Cutting plexiglass

I had a bear of a time cutting some plexiglass without cracking it.
It was 3/16 inch thick.
Using a very fine toothed sabre saw did not work.
I tried scoring it with a sheet rock knife.
I finally made some progress using a hack saw and going REAL slow.
Any tips ?
Andy
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They make a special plexiglass scoring knife.
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On Fri, 7 Mar 2014 21:31:11 -0800 (PST), Andy

I cut it on my table saw with a plywood blade.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote in wrote:

+1
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On 3/8/2014 12:31 AM, Andy wrote:

Most people score the surface with a straight edge and razor knife. Then, flex the plexi across a corner, until it snaps.
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I'd second the table saw method. I've never had much luck with other methods. (I don't switch blades. I just use a fine-cut carbibe blade (60+teeth) for everything. One caveat, though: The saw blade will melt the plastic a bit and release fumes. I really don't know how toxic those fumes might be. Best to have ventilation.
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On Saturday, March 8, 2014 8:54:35 AM UTC-5, Mayayana wrote:

The score method works ok if you score both sides at the same spot.
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I second carbide tip blade - but fewer teeth. More teeth means more melting - just cut at slow pace when feeding the Plexiglas. I used to keep a sharp blade that had never met wood just for plastic and kept the blade lower so it was cutting forward instead of down.
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On Saturday, March 8, 2014 9:33:01 AM UTC-6, Stumpy wrote:

I agree with all the points you make! I will attempt to remember them!
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wrote:

These people are EXPERTS in plastic.
San Leandro HQ        510 357 3755
TAP Plastics        (408) 292 8685 1212 The Alameda San Jose, CA 95125
TAP Plastics Inc     (408) 265-6400 1008 Blossom Hill Rd # F San Jose, CA 95123
TAP Plastics Inc     (650) 962-8430 312 Castro St Mtn View, CA 94041
http://www.tapplastics.com
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Indeed. Some friends needed a shelf in their kitchen window. I bought a piece of lucite from Tap. They accept orders for almost any size and will cut and polish to your specifications.
With lucite you really want all the edges polished. The end result looks fantastic.
--
Dan Espen

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On Friday, March 7, 2014 11:31:11 PM UTC-6, Andy wrote:

If the local hardware store cuts glass...most likely they will cut it for you. On the thicker type (3/16 and 1/4) they score both sides and break it similar to glass. (I worked at a Tru-Valu)
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On Fri, 7 Mar 2014 21:31:11 -0800 (PST), Andy

I cut two sides of a piece a few months ago, for a window pane. Used a straight edge to score it with a plexiglass knife. Had to score it pretty deeply, but it cracked off cleanly.
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Using a table saw with the blade set so low it only partially cuts thru on the first pass, then set the blade a little higher for a second pass, then repeat until you are all the way thru. Taking just a little plastic each p ass keeps the melted plastic from building up so much.
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Andy-
Many years ago in shop class, I used a band saw to cut out the plastic letter opener I made!
Another possibility might be using a cutting tip for a Weller Soldering Gun. I have such a tip, but have never tried it. I suspect it would be a slow process. <http://www.apexhandtools.com/brands/CF_Files/model_detail.cfm?upc 7103 480415> Reading the other suggestions, I prefer the scoring and snapping approach. I think it would be the fastest method.
Fred
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Last time I cut 1/4" Plexiglas I was using 28 carbide teeth on a 10" blade. That's about 1 tooth/inch. With the top of the blade ~1/2" above the work there was no white melted crud or any chips missing. Used a paint scraper to smooth off the cut edge. I have no idea what RPM my tablesaw runs at.
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