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Cutting Perspex

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DIY Stew

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A friend has asked me to cut some 2mm perspex (Liteglaze) will it be ok to use a jigsaw with a blade designed to cut thin metal, and would it be best to have the pendulum action on?

Thanks

Stew
 

Paul Chapman

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I'd use a router on a slow speed (to stop the swarf sticking to the cutter). Fix it down to a sacrificial piece of MDF first. I cut this dovetail marker that way without any chipping



But probably best to try on a scrap piece first.

If you want just straight pieces, you can also plane it with a finely set block plane.

Hope this helps.

Cheers :wink:

Paul
 

Chrispy

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you can also cut perspex like you cut glass score first with a knife or scribe etc. then bend away from the scratch (scary) :wink:
 

Lord Kitchener

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Another good way of cutting it, you you don't have to do too much and you don't want to risk a break, is a coping saw. Hold it at a very shallow angle, don't push too hard, and keep the material supported as close to be cut as possible.
 

doorframe

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DIY Stew":5sgj45zd said:
A friend has asked me to cut some 2mm perspex (Liteglaze) will it be ok to use a jigsaw with a blade designed to cut thin metal, and would it be best to have the pendulum action on?

Thanks

Stew
I've done it this way. No problem at all, but make sure any perspex overhanging is not able to flap about. And definately NO pendulum.

Chrispy":5sgj45zd said:
you can also cut perspex like you cut glass score first with a knife or scribe etc. then bend away from the scratch (scary) :wink:
Also done it this way, but it shatterred. Could have been nasty if I wasn't wearing a full face mask. Maybe I didn't score deep enough. That's when I changed to the jigsaw.

Tried on my scroll saw but my blades were too course and I snapped 2 and gave up.

HTH

Roy
 

Lons

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doorframe":27viwcb5 said:
[quote
Chrispy":27viwcb5 said:
you can also cut perspex like you cut glass score first with a knife or scribe etc. then bend away from the scratch (scary) :wink:
Also done it this way, but it shatterred. Could have been nasty if I wasn't wearing a full face mask. Maybe I didn't score deep enough. That's when I changed to the jigsaw.

Tried on my scroll saw but my blades were too course and I snapped 2 and gave up. HTH Roy
It is one of the recommended methods for straight cuts.

I used to stock special disposable scoring knives, plastic handle with a fixed blade something like these Stanley blades you can buy http://www.stanleytools.com/default.asp ... nife+Blade there are others as well to fit std knives.
It is also possible to score with a very sharp one piece tile cutter or a marking knife with the blade upside down. You should get a curled "shaving" when you cut, leaving a V groove in the acrylic.

2mm will snap very easily and I have cut up to 6mm with care and a staightedge to spread the load as pressure was applied. I used to score both sides of the thicker materials.

As suggested, if cutting with a saw, clamp between rigid sheet material or it will shatter. - if using a jigsaw - you need to cut at a slow speed or the perspex will melt.

Bob
 

bosshogg

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I also made this jig
dovetail jig.jpg
but I cut everything with a coping saw, as Lord Kitchener points out, keeping the angle shallow worked well. I've also cut 1/8" perspex with my old fashioned bosh jigsaw (no pendulum) but at 2mm thick you can simply cut it with a knife, planing on a shooting board to finish...bosshogg :)
Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else.


Judy Garland 
 

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jimi43

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Funny enough...I made a rectangle from a sheet by scoring and snapping just yesterday.

I have never had it shatter but you must score deep until you get shavings from the Stanley knife and then you must put a piece of wood either side just below the cut...clamp in a vise and then slowly press the offcut. Put the smaller bit in the vise and the larger bit outside to press against.

It snaps really easily and leaves a beautiful clean edge.

Of course...if you are cutting out strange shapes you need something like a scroll saw with fine blade.

I also use a hacksaw VERY slowly to cut bits off and it works fine...24T does it

Jim
 

Mark A

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I've used a jigsaw and an angle grinder in the past, then cleaned up the edge with some sand paper. It was for my boat's windows so the edges didn't have to be perfect. How you do it depends on how good the cut edge has to be really.

Mark
 

Skyhigh_Arb

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Bandsaw everyday of the week in my opinion its the only way. Most definitely the cleanest and safest way of cutting perspex. That's how we do our windows on the tree houses. Sometimes for really big windows we use a jig saw on the slowest setting, however you will need to have it raised with pieces of wood either side of the cut so that it does not flap around and no pendulum.

Will
 

Eric The Viking

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How not to do it: cheap jigsaw and blunt metal blade.

I tried this on my bike's windshield (BMW R80 and I'm not tall!). I got a great curve, but when the blade warmed up the perspex melted rather than cut, and rejoined at the back after the blade passed by!

I didn't have a bandsaw at the time, but now it's my weapon of choice for cutting plastic, because the blade can't really heat up and you have good control. To be fair, the windscreen would've been hard to do because of the curve, but I'd still have got a better finish - much careful sanding was needed on the one I cut down.
 

Daven

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I use the bandsaw to cut larger sheets down to A4 size - [gloat] then use them on my laser cutter [/gloat] :)

Dave
 

joiner_sim

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Why has nobody suggested a table saw? It's not perspex I usually cut, but I do cut 16mm fluted polycarbonate sheets this way myself. No problems with a sharp blade. Eye protection is a must though.
 

Lons

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joiner_sim":685pehoj said:
Why has nobody suggested a table saw? It's not perspex I usually cut, but I do cut 16mm fluted polycarbonate sheets this way myself. No problems with a sharp blade. Eye protection is a must though.
You're spot on, and very remiss of me not to mention it as it is also a manufacturers recommended method but as the acrylic in question is only 2mm thick and assuming straight cuts, there is absolutely no question that scoring and snapping is quickest and easiest method for material so thin.
Thicker materials cut beautifully on a table saw (or Holtzer type wall saw) using a fine blade. We used 64t neg rake with perfect results.

During my years in the plastics industry the lads cut up hundreds of sheets of perspex, polycarb, pvc, polyprop, tufnol and engraving materials as well as countless others and the vast majority were cut on a wadkin table saw and Holtzer wall saw. As you say "sharp blade" is a must.

I've also used the materials extensively at home having built up a stock of "scrap" and offcuts still sizeable even now after 20 years out of the industry.

Bob
 

DIY Stew

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Thanks for your help guys, I cut it today with a stanley knife and a straight edge, no problems just kept scoring until it went through to the hardboard I had placed underneath. :-D :-D

Stew
 
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