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Plexi Glass...what would you use to cut shapes in it?

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Plexi Glass...what would you use to cut shapes in it?

Old 12-28-05, 01:31 PM
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Plexi Glass...what would you use to cut shapes in it?

My mom wants to do some art projects using plexi glass. She wants to make intricate cuts, like curves and shapes and such.

What could she get at a hardware store that would accomplish this? I've searched around and couldn't really find anything.

Thanks in advance for any help.
Old 12-28-05, 01:39 PM
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Try a craft store and look in the paper section. A lot of scrapbooking tools might work since they are designed for making lots of small cuts.
Old 12-28-05, 01:44 PM
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A bandsaw with a really narrow blade.
Old 12-28-05, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by scott1598
My mom wants to do some art projects using plexi glass. She wants to make intricate cuts, like curves and shapes and such.
Art project, huh?



Suuuuuuuuure.
Old 12-28-05, 02:05 PM
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I've used a utility knife....just keeping slicing in the same spot till you can break through...works great on straight cuts...dunno about curves.
Old 12-28-05, 02:24 PM
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Depends how thick the plexi is -- 3/16" or thicker really needs a saw blade, but it can be done with a plexi cutter. They make cutters (similar to box-cutters but the blade has a hook so that it cuts deeper and doesn't have a tendency to skip or slide off) just for plexi that are cheap and should be available from the same place you buy the plexi. It just takes forever and a lot of arm strength-endurance.

Blades/drill bits need to be carbide tipped, and you have to feed the plexi through pretty fast (opposite cutting metal) or you'll just get a lot of melting.

If you're hand cutting, you need to make the score really deep, and for curves, make a lot of straight lines leading off the curves and break it off in chunks. Afterwards, you'll have a lot of sanding to do, but that's the only way to do it at home.
Old 12-28-05, 03:54 PM
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This is how professionals do it:

1) Rough cut with a coarse tooth jig saw. You can use a circular saw for long straight cuts. Leave about a 1/8" edge overlap.
2) Finish cut with a router with a straight cut bit and a template guide or straight edge.
3) Flame polish the edge with an oxy-acetlyene torch.
Old 12-28-05, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Jalizarin
Depends how thick the plexi is -- 3/16" or thicker really needs a saw blade, but it can be done with a plexi cutter. They make cutters (similar to box-cutters but the blade has a hook so that it cuts deeper and doesn't have a tendency to skip or slide off) just for plexi that are cheap and should be available from the same place you buy the plexi. It just takes forever and a lot of arm strength-endurance.

Blades/drill bits need to be carbide tipped, and you have to feed the plexi through pretty fast (opposite cutting metal) or you'll just get a lot of melting.

If you're hand cutting, you need to make the score really deep, and for curves, make a lot of straight lines leading off the curves and break it off in chunks. Afterwards, you'll have a lot of sanding to do, but that's the only way to do it at home.
wow! thanks for the ideas all.

so this plexi cutter...you can buy that in any craft store? and is it really as hard to cut as you make it sound?
Old 12-28-05, 05:18 PM
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Try a Roto-Zip.http://www.rotozip.com/
Old 12-28-05, 06:18 PM
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My nipples after a cold shower.
Old 12-28-05, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
My nipples after a cold shower.


Yeah... ummm... OK.

Old 12-29-05, 12:18 AM
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How about a fucking saw!
Old 12-29-05, 12:55 AM
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It chips easy though, so be careful when using a coarse blade.
Old 12-29-05, 01:59 AM
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Would a Dremel tool work for this?
Old 12-29-05, 08:39 AM
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Yep, I use my Dremel with a spiral cutter bit for cutting sheet plexi, styrene, and ABS. For the plexi, follow up with careful sanding and an edge polish.
Old 12-29-05, 08:33 PM
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transparent aluminum
Old 12-30-05, 08:38 AM
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Plexi cutters are cheap and work ok for straight cuts, but they'd be impossible to get smooth curves and shapes. A bandsaw or scroll saw would be ideal, but you'd be looking at $100 on the low end. If that's not too much, you can get bench top models that tuck away nicely when not in use. I've tried dremels and rotozips and haven't had much success controlling them and getting smooth curves, but maybe it just takes time to get them under control.
Old 12-30-05, 09:07 AM
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It does take patience. For particularly long curved cuts I usually make a jig to bear against. I use a flexible curve, bending it to the desired shape and taping it down with masking tape.
Old 12-30-05, 09:32 AM
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As said before, a band saw or jig saw would be perfect, but costly.

You can use a sabre saw with a narrow hacksaw blade.

You can also use a coping saw with a fine toothed blade.

Make sure you buy plenty of extra blades. Wear glasses.

Sand the edges with finer and finer grits of sandpaper and polish then polish the edges with some abrasive soap.

And if the plexi has paper on it (to keep it from getting scratched), leave it on until your done with your cutting and sanding.
Old 12-30-05, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by mikehunt
transparent aluminum
Trekkies.


Old 12-30-05, 05:59 PM
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sabre saw (jigsaw), scroll saws have the problem of while your cutting the plexi it to tends to fuse itself together as the glass starts to melt as your cutting it.

cut slow and you should be fine, but a bandsaw or a roto zip is the way to go.

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