't see this answer, I've used my bandsaw also for cutting plexi. Yesterday I even used my 80-tooth Diablo blade for cutting 1/8" plexi. Main thing is to keep slow steady speed on feed. If you jam it in there too fast, it'll shatter or chipout the plexi.
No one asked, what project you using 7x48 plexi for? Good luck!
Duff
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A friend uses a table saw with a special blade.
Lawrence wrote:

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wrote:

The scouring tool you described can be found in the HD ceramic tile section. It has a carbide tip. Another improvisation is to use the carbide edge tip of a router bit to scour the plexiglas line.
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Our router tends to cause the Plexiglass to chip and leaves an ugly job.
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On Sat, 26 Aug 2006 16:29:58 -0400, Stubby

(scouring) the line on the plexiglass by hand. Use that straight edge steel ruler as a guide. I did not intend that you run the bit with the router to make the cut. Doing that does indeed make a mess.

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blueman wrote:

I would suggest a plywood blade (REVERSED) so that the teeth do not chip and drag.. Also use the tape on the cut line.. Worked for me for both plastics and lams..
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I build acrylic display cases as a side business/hobby. I use a large table saw with a very expensive ($200+) narrow kerf triple chip alternate tooth profile blade made from C4 carbide (80 tooth). The blade should protrude 1/4" through the material. Next it gets run through a joiner for a beautiful edge that will take polishing nicely. For scoring, I use a $1,800 Fletcher multi material cutter...
Okay, okay, you need the cheap solution! For scoring I recommend a drywall T square. The large T section helps keep it square and in position. I put some "Foamies" self adhesive foam on the back of the T to keep it stationary. You MUST be sure the successive passes you make are in the same groove or the break will run out of the groove. With a single motion to break the material, I can break out up to 1/4 inch thick sheets that look very clean. However, I find it is hard to breakout pieces near a parallel edge without runout and the accuracy may be off 1/64 or more end to end which is not ideal for cementing boxes together. I use a fletcher scoring tool to make the cut. It has a comfortable grip and changable blades. I only have to make 3 passes with this method on 1/8 material.
Check here for the heavy duty handheld plastic cutter http://www.fletcher-terry.com/framing /
Good luck John
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one shot deal, it may be better to have someone cut it for you. John
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