Can You Cut Plexiglass With A Table Saw? (An ultimate Guide)


Can You Cut Plexiglass With A Table Saw

How does a table saw cut plexiglass? Is it even possible since plexiglass is made of acrylic materials which can be exposed to heat effects? the answer is yes, with the right type of plexiglass, you can do this job.

In short, Yes, it’s possible to use a table saw when cutting acrylic plexiglass material, with a little guidance the process becomes easier and reduces the probability of melting the sheet or cracking. This includes using a right thickness of a table saw blade, pressure, and feed rate as well.

Here is a short video of the process.

In this blog, we’ll discuss cutting plexiglass with a table saw.

Table saws can cut what types of plexiglass?

There are many types of plexiglass. For you to determine which materials can be cut with a table saw, you should have enough knowledge of the materials and how they will react to the cutting process.

Plexiglass comes in three types:

In fact, different acrylic sheets have varying properties, some are thin, not suitable for cutting directly by a table saw instead require hand tools like knives. Others that are thick can be feed into a table saw. 

  • Cast acrylic plexiglass
  • Extruded acrylic plexiglass
  • Polycarbonate plexiglass

Here is a short video of plexiglass.

Can you Cut acrylic plexiglass with a table saw?

Plexiglass is most commonly thought of by most people as cast acrylic sheets. 

They can be cut with a table saw because of their high melting point they can hold up to heat without melting down like others. 

On the list of materials, this one is the most expensive due to its dense nature and is stronger than other types.

However, there are still some cautions to take into account. Which includes, right thickness of the table saw blade, and choose the blade specifically designed for cutting such materials.

Can you cut Extruded acrylic sheets with a table saw?

Compared to cast acrylic, they are softer and more prone to melting and when exposed to heat effects. 

The better way to cut such glasses is to hand tools since they are easy to cut through, less dense.

When exposed to power tools such as the table saw this type of plexiglass can easily be melted. 

It takes additional care regarding the blades, speed, and force, which is typical in some cases, and most likely the end result will not be good-looking with a table saw, recommended is to use a hand tool like knives.

Can you cut Polycarbonate sheets with a table saw?

Cutting polycarbonate sheets with a table saw can be done safely, but special care should be taken. 

This is a more flexible material than plexiglass, so it may take some experimenting at first to familiarize yourself with the different saw blades and how to feed the sheet through the table saw.

In spite of this, to prevent melting, it should not be touched with more speed and wrong blades, since it tends to melt under friction

The best way to cut plexiglass with a tab saw

The following steps can be used for all types of saws, including a table saw, circular saw, or jigsaw. 

Summary-

Prepare your tools, mark your transparent material, and cut as usual just pay attention to reduce the vibration. If the blade overheats change use a more toothed blade to minimize chipping and cracking risk.

Step 1 – Measure the thickness first

It’s crucial to understand whether or not you should be using a power tool. Table saws are safe to use up to ¼ inch thick plexiglass.

However, if the glass is thin there is a greater probability of melting through saw blade friction. In such a case, you would be better off using the knife method. 

Using a saw on thin plexiglass may result in chipping due to friction caused by the table saw.

Step.2 Mark the spots to make the cut

Before you start cutting, use what you have on hand to measure the plexiglass from where to perform cuts

Specifically designed markers exist that work on acrylic sheets, so you can use them

Step 3 – Choose the Saw Blade

An appropriate saw blade to work with plexiglass is measured by the number of teeth it has.

To perform cuts on a thicker surface, use a table saw blade with a greater number of teeth.

Opposed to that, to perform cuts on thinner plexiglass, a table saw with fewer teeth would be more appropriate.

Step 4 – Lock the sheet uptight.

When using a table saw, there is one consideration you should take into account. It’s the fact that the material vibrates-which can lead to cracks. 

Thus, to prevent such a scenario.

On a table saw there is a feature The push block, a device with three-dimensional gripping power allowing the material to be held safely so that it doesn’t vibrate.

Step 5 – Put on safety goggles

It is always advisable to wear safety glasses when cutting with a table saw, but especially when cutting plexiglass.

Step 5 – Procedure of cutting plexiglass.

Once the basic things are all set up. it’s time to perform fine cuts. 

This is how it is done.

With one end of the acrylic attached to the fence, slid it slowly through the blade while the saw is running. Make sure you use the appropriate blades otherwise during cutting the material may begin to melt or becomes uneven, in that case, immediately shut off the tool and replace it with a more toothed blade.

Step 6 – Sand Edges

After the cutting process, you will need to make the edges balanced with sand-grit paper. 

Towards making the corners look nice, an abrasive with a number anywhere between 150 and 220 will get the job just right. 

Table saw blade thickness: choosing the right one to cut plexiglass.

Note that the thickness of the blade varies with the plexiglass.  There are acrylic cutting blades that are specifically designed for cutting plexiglass, however, any metallic blade fitted with carbide tips will work.

Here’s what experts recommend for cutting cast acrylic sheets.

If the plexiglass thickness is 1/16th to 1/8th of an inch, use the blade with a diameter of 10 to 14 inches with 80-100 tooths.

Another way to determine the size of the saw blade. The blade cut-off distance of 1/8 inch should be maintained above the sheet. 

Anyways, if the thickness is 1/8th to ½ inch of the plexiglass, the blade clearance should be ¼ inch.  

The ideal feed rate for cutting flexible glass on a table saw.

The rate of movement is vital, it helps prevent getting cracks or get the material burned. 

For best results, your table saw feed rate should be set at about 3 inches per second, or lower if you’re a beginner. 

You can increase the feed rate if you’re working with a long sheet, anything 5 seconds per inch to 6 is considered good by experts. However, more the speed also requires strong locking to control vibration

Ways to cut plexiglass other than a table saw.

There are plenty of reasons why anyone will look for other ways. 

For example, If you don’t have a table saw, or right blade, or if you realize that the acrylic sheet you’re working with is too thin so would not withstand table-saw cutting.

The below cutting methods are appropriate for thin acrylic sheets, see below.

Using utility knives

For precisely cutting plexiglass, there are specially designed knives can be found on the market.

Ideally, if you want to cut a small piece of plexiglass sheet that has a thickness of ⅛ inches. Using knives is so far the best and cheapest option you can go with.

Using a grinder with a cutting wheel

If your intentions are to perform some circular cuts for some reason on an acrylic sheet. You can use a grinder equipped with a cutting wheel. It gives you an outcome. 

However, this method is only suitable for cast acrylic sheets, with a sheet thickness of ⅙ inches.

Using Jigsaw

JIGsaws can be used on thick or thin plexiglass, and they allow you to cut straight lines or circles, or any other shape that would be irregular.

If you have a jigsaw available in your workplace, consider this it’s a good alternative to a table saw for performing smooth cuts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Posts