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Thread: Cutting Plexiglass on the Bandsaw

  1. #1

    Cutting Plexiglass on the Bandsaw

    Will cutting plexiglass ruin a bandsaw blade? Would it be better to cut it with a jigsaw? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Weingarden View Post
    Will cutting plexiglass ruin a bandsaw blade? Would it be better to cut it with a jigsaw? Thanks.
    it would cut better on a bandsaw, ideallly a table saw or panel saw work best. A jigsaw would leave a choppy edge

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Weingarden View Post
    Will cutting plexiglass ruin a bandsaw blade? Would it be better to cut it with a jigsaw? Thanks.
    Hi Edward,
    I have cut plexiglass many times on several of my band saws and it seems to cut fine with no ill effect on the blades. It seems that a coarser tooth blade works better and generates less heat and melting of the sides of the cut. The blade I have had the best luck with has 8 TPI. I also use that saw to cut aluminum.
    David

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Weingarden View Post
    Will cutting plexiglass ruin a bandsaw blade? Would it be better to cut it with a jigsaw? Thanks.
    It won't hurt the blade. I've cut a lot of plexiglass (acrylic) on the bandsaw, mostly to make templates. I use whatever blade I have installed, usually a 3 or 4 TPI. A blade with finer teeth would be a little smoother but I smooth the edges afterwards with sanding sticks.

    BTW, if you want to follow a curve what I found works best is to draw the curve on the plastic with an extra-fine Sharpie. I cut a slot into a piece of thin white poster board and tape it to the bandsaw table so I can more easily see the line.

    JKJ

  5. #5
    Plexiglass will cut fine on the bandsaw. If you have a fine tooth blade it will make better looking edges.

  6. #6
    Thanks for the replies.

    JKJ - good idea for the poster board.

  7. #7
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    When cutting any acrylic, put a strip of 2" clear packing tape on the top surface. The tape and adhesive will act as a lubricant and reduce the chance of acrylic sticking to the blade.

  8. #8
    Thanks Richard

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    I always had to wipe down the blade with solvent afterwards.

  10. #10
    At the research lab I worked at, we had a 24" Tannewitz 2 speed bandsaw we used: high speed for wood and acrylic, and slow speed for aluminum. We usually got several months of daily use (as needed, not contiuous) out of a blade. I think we usually had a one inch 3 or 4 tpi blade in it. Fortunately we had a blade welder on the 36" DoAll, so we could just buy in bulk and weld up our own.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Coers View Post
    When cutting any acrylic, put a strip of 2" clear packing tape on the top surface. The tape and adhesive will act as a lubricant and reduce the chance of acrylic sticking to the blade.
    ... or blue tape. The tape acts as a ZCI.

    Bandsaw is good. I think a tablesaw (with crosscut or triple chip blade) is better.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  12. #12
    Derek - The reason for the bandsaw is that I'll be cutting curves.

    Blue tape? Are you referring to painter's tape?

  13. #13
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    Hi Edward

    Yes, painter's tape. Choose a smaller blade with the most teeth for the bandsaw.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Weingarden View Post
    Derek - The reason for the bandsaw is that I'll be cutting curves.

    Blue tape? Are you referring to painter's tape?
    If buying new, you can find plastic sheet with special protective paper stuck to each side. This not only give you something to draw on and allows a smoother cut, but protects the plastic from getting scratched while working it.

    JKJ

  15. #15
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    It depends on the Plexi Cast cuts nicer then extruded when you use a fine tooth blade Extruded gums up more

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