What do you cut acrylic sheets with?

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.

Technique:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Ensure the acrylic sheet is clamped firmly to your workbench and that you can see a line marking out where you wish to cut.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

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