Do you want to learn how to cut acrylic sheet with a circular saw? Acrylic sheets are ornate design items used in DIY projects. They’re fun, cheap, and fashioned into many desirable shapes.
When it comes to cutting them, many people find themselves in a fix. In this article, I will show simple and easy steps of cutting acrylic sheets with a circular saw.
What Is Acrylic Sheet?
Being transparent, durable, and just as attractive as glass, Acrylic is a versatile material that has numerous uses. But, what is it?
By definition, it is ‘transparent thermoplastic, which means it is moldable at a certain temperature and solidifies on cooling.
In our language, it is a translucent plastic which is the best substitute for glass. An average acrylic item can last almost a decade and is lighter than glass. Popular as plexiglass, it’s flexible, cost-effective, and makes your use worthwhile.
Acrylic sheets are more than a kitchen design material. Due to their versatility, their application ranges from picture frames to cupboard doors. This makes them a customary DIY material.
How To Cut Acrylic Sheet?
Acrylic sheets are a fun craft material, but they can’t be with knives or scissors. The most common equipment for cutting acrylic sheets is a saw. There are a variety of saws to choose from. All the saws serve their particular functions.
But if you are looking for convenience and approachability, my suggestion will be a circular saw.
You must not begin your work without necessary safety precautions.
- Wear gloves.
- Wear safety glasses.
- Do not use damaged tools.
- Work on a dry and clean surface.
- Keep your feet planted on a stable surface.
Circular Saw Basics and Adjustments
A circular blade weighs from 9 to 12 pounds. The latest models consist of insulated, stiff plastic casings, with steel soles and guards. You can adjust the vertical angle of the cut between ninety degrees and forty-five degrees. The depth of the cut is adjustable, too.
To cut 2 1/4 inches, you can use a standard 7 1/4 inch circular saw for acrylic. At 45 degrees, it will cut through 1 1/2 inch. There are many other sizes available depending on the user’s requirements.
How To Cut 1/4 Inch Acrylic Sheets?
For cutting acrylite as thin as 1/4 inches, I am against using saws. Power tools can damage or crack the sheet. I usually resort to the ‘score and snap’ method.
- Place the sheet on a level surface.
- Use a yardstick and marker to measure and draw the line that you need to cut out.
- Now, keep the yardstick next to the marked line. Use the dull side of a utility knife to score the sheet.
- Score it 10 to 12 times until you make a deep furrow.
- Flip over the sheet and repeat this.
When you’re done, hold the marked line at the edge of the work surface. Secure the sheet in its place with clamps. Now, press downward and snap off the part of the sheet above the work surface.
How To Cut Acrylic Sheet With A Circular Saw?
Thicker acrylic sheets cannot be cut by the ‘score and snap’ method. For this purpose, we’re back in the saw business.
Despite all its advantages, one downside to using acrylic is that it scratches easily. To avoid this, do not remove the protective film.
- The initial step is not dissimilar to the cutting of a thin sheet. Lay the sheet on a flat surface.
- With yardstick and marker, draw a line along the area to be cut.
- Clamp the sheet to the work area to avoid the risk of it slipping.
- Adjust the blade for the depth of your sheet. If it’s sticking out, you will waste a lot of energy as friction while going through the material.
- Place the circular saw at the end of the sheet. Never start the machine before you start cutting or it will chip the acrylic.
- While cutting, keep the sheet balanced and stable.
How To Cut Acrylic Sheet Without Cracking?
Cracking or shearing the acrylic sheet is a big risk during cutting it yourself, especially for beginners. It is only avoidable by proper precautions. However, knowing the cause of something, we can evade it from ever occurring.
|Sheet vibration||Hold the sheet firmly or recheck the clamps before cutting.|
|Defective blade size or number of teeth.||Always use the recommended blade size and number of teeth.|
|Blade vibration or quiver.||Apply blade stiffeners.|
Replace the blade with a high quality one.
|Inoperative teeth (broken or disturbed alignment)||Replace the blade.|
|Misalignment of blade or fence.||Confirm blade and fence are well aligned.|
How To Smooth And Polish Edges Of Your Acrylic Sheets?
After you’re done cutting the sheet, you realize your work is not quite done yet. The edges of the sheet are rough and uneven. Smoothing the edges is a time-consuming process, but it is worth the final look.
Before you start, keep the following things in mind:
- Sanding will damage the aesthetic of the acrylic.
- Make sure you remove the protective film.
The sanding process uses sandpaper. Sandpapers vary depending upon their coarseness (grit). You will have to use more than one sandpapers for this process. Begin with a grit of around 180.
When you’re satisfied with the smoothness of the edges, it is time to polish. Now, move on to a grit of 320/360. The higher the grit, the finer the paper.
Unlike wood, acrylic requires more polishing. For finish polishing, you will want to use 600 grit sandpaper. If you use a blade with fewer teeth space, polishing will not need much effort.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What Type Of Blade Is Used To Cut Acrylic?
A: There are several options to choose from when it comes to a blade for cutting acrylic. Sharp teeth are necessary to attain quality results. Carbide tipped saw blade is the best blade to cut plexiglass.
Carbide tipped saw blade increases service life and saves material. It saves energy by reducing motor power by 40%.
Q: How Do You Cut Acrylic Sheets?
A: You can cut acrylic sheets by two methods depending on its thickness. ‘Score and Snap’ and by using a saw.
Prevent from utilizing saws for thinner sheets. They may cause cracking or scratching.
Q: How Easy Is It To Cut Acrylic Sheets?
A: The difficulty of cutting acrylic sheets depends on the shape you’re looking for and the saw blade you’re using. Simple, straight shapes are easier to cut.
For straight lines, circular saw blades are recommended. The band saw blades for cutting acrylic of complicated shapes are highly recommended.
Q: How Do You Cut Thick Acrylic?
A: Thick acrylic sheets are cut with saws. Different saws have different properties. A circular saw is finest for DIYs.
Circular of different diameters are made for different sheet widths. For example: for cutting 2 ¼ inch sheet, a saw of a standard 7 ¼ inch is used.
Q: How Do You Cut A 3 Mm Acrylic Sheet?
A: 3 mm is 3/32 inch. Acrylic sheets below ¼ inches are cut with ‘Score and snap’ method.
Such sheets chip and crack easier. To avoid this, score the sheet thoroughly and uniformly.
Q: What Is The Difference Between Acrylic And Plexiglass?
A: Acrylic and plexiglass both are common names for Polymethyl methacrylate. There is no difference between the two.
Plexiglass is a brand name for this material. The name is now generic for acrylic.
Q: Can You Cut Acrylic Sheet With A Jigsaw?
A: Yes, you can. The prime steps of cutting acrylic sheets with jigsaw are the same as a circular saw. It is used to cut non-linear shapes.
Jigsaw saw are harder to control. Carefully examine setting and positioning beforehand.
Q: Can You Cut Acrylic With A Dremel?
A: Yes, you can. However, I do recommend it. Its friction and temperature can melt the material. To use Dremel, you might have to use the one with lesser speed.
Lesser speed means lesser friction, i.e. lower the chance of melting.
Q: What Is The Easiest Way To Cut Plexiglass?
A: The easiest way to cut plexiglass is with a saw. A variety of saws are available for various purposes.
The choice of your saw depends on your setting, experience, and product.
Q: How Do You Cut Plexiglass Without Breaking It?
A: To avoid breaking your plexiglass while cutting it is to make certain it’s secured to the table. Clamps are most useful for this purpose.
Check the clamps a few times, so your plexiglass doesn’t break loose.
Like all materials, Acrylic has a distinct character and style. The same can is true for its art and craft. However, it is not something that a woodworking do-it-yourselfer cannot overcome.
It’s all about getting a hang of the answer to ‘how to cut acrylic sheet with a circular saw’. The mastery of this amazing material will expose you to a universe of creativity and imagination.
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