A material suited to a huge range of uses, acrylic perspex has excellent clarity and is durable, weatherproof, and shatterproof. This makes it particularly suited to signage as well as lots of other applications around the home or workplace including splashbacks, table tops, shed windows, and storage and shelving.
However, the most common and economical way to buy acrylic perspex is in large sheets. Therefore, knowing how to cut acrylic perspex is a useful skill.
Why Cut Acrylic?
Due to its usefulness in so many different applications, you will likely require a wide variety of different sizes of perspex. You can, of course, buy acrylic perspex cut to size but knowing the best ways to cut perspex will mean you aren’t reliant on an outside company to cut it to order and then go and pick it up or wait to have it delivered.
The size of the perspex sheet you need may also be subject to change at different stages of your project, or you might want to have the option to have the correct size piece of acrylic perspex within moments rather than having to wait.
As with so much, sometimes it’s just much faster and more convenient to cut perspex sheeting yourself.
Things To Consider When Cutting Acrylic Perspex
- Ensure your safety when cutting acrylic; wear appropriate PPE such as gloves and safety glasses.
- Make sure you have enough space to safely cut your acrylic sheet.
- Having a stable surface is essential to safely and efficiently cut perspex.
- Ensure you have secured your perspex before cutting.
- Be aware that acrylic perspex can crack if it is not cut the right way. For tips on how to cut acrylic perspex without cracking, see below.
Methods Of Cutting Acrylic Perspex
The best way to cut acrylic perspex is the way that suits you and your needs best.
However, whichever method you choose the following tips are essential:
- Measure twice, cut once.
- For all of these methods, you should start by measuring and marking a guideline with a pen and a straight edge or ruler.
- When using power saws of any kind follow the manufacturer’s instructions as they can be very dangerous.
- Sanding the perspex following cutting may be required and will help to create a smooth, clean edge.
For Thin Perspex: Scoring & Snapping
For perspex that is under 6mm thick, you can use a sharp Stanley knife, box cutter, or pocket knife to score. Using the guideline and your straight edge score about ⅛ deep. You can then place the scored edge at the edge of the table and snap the perspex in two which will provide a clean cut.
For Perspex Thicker Than 6mm
Use a hacksaw with a fine tooth blade to cut through perspex and ensure the sheet is firmly clamped down. Avoid vibrations which can chip the acrylic. Follow guidelines carefully.
Using a jigsaw is suitable for when you require either straight or curved edges to your perspex sheet. Be aware that the teeth will need to be sharp and you will benefit from reducing the depth of the cut.
There is a possibility that a high speed might heat the perspex to its melting point. Or a too low speed chipping it. Being able to practice on spare pieces of perspex is useful to get these variables just right.
Bandsaws are another excellent option when a curved cut is what you are looking for when cutting your acrylic perspex sheeting. A rule of thumb when using a band saw for perspex is the thicker the sheet the fewer the number of teeth on the blade.
Slower speeds will help to avoid the perspex melting. As with the jigsaw, a trial or practice will be of benefit.
CNC Laser/Router Cutting
Laser cutting acrylic sheets are the best way to create a detailed shape or to create a number of the same type of cut for example when many signs are required or when creating promotional items such as keyrings.
The cut or image required is input into a computer and then the laser communicates with the computer to create an exact replica.
After Cutting Acrylic Perspex
Hopefully, these tips and methods for cutting acrylic will help you in your DIY home improvements or at work. Once you’ve cut your perspex if you require engraving your signage, promotional material or anything else then get in touch with us at Furnells.