How to saw plexiglass at home

What to cut?

Colored and transparent organic glass has certain properties that affect the electric tool at the moment when the material is cut. The fact is that acrylic tends to melt at 160 ° C. If you need to bend a flat sheet, then this can be done after heating it to 100 ° C. When exposed to the cutting blade of a power tool, the cut site heats up and the material in molten form sticks to its surface, so cutting off the plexiglass is a rather problematic task.

plexiglass, home

Despite the complexity of processing, acrylic glass has a wide range of applications. To cut the material, thereby giving it the desired size, modern equipment is used in production conditions:

  • a CNC laser machine, where a laser, like a knife, cuts an acrylic surface;
  • an electric cutter with which you can make holes or a shaped cutout;
  • machines equipped with a band saw;
  • disk type electric cutter.

Laser cutting and milling have a high degree of productivity and are used in mass production. This equipment is capable of cutting acrylic material with a high degree of precision and accuracy. Most of all, laser processing is currently widespread, the accuracy of work is achieved due to the fact that a beam is formed, the thickness of which is 0.1 mm.

The cut edges of the material after laser work are absolutely smooth. Most importantly, this cutting method does not generate waste.

Mechanical cutting of acrylic glass is accompanied by heating of the material, as a result of which it begins to melt, while forming significant smoke. To prevent the melting process, the cutting operation must be accompanied by cooling the acrylic, which is carried out using the supply of water or a stream of cold air.

Home craftsmen often perform organic glass processing on their own, using available tools.

  • Hacksaw for metal. The cutting blade is characterized by the presence of small teeth located at a minimum distance from each other. The hacksaw blade is made from a tough, hardened steel alloy, so the cutting edge dulls slowly. Using it makes it possible to get an even cut due to a smooth tangential motion. In the process of work, it is not recommended to cut quickly so that the acrylic does not heat up and undergo plastic deformation. The finished cut is obtained with roughness that will need to be sanded with sandpaper.
  • Acrylic glass cutter. This device is sold in retail chains and is intended for cutting plexiglass with a small thickness. up to 3 mm. To obtain an even cut, a ruler is fixed on the surface of organic glass, then a cut of the material is made using a cutter (approximately half of its thickness). After that, the cut is broken off the sheet along the intended mowing line. The finished cut turns out to be uneven, therefore, in the future, the workpiece will have to go through a long grinding.
  • Circular saw. The disc for cutting plexiglass should be with small, frequent teeth. If you use a disc with a large pitch between them, then chips and cracks may appear on the processed material. After receiving a cut, the workpiece requires finishing grinding.
  • Milling cutter with bearing. This power tool makes a high-quality cut on plexiglass, but at the same time the cutting knives quickly become dull and become unusable. When working with a cutter, acrylic heats up quickly, this process is accompanied by strong smoke. To avoid heating the material, use water to cool the work surface.

One minute tutorial. How to cut out Acrylic, Plexiglass, Perspex shapes the easy way

  • Electric jigsaw. This tool is convenient in that it has the ability to adjust the feed speed of the cutting blade. To work with organic glass, special cutting blades are used, which are fixed in the jigsaw holder. You can replace such saws with a blade for wood, the main thing is that the teeth of the blade are often located and have a small size. You need to work at low speeds, otherwise the material will begin to stick to the canvas. Once the cut has been completed, the workpiece can be sanded or flame treated with a lighter. You can make straight or curved cuts with a jigsaw.
  • Angle Grinder. For cutting a thick sheet of plexiglass, you can use a disc with three large teeth, which is designed for woodwork. Such a tool does a good job of making straight cuts. During operation, acrylic glass does not melt or stick to the disc. It can be used to process acrylic with a thickness of 5-10 mm.
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how to cut plexiglass

Some home craftsmen use a regular glass cutter to cut organic glass. The results of the operation of the listed tools completely depend on the experience of the master, and no one is insured from the possibility of spoiling the material in this case.

How and what to cut plexiglass?

One of the most common synthetic materials used for domestic and industrial purposes is plexiglass, which is produced by polymerization of methacrylic acid and ether components. Because of its composition, plexiglass got the name acrylic. You can cut it using a special device or improvised means. When cutting plexiglass with a power tool, difficulties often arise due to the fact that the material begins to melt and stick to the cutting blade. Nevertheless, there are still ways to help cut acrylic at home.

Cutting rules

In order to qualitatively cut plexiglass with your own hands at home, experienced craftsmen advise you to adhere to some rules (they are applicable not only to acrylic, but also to plexiglass, as well as cellular polycarbonate).

