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Cutting Plexiglas on a SawStop - blade?

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Forum topic by Elizabeth posted 583 days ago 1838 views 0 times favorited 24 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Elizabeth

790 posts in 1727 days


583 days ago

Hi all,

I may need to cut some acrylic sheets (aka Plexiglas, etc) for a furniture/modification project and I am wondering what type of blade I should get to ensure a smooth finish. I have a Sawstop; as far as I know I don’t have to bypass the safety features to cut, this since it’s nonconductive, but please correct me if I’m wrong. Thanks!

(Edited to remove reference to Lexan, which is a different substance!)


24 replies so far

View muleskinner's profile (online now)

muleskinner

661 posts in 1020 days


#1 posted 583 days ago

Can’t comment on the sawstop issue. I cut plexiglass with my regular Frued combo blade and get a nice smooth cut.

-- Visualize whirled peas

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Alexandre

1417 posts in 774 days


#2 posted 583 days ago

Doesnt the plexiglass melt onto the blade?

-- My terrible signature...

View bhog's profile

bhog

1941 posts in 1274 days


#3 posted 583 days ago

Cannot comment on the sawstop either but have cut it on a few saws.Slow feed rate and you will be fine.

-- I don't drive a Prius.

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muleskinner

661 posts in 1020 days


#4 posted 583 days ago

Nope. At least not in my experience. I just feed it like I would a piece of 1/8 in. plywood and it seems to work fine.

-- Visualize whirled peas

View alan coon's profile

alan coon

112 posts in 2296 days


#5 posted 583 days ago

no prob. go slow there will be build up of melted Plexiglas under plex. so watch for it. carb. blade is ok. If the edges need to be clear dust them with a torch But be careful !!

-- Al, South E. Az., But it's a dry heat.

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Earlextech

887 posts in 1274 days


#6 posted 583 days ago

The blade doesn’t matter too much, as long as it’s sharp. You’ll still have to sand the edges to get them smoooooth. A small amount will “melt” onto the blade but will also pop right off.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "finished"!

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

2701 posts in 1827 days


#7 posted 583 days ago

Most people I know use a fine tooth blade turned around so it runs backwards. I would also apply some masking tape on the cut line. This will help eliminate chipping. Make sure the plastic is held down tightly to the table and use a zero clearance insert. Another way would be to sandwich the plastic between two thin pieces of plywood and feed slowly.

View ADHDan's profile

ADHDan

420 posts in 692 days


#8 posted 583 days ago

I cut lexan with a normal Freud blade, but in an abundance of caution I do it in two passes to prevent shattering. I raise blade height to half the thickness of the lexan, cut one side, then flip the workpiece and finish the other.

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

View Elizabeth's profile

Elizabeth

790 posts in 1727 days


#9 posted 583 days ago

That’s a good idea, Dan. MrRon, I don’t have a zero clearance insert, but I could sandwich the plastic. Or maybe it’s time to get a zero clearance insert…

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JayCop

32 posts in 1017 days


#10 posted 583 days ago

Make sure your plexi is “cast.” otherwise it will melt on the blade.

View ADHDan's profile

ADHDan

420 posts in 692 days


#11 posted 583 days ago

Oh yeah, I also use a ZCI.

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3517 posts in 1951 days


#12 posted 583 days ago

I cut Plexiglas with my Forrest Woodworker II blade all the time. It does not melt the plex the but the chips are full of static and stick everywhere.

I have cut plex with other blades that required a score cut before a complete cut to eliminate chip out but my Forrest blade doesn’t require that!

Using my Forrest blade leaves the edges smooth enough that a progression of sandpaper to 400 W/D paper will clear them up. If I want it super clear edge I use the polishing compound Novus in its various grades!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4272 posts in 1632 days


#13 posted 583 days ago

You have to be very careful cutting Plexiglas /Lexan on a TS.
I had multiple experiences of the Plexiglas shattering and sending shrapnels all over the place.
Now I wear a face shield when doing that

-- Bert

View Elizabeth's profile

Elizabeth

790 posts in 1727 days


#14 posted 583 days ago

Good to know, Bert, thanks – I’ll wear one!

View RussellAP's profile

RussellAP

2935 posts in 870 days


#15 posted 583 days ago

I hope you don’t have to cut a lot of that stuff, its toxic as heck. I’d use a plain old steel panel blade. Something with like 180 teeth cuts great and less risk of fracture. If its thicker than about 3/4 inch I’d go with a Freud thin kerf rip blade. I’ve cut this stuff before and it’s not fun. Be sure to wear a face shield.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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