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8 800 700-00-99 [email protected] 90000 How to Accurately Cut Plexiglass with just a Jigsaw 90001 90002 90003 Facebook2 90004 90003 Twitter 90004 90003 Pinterest583 90004 90009 90010 90010 90012 A jigsaw is a handy tool that can take on plenty of tasks in the garage and workshop. However, it is important to know what a jigsaw is best used for. If you're wondering how to cut plexiglass, a jigsaw is the perfect tool to do so. 90013 90012 When cutting plexiglass, it's important to take a few safety precautions and protect the material while you work.Plexiglass is very brittle and fragile, and you do not want to ruin your entire piece with a mistake that is easy to avoid. 90013 90012 Here, we'll explain how to safely and precisely cut plexiglass with a jigsaw. We'll also share how to ensure you do not break or chip your plexiglass in the process. 90013 90018 90018 90020 What is Plexiglass 90021 90012 If you buy something through a link in our posts, we may get a small share of the sale. 90013 90012 Plexiglass is a transparent plastic that goes by the title of "acrylic glass," but the brand names Plexiglas, Acrylite, Lucie, and Perspex all indicate the same material.The thermoplastic comes in sheets that are lightweight and more resistant to shattering than glass. 90013 90012 Despite its durability, plexiglass is more prone to scratching than regular glass, so manufacturers often add scratch-resistant layers on top of the plexiglass. A conventional method of cutting this material is via laser, which achieves a clean cut. 90013 90012 However, most DIY'ers do not have a laser cutter, which is why a great jigsaw is a very accessible substitute. The jigsaw will work great, provided you follow these instructions so you do not break the plexiglass.90013 90030 Ways to Cut Plexiglass 90031 90002 90003 Use a jigsaw when you're making curved cuts 90004 90003 Use a band saw if you have particularly brittle plexiglass 90004 90003 Use a table saw when you're making long straight cuts 90004 90003 Use a hacksaw only if you do not have any of the saws mentioned 90004 90003 Use a laser cutting device if you're fancy and own one. Ok, lets be honest - if you have a laser cutting device, you're probably not reading this article 🙂 90004 90009 90012 Although plexiglass is durable, it will break when stress is applied.Fortunately, it will not shatter the same way glass does. Instead, it will break apart into large pieces without sharp edges. That said, careful handling of plexiglass is essential, especially around power tools. 90013 90030 Why Use a Jigsaw? 90031 90012 With a melting point around 320 degrees, this poly blend stays solid in most scenarios, but welding and some high-heat tools can melt it. A jigsaw works well because the blade does not get hot enough to melt the plexiglass. 90013 90012 A jigsaw is particularly good choice because of it's ability to cut both straight and curved lines, while also allowing you to work across large plexiglass surfaces.90013 90052 90052 90020 When to Use a Jigsaw for Cutting Plexiglass 90021 90012 As you can see, there are a lot of different saws that you can use to cut plexi glass with. However, the jigsaw is the perfect saw when you need to make curved cuts, or adjust your angle as you go. 90013 90012 Jigsaws cut in a straight line like other types of saws, but their unique design allows them to cut in a curving motion as well. 90013 90012 You can also start cutting in the middle of a piece of material 90061 without coming in from the edge 90062.This is done by drilling a hole in the plexiglass, then placing the jigsaw blade in the hole. 90013 90012 Jigsaws 'ability to cut straight, at angles, and in a circular (or another shape) motion makes them versatile tools for cutting plexiglass (along with a lot of your other woodworking needs). 90013 90012 A really good jig saw will be able to handle all of these different cuts easily on a variety of materials, such as plexiglass, and a good example of that is Black + Decker's BDEJS600C. 90013 90020 How to Cut Plexiglass with a Jigsaw 90021 90012 Choose a surface that will support your plexiglass sheet while you work.Dropping the material with a jigsaw in your hand not only ruins your project, but it's dangerous too. Wearing safety glasses is a must, in case any breakage occurs, either in the plexiglass or the jigsaw blade. Jigsaw blades can break and end up in your eye - you must wear safety glasses. 90013 90030 Before You Start Cutting 90031 90012 One way to prevent your plexiglass from chipping as you cut is to apply masking tape on both sides of the cut before starting. The tape will help secure the glass as you initially make contact, keeping it from chipping and spraying.90013 90012 Sometimes your plexiglass will have a protective plastic on it from the manufacturer. If this is the case, leave it on instead of applying masking tape. You can cut through the plastic and then remove it when you are done cutting. 90013 90012 Also, if the type of cut you are doing allows for it, try clamping the plexiglass down to a surface. Once you get into the cutting portion, it can be hard to hold the plexi in place at times. 90013 90030 1. Chose the Right Jigsaw Blade 90031 90012 Choosing the right blade is a vital part of the preparation because a blade that's not fine enough will only chew up the plexiglass.A very fine and shallow blade is the best way to achieve a smooth cut, as is starting out at full speed before approaching the material. 90013 90012 A good choice for cutting plexiglass with a jigsaw is a 10 TPI (teeth per inch) bi-metal jigsaw blade. Another recommended choice is a really sharp hollow ground wood blade. Avoid very fine metal blades, as they can clog while cutting, melting the plastic in the plexi. 