Perspex is a highly durable, flexible, and weather-resistant material with near-limitless applications compared to glass and other materials. However, your supply of perspex will generally come in a large sheet or rectangle form. As such, bespoke cutting is necessary to get the perfect size of perspex sheets you can use for specific applications. Below is a guide on how to cut perspex to size.
●Cutting With A Scoring Knife
Scoring knives offer one of the best ways to get your perspex cut to size when the need arises. This process is simple and doesn't need a power saw or other heavy-duty electrical tools. Still, the process requires that you,
1.Mark the area of the sheet you intend to cut.
2.Use your scoring knife to cut a narrow groove in the perspex sheeting.
3.Place the perspex sheet over a hard edge with groove-side up.
4.Clamp your sheet to prevent it from shifting.
5.Bend the overhang side of the perspex sheet with equal and quick motions.
6.The groove will deepen as the crack moves throughout the sheet when it bends. This bending will result in the detachment of two pieces with relatively clean and straight edges.
●Cutting With A Table Saw
Table saws are commonly used to cut very thick perspex sheets. A 10" plastic cutting saw blade is reportedly the best blade for this task, while the 7 1/4″ plastic cutting saw blade if you’re using a circular saw. To cut your perspex using a table saw,
1.Mark the area where you would like to cut the perspex or use a straight edge to guide your table saw in a straight line.
2.Apply painter's tape along the side of the lines for additional protection from cracks and chips when the cutting process starts.
3.Use foam insulation before cutting to lower vibrations in the perspex sheet that can cause rough edges or cracks.
4.Cut your perspex in a straight line at a moderate and steady pace. This cutting technique is best for your safety and ensures smoother surfaces as well. Also, don't cut too slowly to prevent grating at the plastic and causing cracks or chips.
●Cutting With A Jigsaw
Jigsaws can cut through thick perspex sheets, but they are mainly used to cut curves into plastics. Many experts recommend using a fine-toothed blade designed to cut plastic. To cut your perspex using a jigsaw,
1.Use a marker to draw your desired design onto the perspex.
2.Line your designs with painter's tape to reduce cracking.
3.Secure either side of the perspex using a clamp, thick wood, or other heavy objects to reduce vibrations, imperfections, and injury.
4.Cut along the desired design made in step 1 using your jigsaw. However, always experiment with various cutting speeds since this significantly impacts the cut's quality.
Your cut-out section will require some smoothing and polishing, irrespective of the cutting method you will use. As such, you will need a power drill with a buffing pad and a polishing compound made for plastic. In addition, you will require a wood or rubber sanding block and multiple sandpaper pieces ranging from 120 to 600 grit. To finish your perspex,
1.Place your sandpaper in water for about 15 minutes and begin sanding with your 120 grit sandpaper. Then, use grittier sandpaper as the edges get smoother.
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