As well as being strong, impact-resistant and achieving incredible clarity, an acrylic sheet is also fairly easy to work with.
The following is a step-by-step guide to cutting acrylic sheets:
Great for: Cutting larger pieces of an acrylic sheet.
Note: The more teeth on the saw blade, the smoother the cut. If you choose to use a circular blade saw, be sure to use a cross cut blade and not a ripping blade.
- Clamp the acrylic sheet to a workbench with the protective paper still on the sheet — this will prevent the material from becoming scratched during transportation.
- Measure and mark on the piece of the acrylic sheet that you would like to cut using a tape measure if it’s a straight line. For a circle, use a tape measure and a compass to mark out your circular shape.
- Ensure the acrylic sheet is clamped firmly to your workbench and that you can see a line marking out where you wish to cut.
- Before cutting the sheet, apply a little bit of coolant to the saw blade in order to achieve a much smoother cut. Create the coolant by simply combining a few drops of detergent with water inside a bottle that has a fine spray mist setting.
- Cut along the line that you marked out. Take a steady, gentle pace – too slow will melt the acrylic; too fast will lead to your acrylic chipping.
- Once the cut has been made, blow away any dust or debris that has formed, using either a fan or hair dryer. This will avoid scratching your acrylic sheet due to the debris still being present.
- Buff the rough edges using either a drill fitted with a buffer or a wet sander.
Before you start, it might be worth having a practice cut on a sample piece of acrylic. Alternatively, if you don’t fancy doing the job yourself, search for a plastic specialist who can do the cut for you such as The Plastic People.