Plexiglass can be a difficult material to work with. It is brittle and will crack easily unless the right tools are used. A Dremel tool, which can cut through many materials, is an excellent way to get clean cuts on plexiglass.
This blog post will teach you how to use your Dremel for cutting plexiglass without scratching it or cracking it in the process.
Step 1: Gather Your Tools
Before you can cut plexiglass, you’re going to need some tools. Here are the tools you will need:
- A ruler or straight-edge of some sort
- A cutting board
- A pencil or pen
- A Dremel power tool with a 1 – 2 inch diamond bit cutting disc
- A small block of wood to set the plexiglass on while cutting
- An old sock or similar cloth to put on the disc while cutting
- Safety googles
Step 2: Measure the Plexiglass and Mark Your Line
The first step is to measure how long you want the plexiglass cut. Be precise, as a poor cut will ruin whatever project you’re working on. Next, draw a line on the plexiglass that marks where you want it to be cut. You can use a grease pencil or a marker for this.
Step 3: Cut the Plexiglass
Now it’s time to get out your rotary tool and your cutting disc. Attach the cutting disc, put on your goggles, and set the block of wood over where you’ll be cutting. Put the plexiglass on top of the block, then turn on the rotary tool.
Begin cutting slowly, applying moderate downward pressure. The disc will cut through the plexiglass, but it does tend to catch and kick around a lot if you don’t stay calm while cutting.
As soon as you see that the disc has gone all the way through the plexiglass, turn off the rotary tool and let it sit for a few minutes before moving it. This is to prevent damage to your plexiglass during handling.
Step 4: Take Off the Sharp Edge
If you wish, after cutting the plexiglass you can smooth down any rough edges with an emery board or sandpaper. Make sure to wear gloves while doing this, as the plexiglass can irritate your hands and fingers easily.
Step 5: Reattach the Plexiglass to its Frame
If you need to fit the now-cut plexiglass into a frame you’ve already built, just line it up with the frame and use clear packing tape to reattach it. Be sure this is done before you continue on to step six.
Step 6: Clean-Up
When your cutting job is finished, simply remove the rotary tool’s disc (be careful of any sharp shards of plexiglass that may be present) and wipe off the cutting board. You can throw out or recycle your plexiglass scrap and put away your tools to clean up.
Step 7: Show Off Your Work
You’re done with your project, so be proud of it!
Doesn’t matter whether you’ve built a frame that holds a picture of you and your family or a model of the new car your company just released, you can always take pride knowing that you made it yourself.
Tips on How to Cut Plexiglass
- Always wear safety glasses and gloves when cutting plexiglass as acrylic dust is very irritating to the eyes and skin.
- Mark where you want to cut your plexiglass, but do not mark all the way through. Only mark enough so that the plastic will break off when cut.
- If you are not cutting with a circular saw, be sure to score the plexiglass where you want it to break by pressing your ruler or measuring tape down on the surface of the plexiglass and marking across (perpendicular) with your marker or pencil.
- Cut plexiglass with a Dremel by using the drill press attachment that holds your Dremel.
- Wear a dust mask as acrylic dust is irritating to breathe in.
How to Cut Plexiglass With a Circular Saw
- Place your plexiglass on a hard, flat surface.
- Attach the saw blade to your circular saw and plug it in.
- When cutting your plexiglass, you will want to start with a coarse grinding wheel or diamond blade. These blades can cut through plexiglass much quicker than other types of blades.
- Keep on switching out your blades until you get a blade that can cut through your plexiglass easily.
- When finished, use a pair of pliers to remove the cut plexiglass from your saw blade.
- If there is any excess plexiglass, you can use a razor blade to scrape it off. Be sure not to scratch up your saw bit as it may break the blade of your circular saw.
With this step-by-step guide on cutting plexiglass with a Dremel, what are you waiting for? Go out and make some scrap go away!