90013 90012 Choosing the right blade is perhaps the most important part of the cutting process, believe it or not.90013 90030 2. How to Approach the Cut 90031 90012 Avoid laying right into the plexiglass with the jigsaw. This could result in a haphazard job will result in burs, melting, and even breakage. 90013 90012 If you start out at a low speed, this could cause pressure breakage along the edge or starting point of your plexiglass. 90013 90012 Unfortunately, if your jigsaw has a "soft start" feature, it's probably not the best tool to use to cut this type of material. 90013 90012 Soft start jigsaws do not hit full speed until they meet resistance, making them difficult to use in some precision applications.90013 90012 Aside from the soft start, you should be fine. 90013 90100 90100 90102 Practice on a Smaller Piece 90103 90012 Practice on a smaller, scrap piece of plexiglass before making your first cut. This will allow you to get the hang of cutting a new surface like plexiglass. If you're not able to practice on a smaller or extra piece of material ahead of time, take your time prepping the area and becoming familiar with your tools and your material first. 90013 90102 Approach with Some Speed ​​90103 90012 Do not start your jigsaw up with the blade in contact with the plexiglass.Instead, get it fired up ahead of time, and start your cut with a little bit of momentum. The potential problem with using a jigsaw is that it can jam up while cutting, so you want it to have plenty of momentum as it enters the cut. 90013 90012 This momentum can mess up your accuracy a bit, though. This is why practicing is important. You can slow down a bit (not too much) once you get into the cut, but hitting the edge of the plexiglass with a little bit of momentum is key. 90013 90030 3. How to Avoid Melting 90031 90012 Because plexiglass is plastic, it is prone to melting from blade friction and heat.There are ways to avoid melting your plexiglass as you work, however. This is key because the material can melt together immediately following your jigsaw's cut, destroying any progress that you've made. 90013 90102 Cut Steadily 90103 90012 If you cut too slowly, this gives the jigsaw more time to transfer heat to the plexiglass. Although the jigsaw will not reach high enough temperatures to melt the entire piece of plexiglass, it can melt enough of it to warp the project and create an uneven cut.90013 90012 Cutting at a steady pace keeps the material cool, but do not rush too fast or you risk fracturing the plexiglass in your haste. A 90061 moderate, steady, and careful speed 90062 will earn the best results. 90013 90012 If you're thinking to yourself "it sounds like I should not cut too fast, and I should not cut too slow" ... well, thats exactly right. Therein lies the finesse of cutting plexiglass, especially curved cuts with a jigsaw. Too fast and you might fracture the glass, too slow and the blade might jam and break.In this case, right in the middle between fast and slow is perfect. 90013 90102 Do not Pause 90103 90012 For the same reason that cutting slowly is hazardous, so is pausing mid-cut. Leaving the saw in one place for too long lets the surrounding plexiglass heat up, potentially ruining your work. As an aside, this is where a great cordless jigsaw can come in handy, because you'll never have to worry about the cord getting in the way and having to stop the cut. 90013 90012 90131 90132 90013 90030 4.How to Prevent Plexiglass Breakage 90031 90012 Another issue with cutting plexiglass, regardless of the method, is its tendency to break. Although it's durable, plexiglass is somewhat brittle, and many people prefer to score and then snap thinner sheets. This may not be the most precise method of making a straight cut, but it is useful in some scenarios. 90013 90012 However, for curved lines or angles, your jigsaw will make a better cut than simply snapping the sheet in half. But you also run the risk of chipping or cracking the plexiglass.Here are a few ways to avoid breakage: 90013 90102 Use a Cooling Lubricant 90103 90012 Applying a lubricant has two functions- it helps to cool the plexiglass and reduces friction. Choose a non-flammable lubricant to apply to the plexiglass before cutting, and the sawing motion will proceed more smoothly. 90013 90102 Use Water 90103 90012 Another alternative to store-bought lubricants is a quick spritz of water as you work, depending on how warm the plexiglass becomes. 90013 90012 You can use water to keep the blade of your jigsaw cool.The hotter the blade gets, the easier it is for the glass to warp or melt. 90149 90013 90102 Apply Masking Tape 90103 90012 As we mentioned at the start, a layer or two of masking tape on the surface of the plexiglass can help prevent chipping by physically protecting the edges of your cut. At the same time, the jigsaw will have no difficulty cutting through the tape at the same time it shears off the plexiglass. Afterward, removing the masking tape is a simple and relatively clean process.90013 90155 90155 90030 5. Use Your Jigsaw to Cut the Plexiglass 90031 90012 Once you've chosen the proper plexiglass jigsaw blade, lubricant, and work area, it's time to use your jigsaw to make the cuts. Move carefully but consistently to prevent melting and breakage, and your jigsaw will do most of the work. 90013 90012 If during your cutting, you feel a little more resistance from the blade than your comfortable with, feel free to back off of the cut and turn the jigsaw off for a moment.You can start the saw back up from outside the cut when ready and re-enter. 