Cutting Thin Plexiglass (Plastic)

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Forum topic by clieb91 posted 09-23-2010 10:42 PM 14961 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3491 posts in 3359 days

09-23-2010 10:42 PM

Hey All, Looking for some suggestions on cutting some thin plexiglass. I am looking to do a few projects for kids that require a plexiglass shield and want to make sure I get the cuts nice and evn and I guess sand the edges so they are not sharp. Any one that has worked on something like this and could give me a few hints I would appreciate.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

20 replies so far

View Keen1's profile


103 posts in 3270 days

#1 posted 09-23-2010 10:59 PM

Can you use lexan? I recently cut an 8X10 piece with my miter saw (and a fine tooth blade) to protect a picture going on a plaque. Very easy and sanded the edges. I’ve never tried plexiglass for such a purpose because the lexan is so easy.

If you can’t use lexan, (and assuming you don’t have a wet-saw at your disposal), I’d say bandsaw would be next best bet or a grinder.

No matter which method you use, tape over your cut lines to help reduce chip out.

-- Dad to 5, Son of The One

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8109 posts in 2852 days

#2 posted 09-23-2010 11:57 PM

A glass guy turned me on to a plexiglass/lexan scoring tool, similar to one used on glass. Instead of a roller it has a fixed “V” shaped blade. If it’s 1/4” or less, I just score and snap.
Only for straight line cuts though. For curves, I use the BS or scroll saw. With either, I leave the paper on it as that reduces the melting and rejoining behind the blade.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View hairy's profile


2377 posts in 2956 days

#3 posted 09-24-2010 12:02 AM

Once it’s cut, take a plumber’s torch and warm the edges. It will glaze them over and smooth them. Practice on the waste cutoffs.

-- stay thirsty my friends...

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 2950 days

#4 posted 09-24-2010 12:18 AM

I cut striaght cuts on the table saw using a blade made for plexi and composits, works great.

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

8991 posts in 2344 days

#5 posted 09-24-2010 01:02 AM

You can easily cut it on a scroll saw. You just need to slow down the speed a bit so the heat doesn’t build up from the blade and melt it back together. You get ultimate control and it is safe to do. Just a touch up sanding on the edge and it is good to go. :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 2727 days

#6 posted 09-24-2010 01:17 AM

I regularly cut Plexiglas on my table saw, it works very well. I usually always just use the blade that happens to be on the saw at the time and go slowly. But a 60 tooth blade will cut it perfectly. I have never tried a TS blade that was made to cut Plexiglas as was mentioned above but I would imagine it would work very well…I have just never needed one.

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View clieb91's profile


3491 posts in 3359 days

#7 posted 09-24-2010 02:57 AM

Thanks All.
Hairy, Thanks for the link.
Sheila, I have yet to add a scroll saw to my arsenal.. errrr workshop. :) though it is on my list.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View Claymation's profile


165 posts in 2240 days

#8 posted 09-24-2010 03:00 AM

-- Clay (Master Kindler) ~ Central VA

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2391 posts in 2346 days

#9 posted 09-24-2010 03:06 AM

I have had bad luck cutting 1/8” plexiglass on my scroll saw but the bandsaw cuts it very well.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

View surfin2's profile


51276 posts in 2560 days

#10 posted 09-24-2010 05:16 AM

The cleanist cut I found was with a router…

-- Rick

View Dave's profile


11394 posts in 2264 days

#11 posted 09-24-2010 05:22 AM

has anyone tried to turn there blades around backwards. I have cut pvc and vinyl this way.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View surfin2's profile


51276 posts in 2560 days

#12 posted 09-24-2010 05:57 AM

Why would you cut pvc with the blade backwards, I’ve done it the normal way & it work’d just fine…
I’ve tried vinyl both ways & got the same results… I was told that it was a difference in chip out but I think its between Sharp & dullness… Save yourself some time use a sharp blade & cut it the regular way…

-- Rick

View JimDaddyO's profile


429 posts in 2503 days

#13 posted 09-24-2010 03:34 PM

I use a straightedge and score a line a bunch of times with a sharp utility knife. Then I clamp a board at the score line, with the score line on the edge of a table. Then I snap it. Sometimes a bit of sanding to clean it up.

-- my blog: my You Tube channel:

View Jonnyfurniture's profile


59 posts in 2251 days

#14 posted 09-25-2010 02:23 AM

They make tripple chip blades for cutting plastics. I cut it all the time with a standard blade though. I raise the blade up a little to have some extra down cut action. I never understood how the backwards blade thing is supposed to work. I guess the sharp edge of the carbide scrapes away material. Seems a silly thing to do and plexi would take a long time to cut.

View peteg's profile


3811 posts in 2247 days

#15 posted 09-25-2010 03:34 AM

As the others say, a regular tungsten blade will cut good, dont rush the cut, the main thing is to have your blade set right down so when it cuts you’re only showing about 1/4” max blade above the cut this will reduce chiping

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

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