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Blog entry by nancyann posted 04-24-2013 04:59 PM 2510 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Ok just finished this piece made of 3/4” walnut, except for a mirror background. A little nervous about it, but going to jump right in and for the 1st. time cut plexiglass for the background of this project.

I just ordered a piece that’s 1/8” thick x 12”x24” from Sloan’s Workshop along with Olson blades double skip tooth 3D and 5D. Not sure witch size blade will do it, so got the 2 sizes. LOL

Sloan’s has instructions on how to cut and handle the plexiglass, but I still could use some pointers while waiting for the shipment to come in.

-- Nancy Antley

10 comments so far

View Grandpa's profile


3261 posts in 2794 days

#1 posted 04-24-2013 06:48 PM

Well I have cut some on a saw. I have tried a band saw and it is about like using a coping saw. The plastic has a tendency to melt together in the kerf behind the blade. You are back to square one. I had my best results with an old fashioned plywood blade in my table saw. It can and will chip on ocassion and safety gear is required. I had good results with this. Now it appears that you need to cut a curved side. That will probably require a band saw and maybe a stationary sander.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2809 days

#2 posted 04-25-2013 01:25 AM

It is somewhat wasteful but sandwiching the plexi between 2 pieces of thin ply or Masonite will help with the chipping problems. Taping the cut lines top and bottom helps as well. I’ve cut it on the tablesaw, bandsaw, and chopsaw (chopsaw is the worst choice!)

I think the people that cut this stuff on a daily basis use a fairly fine toothed blade and a slow speed set up.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View doubleDD's profile


7645 posts in 2162 days

#3 posted 04-25-2013 01:39 AM

I agree with gfadvm to the extent of taping the area that you cut with a bandsaw only because I’ve heard that before a couple of times by different people. Never had to try it myself so can’t say for sure. I know for a fact that thinner makes it tricky. I would wonder if you can score it with a knife with it being so thin. But again you have the radius. Hope this helps. good luck

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Robb's profile


660 posts in 4053 days

#4 posted 04-25-2013 06:44 AM

If it were me, I’d make a template and use a router to cut out the shape. I’ve never done it personally, but I know we use routers at work to make plexi guards for machinery.

You could also try a jigsaw with a fine blade. There’s a specialty blade for plexi:

Good luck, whatever way you go! The shelf looks really beautiful.

-- Robb

View kepy's profile


293 posts in 2392 days

#5 posted 04-25-2013 12:42 PM

I have cut plexi on the scroll saw by taping the cut lines with masking tape and then marking where to cut.

-- Kepy

View Bogeyguy's profile


548 posts in 2187 days

#6 posted 04-25-2013 02:27 PM

Leave the protective covering on while cutting.

-- Art, Pittsburgh.

View scrollingmom's profile


1174 posts in 2583 days

#7 posted 04-25-2013 04:04 PM

I cut plexiglass on my scrollsaw for ornaments. The best way I have found is to tape the line of cutting and slow the scrollsaw way done to prevent burning and melting back together.

Your shelf turned out pretty good. What color are you going to put behind?

-- Kelly, Allen,KS

View nancyann's profile


106 posts in 2012 days

#8 posted 04-25-2013 04:27 PM

What type of blades do you use Kelly?

-- Nancy Antley

View nancyann's profile


106 posts in 2012 days

#9 posted 04-25-2013 04:28 PM

Kepy, thanks I will.

-- Nancy Antley

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2488 days

#10 posted 04-26-2013 02:16 PM

I’ve only cut plexiglass in larger square pieces, and got good results with a circular saw guide and a board underneath, so that the piece was clamped between the two boards. Doesn’t seem like this is what you want, but I will tell you that if you plan on drilling it, the cheapo glass and tile bits (around $10 for a set of 4 at HD or Lowes) work great. Normal drill bits have a tendency to grab the plexiglass and snap it if you’re not very careful.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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