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Help me cut Plexiglas

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by CitricGuy, Sep 23, 2003.


  1. Ok, here is my idea. First of all, I had NO idea that plexiglas was spelled that way. Secondly, I had no idea that it was a trademark and not a real word.

    Finally, how do I cut plexiglas without it exploding/cracking or fracturing? My goal is to cut a sheet of Blue Tinted plexiglas to the exact size of a pick guard. I want to clean up the underside of the pickguard and install BRIGHT blue LED's. I think after I sand down the body of the bass and repaint it, it will look pretty cool. So, If anyone knows how to cut plexiglas please let me know! :bassist:
     
  2. Thank you! Off I go to get them tools. :D
     
  3. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001
    Hmm, I always though it was a real word too.
     
  4. Yea, it just seems to fracture at even the slightest cut.. I think heating it will dampen some of the fracture's though.
     
  5. Tim Cole

    Tim Cole

    Jun 12, 2002
    Findlay, Ohio
    Iver tried repeatedly to cut plexiglass, with no luck. Odds are, it is too brittle for anything you would want to use it for anyway. What you need is Lexan, more expensive, but MUCH easier to work with.
     
  6. What about Acrylic. Its a form of polymer/plastic. Easy to work with. comes in every colour imaginable and can be dyed....

    :D:D

    Merls
     
  7. I did it a couple times @ work, using a CNC router. Of course, maybe you don't have one in your garage! I'd try using a hand router with some kind of jig and a holding device.
     
  8. Metal-toothed bandsaw blade. Just don't "crash" into the part with the tool, and try some testers out before you go to cut the actual part.

    But, I just use acrylic when I need a mirror/clear/tinted glass like surface. Just made a part yesterday to show off gasket sealing.
     
  9. Schwinn

    Schwinn

    Dec 4, 2002
    Sarasota, FL
    I tried cutting plexiglas with a saw one time for a project. It was difficult to do without it melting behind the blade. The best way to do it is to find a window shop that will cut it for you if you don't have the right tools for the job.
     
  10. I (we) cut tons of acrylic (Plexiglas), polycarbonate, styrene, etc. every day. There really isn't a secret to it.

    For jigsaw cutting, you should be using a blade in the 18-20 tpi range. Go slow to avoid melting and you'll get a decent cut but it will have to be sanded for final finishing.

    If your saw will take a Porter Cable blade, their standard is the best blade for fine cutting. It has no tooth offset on the outside of the blade, just inside. Smoothest cut I've ever seen.

    Cutting with a router leaves the cleanest edge but can be messy with the shavings. You can use spiral up, spiral down, or straight flute bits. I'd avoid single flute versions and start with 2 flute bits. Any RPM above 10,000 will be perfect for cutting. If you use a router, be careful of the direction you rout your shape. You want to create what is called a "mill cut" by moving in a counterclockwise direction around your pattern. The other way (called a "climb" cut) will deposit melted residue on your work piece that will have to be sanded.

    PM if you have other questions.
     
  11. The Setup guru strikes again...

    Hammy.. get back in our forum and stop playing in the mud!

    :D:D

    Merls
     
  12. Get a butter knife, and just get a rythm goin'.;) :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
     
  13. I ended up using a 99 cent floor tile instead of plexi glass cut to the exact dementions. It looks cool from far away but is completely pointless. Not only that I ripped off all the freats filled the holes in with wood puddy and loaded it with wood hardner