  • It will be much easier to cut a curly workpiece to size or saw off an even piece of acrylic glass if, before starting work, you warm up the material over a heat source: a gas burner or a hair dryer. This must be done at a considerable distance so as not to melt the material.
  • Cutting out a workpiece from plexiglass with a small thickness from 2 mm to 5 mm can be done using an electric jigsaw. With its help, you can not only make a straight cut, but also cut a circle. For work, you need to take a narrow and thin canvas with fine teeth.
  • It is easier to cut the glass with a blade marked MP. S. Steel for the production of sheets is hardened and high strength.
  • Sawing glass is necessary at low speeds of the cutting blade feed. You can find the speed for each tool in the process of work in a practical way. During the sawing process, it is important to ensure that the acrylic glass does not start to melt.
  • Work on cutting organic glass should be carried out in goggles or a mask. When cutting the material, a large amount of small flaked chips is formed, which scatters in different directions at a high speed.

The greatest difficulties in home cutting of organic glass arise when creating complex curvilinear cuts. The easiest way to solve this problem is using laser industrial equipment, where automated control allows you to perform all the necessary functions with the highest accuracy and without human intervention. Manually curly cutting of acrylic is performed according to a pre-made template. The easiest way to make such a cut is a cutter. The contours of the resulting workpiece will be jagged and rough, which are eliminated by grinding.

At home, you can accelerate the cutting process of organic glass using a hot nichrome wire connected to a voltage source of 24 V. The heated nichrome wire melts the acrylic material through and through in the right place of the cut. At the same time, the cut edges are smooth.

It is quite possible to assemble such a device on your own at home, the main thing is to choose a high-quality nichrome wire with the correct diameter that would withstand heating to a temperature of 100 ° C.

In order to cut the acrylic sheet straight, it is important to monitor the feed speed of the cutting blade during work. It is best to start the cutting process with the lowest rotational speed of the power tool. You can choose the optimal mode only experimentally. If during operation the acrylic material began to melt and adhered to the cutting blade, then the work must be stopped, the blade must be cleaned of contamination, and the workpiece being sawn must be allowed to cool down.

When cutting acrylic, it is best to work in a well-ventilated area, since organic glass, when heated, smokes very strongly and releases chemical components that are harmful to health into the environment.

You can use a slotted screwdriver to cut a small piece of organic glass. The screwdriver is heated over a gas burner and held with its slotted part along the ruler attached to the workpiece.

Under the influence of the heated section of the screwdriver, a shallow groove will appear in the material. This groove can be deepened even further and then break off the edge of the glass, or take a sawing tool and cut the material further in the direction of the groove. After cutting, the edge of the workpiece will be uneven. It can be leveled by long grinding.

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This method takes a lot of time, but it allows you not to spoil the glass by the sudden appearance of cracks or chips.

In the next video, you will learn how to cut plexiglass quickly and easily.

Saw plexiglass. How to cut plexiglass at home? Sawing plexiglass

Some features of the use of industrial equipment

Before cutting the plexiglass with a circular saw or using a milling machine, there are some precautions to take. The material heats up quickly and begins not only to melt, but also to smoke. Constant cooling is required. To do this, use a strong stream of air or ordinary water. One liter of water is enough to work quietly for an hour.

The container is installed on one side, and water flows through a plastic hose with a diameter of about 2.5 millimeters. This allows you to make a straight and even cut without melted edges.

Cutting plexiglass at home using a milling machine or laser installation is in most cases impossible, since this complex technical equipment costs a lot of money and takes up a lot of space. At the same time, shops with such machines appear in many cities in increasing numbers, which makes it possible to use the services of professionals.

Hacksaw for metal

The easiest way to cut plexiglass with your own hands is done with a hacksaw for metal. mowing line, the cut must first be drawn with a pencil or felt-tip pen. In the process of work, the hacksaw must be kept level, being careful not to tilt it to the side. It is desirable to firmly fix the workpiece. The cutting surface will not be flat. All irregularities and burrs are removed with a file and sandpaper.

Jigsaw

For cutting polymethyl methacrylate, an electric jigsaw with special files for organic glass is used. Plexiglass files have a special marking. the letters of the Latin alphabet MP.S.

When cutting the blade, you need to control the speed of the tool. The more the number of revolutions, the higher the speed of the jigsaw. At high cutting speeds, the synthetic resin begins to melt. The cut area becomes white and sealed. such material is unusable.

The filing speed and the number of revolutions of the nail file are selected experimentally. Before starting cutting the working blade, it is recommended to practice on unnecessary fragments of PMMA.

An electric jigsaw is used to create straight and curved cutting lines.

Laser

The most convenient method for cutting acrylic is called a laser. However, this method cannot be applied at home, it is used exclusively in industrial production.

A thin laser allows you to make precise cuts and cut out even the smallest details of a future design or product. If necessary, you can contact a specialized workshop or an enterprise that produces organic glass and products from it. It is recommended to make drawings in advance and apply markings on the polymethyl methacrylate canvas.

