It’s not always easy to cut acrylic sheets to size. Depending on the thickness and type of acrylic, the process can be a little tricky. In this article, we cover the basics of cutting acrylic sheets, and tips and tricks for making the process a little easier.
Cutting Acrylic Sheets to Size
One of the most important things to consider when cutting acrylic sheets is to use the correct type of saw blade. For thinner sheets of acrylic, you can use a fine-toothed saw blade. However, for thicker sheets of acrylic, you will need to use a coarser-toothed blade. Using the wrong blade can cause the acrylic to crack or shatter.
Another thing to keep in mind is the type of cutter you use. For straight cuts, use a handheld power saw or a jigsaw. For more intricate cuts, use a rotary tool with a diamond-tipped bit.
When cutting acrylic sheets, wear safety glasses and a dust mask. The dust generated by the cutting process can be harmful if inhaled.
Once you have the correct tools and materials, you are ready to start cutting your acrylic sheets. If you use a handheld power saw, start by marking the area you want to cut with a pencil. Then, slowly and carefully guide the saw blade along the pencil line.
If you are using a jigsaw, start by drilling a hole at each end of the area you want to cut. Then, insert the jigsaw blade into one of the holes and start cutting.
For more intricate cuts, use a rotary tool with a diamond-tipped bit. Start by making a series of small starter holes around the perimeter of the area you want to cut. Then, insert the bit into one of the holes and start cutting.
Once you have made your cuts, smooth the edges with sandpaper. Start with coarse grit sandpaper and work your way up to a finer grit.
Types of Acrylic Sheets
Acrylic sheets come in two main types: extruded and cast. Extruded acrylic is made by pushing the material through a mould, while cast acrylic is made by pouring the material into a mould.
Extruded acrylic is less expensive than cast acrylic, but also less durable. Cast acrylic is more expensive, but it is more scratch-resistant and shatter-resistant.
What is the Difference Between Cast and Extruded Acrylic Sheets?
Cast acrylic sheets are made from optically clear, UV-stable raw materials. They offer superior optical properties, higher molecular weight, and greater chemical resistance than extruded acrylic sheets. Cast acrylic is also easier to fabricate and bond than extruded acrylic.
Extruded acrylic sheets are made from lower-quality, recycled materials. They have poorer optical clarity, lower molecular weight, and less chemical resistance than cast acrylic sheets. Extruded acrylic is also more difficult to fabricate and bond than cast acrylic.
Now that you know how easy it is to cut acrylic sheets to size, you can start working on your next project. Just remember to use the correct tools and materials, and to take safety precautions when cutting. With practice, you should be able to cut acrylic sheets like a pro.
If you need help, you can always order cut to size acrylic sheet online.