90013 90030 6. Cleaning Up the Edges 90031 90012 When you're done making your jigsaw cuts on plexiglass, you might be left with a few ragged corners or edges. Sharp cuts and curved edges can sometimes have this as a result. 90013 90012 If you want to clean up those edges and make them smooth, you can sand the areas with a fine grit of sandpaper. 90013 90012 If you really want a smooth edge, try using a router instead! 90013 90020 When to Use Other Saws to Cut Plexiglass 90021 90012 The jigsaw is the perfect saw to use for cutting plexiglass when you need to make tight, curved cuts.It is also really convenient, as you're using a powerful, handheld saw. 90013 90012 However, there are situations when it makes sense to use a different saw for cutting plexi: 90013 90030 When to Use a Bandsaw to Cut Plexiglass 90031 90012 A bandsaw makes a great cutting saw for plexi glass because it has a continuous blade that moves in one direction. Rather than a jigsaw, which has a reciprocating blade that moves back and forth, a band saw uses a long, continuous blade for cutting. 90013 90012 This means that the best band saw will not cause as much chipping as a jigsaw might.90013 90012 However, a bandsaw is not a hand saw - it is a big saw that you use a lot differently. Most notably, 90061 with a bandsaw, you push the plexiglass through the cut. 90062 90061 With a jigsaw, you push the saw through the plexiglass. 90062 90013 90012 Why does this matter? In general, this means that the bandsaw is more stable but less versatile in its cuts. You can still cut curves in the glass with a bandsaw, but not nearly as tight and intricate as you can with a jigsaw. 90013 90191 90191 90030 When to Use a Table Saw to Cut Plexiglass 90031 90012 A table saw is the perfect power saw to use on plexiglass, so long as you're making long, straight cuts.A table saw can not make curved cuts, period. To even try is extremely dangerous, and pretty much ineffective. 90013 90012 However, if you have a straight cut, then the best table saw will be wonderfully accurate and efficient. You'll be able to measure and cut with ease. 90013 90012 Another factor to consider is if you have multiple pieces of plexi to make the same cut on. If so, the table saw speeds up your cutting quite a bit. Once you measure and set up your table saw and table saw fence, you can rip through all of the cuts (pun intended).90013 90012 Make sure you are using the right table saw blade to cut plexiglass with. Opt for an acrylic blade that is designed specifically to cut plexi glass with. 90013 90203 90203 90030 When to Use a Hacksaw to Cut Plexiglass 90031 90012 Do not use a hacksaw to cut plexiglass. There, we said it. In truth, the only reason you would use a hacksaw is if you do not have any of the other saws we've listed. 90013 90012 To be honest, using a hacksaw just will not give you a nice result. Unless you an expert craftsman with this type of saw, chances are high you'll have some extremely rough edges, and your plexi might not survive the cut.90013 90012 Even a cheap jigsaw will do a better job than a hacksaw, so maybe it's time to pick one up! 90013 90020 Conclusion 90021 90012 If you're new to jigsaws or working with plexiglass, learning how to cut plexiglass with a jigsaw may seem daunting. But with these simple steps, it's easier than ever to create a clean and intentional cut in your material of choice. 90013.90000 The Jigsaw Classroom: Overview 90001 90002 The students in a history class, for example, are divided into small groups of five or six students each. Suppose their task is to learn about World War II. In one jigsaw group, Sarah is responsible for researching Hitler's rise to power in pre-war Germany. Another member of the group, Lisa, is assigned to cover concentration camps; Michael is assigned Britain's role in the war; Melody is to research the contribution of the Soviet Union; Pedro will handle Japan's entry into the war; Clara will read about the development of the atom bomb.90003 90004 90005 90006 90002 Eventually each student will come back to her or his jigsaw group and will try to present a well-organized report to the group. The situation is specifically structured so that the only access any member has to the other five assignments is by listening closely to the report of the person reciting. Thus, if Pedro does not like Michael, or if he thinks Sarah is a nerd and tunes her out or makes fun of her, he can not possibly do well on the test that follows.90003 90004 90010 90002 To increase the chances that each report will be accurate, the students doing the research do not immediately take it back to their jigsaw group. Instead, they meet first with students who have the identical assignment (one from each jigsaw group). For example, students assigned to the atom bomb topic meet as a team of specialists, gathering information, becoming experts on their topic, and rehearsing their presentations. We call this the "expert" group.It is particularly useful for students who might have initial difficulty learning or organizing their part of the assignment, for it allows them to hear and rehearse with other "experts." 90003 90004 90014 90002 Once each presenter is up to speed, the jigsaw groups reconvene in their initial heterogeneous configuration. The atom bomb expert in each group teaches the other group members about the development of the atom bomb. Each student in each group educates the whole group about her or his specialty.Students are then tested on what they have learned about World War II from their fellow group member. 90003 90004 .

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