Question cutting plexiglass

  • Advertise with us

« back to Woodworking Skill Share forum

Forum topic by Monte Pittman posted 412 days ago 882 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13809 posts in 971 days

412 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: question

I am making some cabinet doors on a project. It will be packed around to a couple shows so I didn’t want to put in glass to avoid breakage. What’s the best way to cut plexiglass on tablesaw? Tape both sides and keep blade very low? Don’t want to screw it up either.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

17 replies so far

View Blackie_'s profile


3376 posts in 1145 days

#1 posted 412 days ago

Monte, do you have a bandsaw? I think the last time I cut plexiglass I used my hand held jigsaw, but I think a bandsaw would work better.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View Dennis Reynolds's profile

Dennis Reynolds

27 posts in 584 days

#2 posted 412 days ago

I’ve cut Plexi on my bandsaw before. It worked. A tablesaw even with a thin blade may work, but heat is a problem. The blade “melts” the plexi as it cuts. A jigsaw for anything other than a very short cut would have the same problem. The blade heats and melts, big gobs of melted plexi stays on the blade, on the plexi, ect. A bandsaw blade doesn’t heat as bad. It has a longer surface area to cool as it goes around the wheels. An option to try would also be a multi-tool or a rotary tool maybe ?

-- Dennis Reynolds

View ShaneA's profile


5289 posts in 1231 days

#3 posted 412 days ago

I have always cut it on the TS w/o issue. Keep the blade low and feed rate consistant.

View ADHDan's profile


432 posts in 741 days

#4 posted 412 days ago

I cut it in two passes at half-thickness each. Score one side, flip it over, cut through the other. Works pretty well, and eliminates the possibility of shattering the plexi.

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

View Nicky's profile


636 posts in 2724 days

#5 posted 412 days ago

I agree with ShaneA, I’ve not had any issues. I use my combo blade.

AdhDan, I like your method, will give this a try.

Monte, use the tape only if the plastic protector has been removed.

-- Nicky

View Straightbowed's profile


717 posts in 931 days

#6 posted 412 days ago

I found drilling holes in plexi with a forestner bit works great, like if your making a counter sink for say a router plate

-- Stevo, work in tha city woodshop in the country

View steliart's profile


1807 posts in 1321 days

#7 posted 412 days ago

i cut lots of those on the TS, use at least 40T blade, keep it low and continuous feed and make sure there’s some down pressure on both sides while cutting.
Good luck :)

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions - --

View ADHDan's profile


432 posts in 741 days

#8 posted 412 days ago

On steliart’s note – another nice thing about cutting only part way through is that, on the first pass, you can comfortably get a push pad pretty close to the blade on both sides in order to keep pressure on the cut, without too much risk of catastrophe. Since it isn’t a through cut you can, to some degree, treat it like a non-through cut with a dado blade.

And on the second pass, you’ve already got a good score line which makes the cut a lot easier.

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

View horologist's profile


95 posts in 2372 days

#9 posted 411 days ago

Without more detailed information on your cabinet it is hard to be specific, for covers on a display that is horizontal Plexiglas makes more sense but for vertical doors I still prefer glass. True, Plexiglas is more resistant to impacts that would cause a catastrophic failure. However it wears poorly and I have found it only somewhat more resistant to breakage during transport.

To answer your question, as others have stated I have found the table saw a great way to simultaneously cut and reweld the plastic. It will break easily along the melted seam and the surface can be cleaned up with a file. For cutting with power tools I prefer the bandsaw at slow speed to prevent the melting. It does make quite a mess though, the plastic shavings get everywhere and static electricity makes them a misery to clean. My favorite method of cutting Plexiglas is to treat it like glass, score a line and break.

I have a tool specifically designed for this job and a pair of pliers that is great for nibbling away any irregularities, especially handy for odd shapes or removing a thin strip. If you are cutting straight edges that go all the way across the sheet then you might consider this method.

-- Troy in Melrose, Florida

View ScrubPlane's profile


187 posts in 828 days

#10 posted 411 days ago

Table saw will work just fine…I’ve done it many, many times.

View Nomad62's profile


706 posts in 1591 days

#11 posted 408 days ago

I used my jigsaw with no problems as well, just gotta hold it in place to keep it from flapping.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View mark4345's profile


55 posts in 1056 days

#12 posted 408 days ago

A vinyl siding blade would probably work well also, they have 120 teeth.

View redSLED's profile


687 posts in 525 days

#13 posted 408 days ago

Never had a problem cutting on a table saw, and yes, tape both sides. Green painters tape is my favourite. The melting issue must be with cutting very thick plexiglass – like 1” or more? And be sure your safety glasses are completely on!

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

View Grandpa's profile


3098 posts in 1308 days

#14 posted 408 days ago

I cut it on a table saw with a plywood blade on the saw. The fine teeth work better for me.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13809 posts in 971 days

#15 posted 408 days ago

I taped both sides used my Freud Diablo blade. It worked great. Cabinet is about done.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

showing 1 through 15 of 17 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics :: gardening showcase