Plexiglass is one of the most important materials you may require. It is a kind of glass used to make greenhouses, glass tables, and television screens. Plexiglass comes in different colors, although it’s transparent. As an expert, you will undoubtedly work with this material on some woodworking projects. You can cut plexiglass with the circular saw during your woodworking activities. It’s easy to work with when compared to other glasses types. There are various equipments to cut it. This contains knives, cutters, circular saws, jigsaws, etc. This depends on the thickness and shape you want. Because of that, you must know how to cut plexiglass with a circular saw to get a straight and smooth cut.
Steps on how to cut plexiglass with a circular saw
If this is the first time to cut plexiglass with the circular saw, you might be a little confused. If you want to get it right, you may follow these guidelines for cutting plexiglass with a circular saw:
Step 1: Choose the correct blade and then prepare the tools
If you want to cut plexiglass with circular grass, you need to know the tools used in cutting, except the circular saw. Foremost you need to employ clamps to attach the workbench. Also, you will require safety gear, adhesive tape, and straight wood. If you have these tools, you may select the right blade.
Looking for the correct blade is important for the desired result. If you choose the incorrect saw blade, you risk overheating a saw blade and possibly melting the plastic. The perfect blade for cutting plexiglass is a 10-inch blade with about 80 teeth. Teeth must have carbide instructions. You also need to make sure you have a sharp blade. Likewise, it shouldn’t use broken teeth.
The saw blade must not bend; otherwise, it provokes kickbacks and binding. Also, you need to know the inclination of a rake of the blade. The angle of inclination must be between 5° and 10°. Also, make sure that the teeth of the blade have the same height. Besides, if the height is uneven, you may get a rough cut.
Step 2: Wear safety gear
You need to make sure you wear the protective gear before you cut plexiglass using a circular saw. Available for around $60, it’s essential to your well-being. The visor should be worn to prevent tiny glass pieces and other materials from getting into the eyes of the user. In addition, it is necessary to wear hearing protection since there is a loud noise when cutting plexiglass with the circular saw.
Also, make sure you put on the gloves. This protects the hands from vibrations when cutting plexiglass and flying parts. Make sure you have a first aid kit ready. Since the procedure is complex, getting an emergency medical kit is recommended.
Step 3: Set up plexiglass on an even surface
Place the plexiglass on an even surface, like a sawhorse or workbench. Make sure there is no dirt or other unnecessary items on the surface. Plexiglass should also be cleaned before cutting. You can fix the plexiglass to the desk with the clamp on the vises. This way, the sheet doesn’t move during the cut.
You need to make sure that the plexiglass surface has a protective film. Then use a marker to draw a cutting line on plexiglass. It is essential to use a ruler to draw the cutting line. Then let the edge of the waste hang freely from the side of the waste edge. Use masking tape on the cutting line to avoid snapping the edges. Also, you can use the straight edge point if you intend to make long and straight cuts. This gives your circular saw a guide when cutting.
Use masking tape along the cut line to keep the edges from coming splintering off. You can also use the straight edge guide to make long and straight cuts. This way, the circular saw has a guide while cutting. Do not remove the protective coat from the plexiglass. This coat protects the plexiglass from scratch. Then you can remove the shielding film by shedding it off. You can apply the cooling spray on the saw blade before you start cutting the plexiglass.
Step 4: Cut the Plexiglass
You can start cutting the plexiglass by pointing the circular saw cutting edge at the plexiglass sheet until the saw reaches full speed. The optimal speed to cut the plexiglass is 3450 rpm. You need to make sure the feeding rate is in this range. It must be a smooth and slow cut. Ensure the circular saw has reached 3450 RPM before feeding into the plexiglass.
Pushing the saw harder can damage and crack the plexiglass sheet, which can cause large parts to crack. Do not stop cutting and feeding; otherwise, the plexiglass and circular saw blade may overheat. If it gets dark, you can use it better by controlling the speed of the blade. Make sure the driving speed is 3 inches per second. Do not deviate from this speed to avoid cracking all edges. If you drive slowly, the blade will produce a lot of heat, making the sheet break.
Step 5: After the cut, refine the edges
More coolant can be applied to the surface when the cut is complete. Allow the glass to cool and dry sufficiently before proceeding. Wear gloves to move to the next step. Confirm if the cutting edge has uneven surfaces. You need to check for rough edges by switching off the light. Then use a much-focused light to check for jagged edges. To smooth out rough edges, spray extra coolant on the ends.
Then employ120-grit sandpaper and moisten it using water. Then rub on an uneven surface to soft it out. You can as well use 600-grit sandpaper for the final sanding. Once you have attained the texture you need, you can use the electric drill and then equip it using the bumper element to burnish the edges well. When you’re done, remove the vices and clamps and store the plexiglass in a safe place.
Important tips when you cut plexiglass with the circular saw
- Don’t force a circular saw to be very fast or very slow. The best feeding rate can be 3 inches every second.
- Ensure the saw blade is sharp and has no broken or bent teeth to prevent kickback.
- Do not use a saw blade with teeth at different heights to damage the edges.
- Ensure there is enough information concerning the angle of inclination of the blade you are using. The cutting angle must be positive between 5 and 10 degrees.
- Ensure the cutting depth is half-inch under the sheet.
- Two or more sheets can be cut simultaneously, but they must be stacked firmly on top of each using the clamps. If you plan to do this, consider using coolant before cutting. Make a mixture of water and detergent, and then squirt it on the saw blade before using the circular saw.
- Do not bring to feeding the saw when cutting with a circular saw, as the plexiglass can become hot and stick to a blade.
- If you need to make curved cuts, you can use the jigsaw; it’s a great tool to make curved cuts efficiently and quickly.
Ways to prevent kickbacks
- Make sure you handle a saw tightly and control it back and forth. In the event of a kickback, immediately release your finger from the saw trigger.
- Don’t stand behind the saw because this will prevent injury if kickback occurs when reversing the saw.
- Tighten a piece of wood and sheet together and then lose sheet parts when there is a high kickback risk.
- When cutting plexiglass, make sure it is even across the entire surface. The surface must also be smooth and flat.
- Check the circular saw. By making sure the blade is prickly and doesn’t have curved teeth. Also, the blade must not overheat.
The advantages of plexiglass
As stated above, plexiglass is very beneficial compared to glass for several reasons. Firstly, it is lighter and cheaper than a traditional model, its main advantage. Also, we all know that breaking glass is pretty easy, and when it happens, people around you run the risk of getting hurt and seriously injured.
This isn’t the case with the plexiglass because it is roughly 50 times stronger and has greater durability and greater flexibility, essential for a wide range of applications. Also, it offers excellent UV protection, and perhaps most importantly, it comes in a variety of colors and patterns, making it ideal for home décor. While it doesn’t have temperature resistance issues, it has a few advantages, making it a huge alternative to the customary glass.
If you want to cut plexiglass when choosing among many power tools, it is advisable to use a circular saw. Also, if you have experience in this area and have the proper safety equipment, you should be fine. Plexiglass is an excellent material to work with, particularly if you have a quality-quality blade and saw that would guarantee precise cuts. Now in this article, you know how to cut plexiglass with a circular saw