How to cut curly plexiglass

In some cases, it may be necessary to perform shape cutting. This is done in the following ways:

  • Caliper. Plexiglass is cut with sharp marking jaws.
  • Nichrome thread. A template is made of cardboard, which is glued to the workpiece. For convenience, the wire can be fixed in a simple jigsaw instead of a canvas. Then you need to carefully cut out the plexiglass part according to the template.
  • A glass cutter (cutter) can cut a circle. The suction cup is attached to the center of the intended circle, then a rail or ruler is attached to it. A glass cutter is rigidly attached to the rail with self-tapping screws. Turning the cutting tool around the suction cup, cut a groove in the plexiglass. Excess parts break off.

how and what is better to cut off the material and the rules for processing with a knife, jigsaw

Cutting plexiglass at home requires certain skills and knowledge. Otherwise, there is a high risk of injury and material damage. Today we will tell you what are the safe methods for cutting organic glass.

Which glue to choose

According to their principle of operation, all adhesives are divided into two large groups:

  • dissolve the near-surface layers of both parts to be bonded, ensures their interpenetration, parts, and the seam material form a single whole. Sometimes this type of gluing is called “cold welding”.
  • The near-surface layers do not dissolve to any significant depth; a layer of adhesive is located between the parts, which ensures adhesion. Such a connection is less durable, since plexiglass has a very low porosity. Adhesives, even those with high intrinsic adhesion, simply have nothing to cling to.
Plexiglass adhesive

Important! the components of the adhesives are highly active chemicals, they are hazardous to health, and are highly flammable. Therefore, you need to handle them with great care.

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Adhesive self-adhesive films

Self-adhesive tapes are a good alternative for repairing plexiglass products. Their undoubted advantage is the ability to glue both two plexiglass parts and plexiglass with other materials.

There are three main types of such films on the market:

  • Baseless adhesive films. In fact, it is a thin layer of adhesive several tens of microns thick. It is stored between two transport polyethylene films, which are removed just before gluing. These adhesive films can bond smooth, perfectly flat parts with low thermal expansion.
  • Films with a thin transparent base, several hundredths of a millimeter thick. Also requires a smooth surface, but the requirements are somewhat lower. The connection turns out to be less strong and theoretically detachable. you can try to remove the film.
  • Films with a thin foamed base, similar to the so-called double-sided tape. The thickness of the base ranges from tenths to several millimeters. Plexiglas can be glued with such films, even if the surfaces are not very even, but the bond strength is very low. Suitable for structures that are not subject to heavy loads.

The requirements for surface preparation and the maximum loads that the joint can withstand are specified in the manual enclosed with the specific film.

Acrifix 116 glue

In composition, it is close to grade 117, but differs in greater density and viscosity. Packaged in handy 100 ml tubes, making it easy to use in home workshops.

They can glue rough surfaces that do not have perfect smoothness.

Glue plexiglass to metal

Sometimes the DIYer needs to glue two dissimilar materials, such as plexiglass and metal.

In this case, you can use tools such as:

  • glue “88”;
  • dichloroethane;
  • adhesives of the “Liquid nails” family;
  • instant means, which indicate “suitable for gluing metal, plexiglass”.

Before gluing, the surfaces should be thoroughly cleaned and degreased.

Acrifix 117 glue

One of the most popular formulations for gluing plexiglass has a long and well-deserved popularity among home craftsmen.

It has the following advantages:

  • excellent bond strength;
  • high transparency of the suture material;
  • short setting time;
  • low toxicity, especially compared to dichloroethane;
  • high penetrating power makes heavy compression of parts unnecessary.

Unfortunately, the Acrifix 117 also has disadvantages that make it difficult for DIYers to access it:

  • packing in liter cans;
  • high price.

Experts recommend adding one tenth the volume of Acrifix 116 to Acrifix 117. This contributes to better filling of microroughnesses and increased adhesion.

DIY plexiglass glue

To make plexiglass adhesive, you will need a strong organic solvent and plexiglass shavings or sawdust. Small pieces that fit in a bottle can also be used.

As a component of the glue used:

  • acetone;
  • dichloroethane;
  • solution of polymethyl methacrylate in dichloroethane.

Add crushed plexiglass in small portions to the solvent bottle, stirring constantly with a wire loop or glass rod. The amount of plexiglass is established empirically based on the required consistency.

Another recipe for preparing a mixture that can be used to glue plexiglass involves dissolving ordinary foam (extruded polyurethane) in 646 solvent. The cooking process is exactly the same, with the only difference that the foam does not need to be crushed. It dissolves perfectly.

After the composition has become visually homogeneous and transparent, it must be kept for several hours until the dissolution process is complete.

Stir the mixture thoroughly before gluing.

The better to glue plexiglass

Both for repairing broken parts and for assembling new products, you should use a suitable adhesive.