Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 28

Thread: Cut Plexiglass on Table saw?

  1. #1

    Cut Plexiglass on Table saw?

    Can you cut plexiglass on a tablesaw or with any other woodworking tools? thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Glenmoore, PA
    Posts
    2,130
    Don't know about plexiglass but I have cut Lexan on both a TS and bandsaw. BS was fine but TS was a bit dicey.

  3. #3
    I have cut some with a saw. When I attempted it is chip and broke out easy. good luck. a band saw might be the way to do it.

  4. #4
    Yes you can...but. Wear eye protection. Use a fine tooth blade and feed very slowly. If the plastic gets hot it will gum up and make a mess of your blade, your saw and the edge of the piece of plastic. A band saw will cut easier but the cautions are the same. Oh, and did I mention wearing eye protection? And lastly, wear eye protection....
    David DeCristoforo

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Northfield, Mn
    Posts
    1,227
    Bandsaw will give you better results. Mark it and sand to your line with a beltsander, or use an edge sander to get a straight edge. You can also use a propane torch to get a shiny clean looking edge if that is neccessary.

  6. #6
    thanks for the help. you got me scared i think i'll just use a linoleum knife now...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Trinity County California
    Posts
    729
    I was having bad luck trying to cut edges on a router. I had no luck varying router bits. Nor did dropping the bit speed help. Finally, somebody in England suggested sandwiching the plexiglass between thin hardboard. That did the trick.

    It also worked on the tablesaw while using a 60-tooth plywood blade. Haven't tried it with a general purpose blade.

    Gary Curtis

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Lawrenceburg, Tenn.
    Posts
    910
    I made some bird feeders for xmas projects this year, and the 1/8" plexiglass that I used for the sides cut just fine on the tablesaw. I did gang all of the pieces I needed together with blue tape, and also taped the cut lines, which really helped with chipping.

    I had terrible luck with the knife that they sold with it. It scored the plastic just fine, but when I would go to snap it off, it chipped and broke irregularly.

    I then used a blowtorch to soften the edges. Practice that step before you do it on your final piece, and keep the flame moving over the edge. I clamped the torch supply bottle down, and moved the workpiece across it, rather than the other way around. When you are done, lay it on a flat surface to cool, as thin stuff like I used had a tendency to warp a bit with the heat.

    Doc
    If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the precipitate. ~Anonymous.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    1,996
    I use a cheap 60-80 tooth plywood blade installed backwards on the table saw (ie. a blade with shallow gullets and high negative tooth angle). It works great. I have also used a bandsaw with good success. Any non-reciprocating saw should work fine for cutting plexiglass (ie. avoid jig saws and sawzalls)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Summit, NJ
    Posts
    996
    not easy but depends on the thickness, a 0 clearance insert helps and a negative kerf blade that is made to cut plastic helps prevent chip out. I also put masking tape on both sides where I am going to cut to help with chip out and marks.

    I usually use my festool saw for this works great because it sandwiches the material between the guide and table so there is no chip out and good support also you can do a light cut backwards and then forwards for a perfect cut on both side. Just adding this in case you have one.
    -=Jason=-

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Westchester Ca
    Posts
    370
    Neat trick I learned some where on the internet is to tilt your TS blade to 45 degrees, then raise the blade about a 1/16" and run your piece thru. This makes a perfect score line works great

    I also found scoring it this way on both sides works even better
    Last edited by Dan Lee; 05-19-2008 at 3:45 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Sturbridge, MA
    Posts
    85
    New to woodworking and recently built a cross cut sled that called for a 1/4" plexi blade guard.

    Had no luck using the scoring w/ a sharp utility blade methods either.

    Was contemplating the plastic blade Freud makes but it's like $90 (which is fine for blade I'll use often) and I don't see myself cutting that much plexi.

    Found a $20 (or less - don't recall exact price) blade at the orange borg that worked great. Made by Oldham, comes in a cheap yellow plastic packaging. Has 200 teeth, like a plywood blade on 'roids.

    Did the job very well, but man that stuff (the plexi) smells terrible after cutting it, and it wasn't even melting or anything. Left a decent cut that required only a small but of sanding to soften up and clean up the edge.
    Last edited by Michael Poller; 05-19-2008 at 5:05 PM. Reason: Icon Removal

  13. #13
    Plexiglass on the TS, not a problem. It cuts pretty well. Although with everybody saying BS, I might give that a try.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Little Rock, AR
    Posts
    1,993
    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Curtis View Post
    I was having bad luck trying to cut edges on a router. I had no luck varying router bits. Nor did dropping the bit speed help. Finally, somebody in England suggested sandwiching the plexiglass between thin hardboard. That did the trick.

    It also worked on the tablesaw while using a 60-tooth plywood blade. Haven't tried it with a general purpose blade.

    Gary Curtis
    in years past i remember plexiglass coming with a thin cardboard backing that was stuck to both sides for that very purpose, to make it easier to cut with common saws.

    i don't know when this fell out of practice or it's just the places i've gotten it from that don't carry it like that anymore.

    anyways, if you can find it with the cardboard paper attached to it that'll solve your problem.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Stephenville, TX
    Posts
    914
    I've cut it with a bandsaw before and had reasonable luck. I made a fairly short cut - two feet or so - stopped the saw and cleaned the melted and rehardened plastic off things and repeated the process. I tried it with a tablesaw and threw little bits of plexiglass all over. I sandwiched it between two scrap pieces of plywood and it helped make a smoother cut but still had breaks along the edges that ran in at shallow angles about an inch.

    I've cut similar things with a circular saw with the blade reversed, but never thought about doing the same thing with a tablesaw blade. D'oh! You might call a glass company and ask what they use.
    And now for something completely different....

Similar Threads

  1. Steel City granite-top table saw - Informal review
    By Brian Effinger in forum General Woodworking and Power Tools
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 05-01-2008, 11:34 PM
  2. Meehanite and the unflat table...
    By Dev Emch in forum General Woodworking and Power Tools
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 05-02-2005, 7:28 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •