A jigsaw is an extremely versatile tool. That can be used to cut all sorts of materials from hard to soft. Moreover, this brings as to the point. Let us tell you how to cut plexiglass with a jigsaw as well.
Even though it sounds like a tough job but once you go through this detailed guide, you will have a clear idea of how to excel at this task.
Firstly, it would be great if you try cutting a few samples of Plexiglass before you lay your hands on the project. This will help you to get an idea, besides you will have experience with the nature of the material you are about to cut. However, you should know, exactly why the Jigsaw machine is a perfect tool for this objective.
Why Should You Use Jigsaw to Cut Plexiglass?
There are several reasons why you should use a jigsaw to cut Plexiglass. Foremost of them is that heated tools or welding machines can melt Plexiglass because of its poly-bend built.
The melting point of the Plexiglass is around 320 degrees, therefore, in this case, a jigsaw is a better choice. That is because jigsaw blades don’t heat that much as compared to other welding machines.
Moreover, with a jigsaw, you can craft artistic designs, from beautiful curves to straight minimalistic cuts. The jigsaw’s ability to cut is way more satisfying and suitable when it comes to cutting sensitive materials. For instance, Plexiglass.
These are the reasons why you should use a jigsaw machine to cut Plexiglass.
Furthermore, follow these basic steps of cutting Plexiglass with a jigsaw and you won’t have a lot of trouble completing any project requiring cutting of tender materials.
Basic Steps For Cutting Plexiglass With Jigsaw
By following these quick-easy-to-learn steps you will be able to cut Plexiglas without damaging the overall shape or harming yourself.
Start from placing the Plexiglass properly on the working bench, this is because you must have the entire glass before your eyes.
Secondly, you should know that with measurements and attention comes precision. Therefore, draw the cutting line with the help of a ruler on the Plexiglass determining how much you desire to cut and in what shape.
Thirdly, you can visualize your cutline better by covering it with a painter’s tape. Simply stick it over the cutline. Further, mark your cutline once again over the tape and ensure that the measurements are perfect.
Before starting the cutting process do not forget to ensure your safety. For example, do wear safety goggles, gloves, ear-covers, and mask. It will give you a professional look as well as keep you secure.
Next, adjust the jigsaw’s base and insert the blade. Then, place the blade at the beginning of your cutting line.
Finally, turn on your jigsaw and start cutting with a calm temperament and stay focused on the cutting line. Initially cut through a couple of inches of the Plexiglass sheet.
The blade’s temperature will eventually you will be able to cut at a noticeably faster pace. So, go on till the end of the glass, once you are done, keep an eye for the overhanging section of the Plexiglass prevent it from falling. Most importantly, keep your hands away from the hot blade.
These are the basic steps that you can follow for achieving your objective. However, ahead are explained a few other factors that are important for you to know.
Things You Need to Know Before Cutting Plexiglass With Jigsaw
If you want to accomplish your tasks professionally and efficiently, especially while cutting Plexiglass with an advanced jigsaw? Then have a look at these important factors.
Clamping plexiglass to Study Surface
Clamping your plexiglass with a stable surface will greatly ease things up for you if you want to avoid making errors. It is better if you initially use two clamps for more stability and balance. Further, Leave the end to be cut hanging over the edge of the bench with plenty of room between it and bench.
Mark the line of the cut
Marking the line of cut is another crucial aspect that you need to keep in mind. Simply draw a line from one end of the plexiglass to the other end, it will improve your precision.
You should understand that your safety is important, wear goggles and gloves. This is because when you cut materials like glass with a jigsaw, small pieces often bounce off and can hit you in the eye. So, make sure you have all the safety equipment on.
Start Cutting Slowly
Now, you can initiate cutting by plugging with your jigsaw. You can simply, line up the mark on the metal plate attached to the jigsaw with the middle of the line you drew on the film paper. Further, you can cut the plexiglass with the help of a guide plate.
Maintain your cutting speed
You also need to understand that to maintain your speed is important while cutting Plexiglass. You can mistakenly cut out of the line if you attempt to go quickly than necessary. Set up your trigger and be confident to ensure that your blade stays on the target. Shuffle the blade if you find it obligatory and install a new one for better cutting efficiency.
Additionally, a jigsaw is also capable of delivering sharp arc cuts, therefore, you should come at angles from both ends. The piece will fall away when the cuts meet at the vertex.
Moreover, you can remove the film paper and sand or any rough edges with a fine-grit sandpaper. However, if there are extra fragments or uneven parts, your jigsaw will rectify the job for you.
How to Prevent Plexiglass from Chipping?
A great method to prevent Plexiglass from chipping is applying tape on both sides of the cut before you start cutting. This is because the tape will cover the glass which will prevent chipping and spraying.
Furthermore, high-end Plexiglass manufacturers feature protective plastic covering on their Plexiglass. That often relieves users from the squabble of tapes.
Moreover, you can cut through the plastic and then remove it when you are done cutting. A pro tip? Do use clamps to hold your Plexiglass sheets, in order to cut with accuracy.
Things to Avoid while Cutting
You should prevent laying onto the Plexiglass. They can ruin the job due to numerous unwanted results and errors. For instance, burs, melting, and even breakage.
The next thing you must avoid is breakage along the edge or starting point of your Plexiglass. That is mainly if you start cutting at lower speeds.
Thus, try using a more advanced jigsaw with adjustable speed features, the ones with soft-start may not be suitable for cutting this material.
Don’t start completely blank, if you have sample Plexiglass, try cutting that before you do anything, if not then at least familiarize yourself with the proper techniques, tools, and methods of cutting.
How to Avoid Melting Your Plexiglass?
The fact is Plexiglass is a sensitive material made of plastic and heavy blades can not only damage it but can melt it as well. There are several ways you can prevent that from happening.
Firstly, cut on a moderate and steady pace, cutting too slow will probably melt the Plexiglas, and cutting to fast may make it difficult to deliver precise cuts. If you follow this course of action you will surely get better results and a more furnished look.
Moreover, remember while cutting curved that you can encounter a number of problems because of similar reasons.
For example, if you cut 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.
How to Avoid Breaking Plexiglass?
Due to the brittleness of Plexiglass despite it being a durable material, there is a fair amount of chance that it might crack or break. Below are discussed a few of the most effective methods that can reduce the chances of breakage or cracking.
A cooling lubricant greatly reduces friction and cools the Plexiglass. A non-flammable lubricant is recommended in this task.
Another method to avoid such an accident is by utilizing water before you start cutting. The water will adjust the blade’s temperature and eventually, it will prevent the hot blade from melting the plastic.
Using Masking Tape
Finally, you can use the method that we have also discussed at the beginning of the article, is using masking tape. Use a masking tape can prevent chipping of the glass and also breakage. Plus, you can draw a cutting line on the tape as well in order to maintain precision.
You don’t have to worry If you believe that you are a beginner when it comes to the objective of cutting Plexiglass. By now you might be sure about how and why a jigsaw is a reliable and convenient tool for cutting Plexiglass.
Simply by implementing the steps mentioned above you can professionally cut Plexiglass and other sensitive materials with your jigsaw. Avoid the mistakes we have mentioned, follow the safety procedures, ensure that you have a good blade, and master the skill of cutting.