Plexiglas is a brand name of acrylic plastic sheets, which are made of very rigid plastic and are often substituted for glass. It's clear like glass, but doesn't break as easily as glass. However, Plexiglas does scratch easily, so it has to be handled and cut with care. Plexiglas is used professionally as well as for crafts [source: AllSands].
Plexiglas is sold wrapped in protective paper. Keep the paper on for as long as possible so the Plexiglas won't get scratched. Follow the instructions below to cut thin sheets of Plexiglass along straight lines [source: AllSands].
- Place the Plexiglas on a flat work surface.
- Mark the Plexiglas with a grease pencil where you want to cut it. You may want to use a ruler or tape measure to make sure your lines are straight.
- Along the lines you marked, carefully score the Plexiglas five to 10 times with a glass cutter.
- Move the scored section to the edge of the work surface.
- Apply a sharp downward force on the Plexiglas to break it along the scored line.
If you want to cut more complex shapes or thicker sheets of Plexiglas, you have to use power tools. Fit your power saw with a blade designed for cutting acrylic or with a blade designed for cutting aluminum or copper -- the blade's teeth should be fine, all the same height and evenly spaced [source: The Natural Handyman]. Simply follow steps one and two above and then cut the Plexiglas with the power saw.
However you cut your Plexiglas, the edges will most likely need to be smoothed after they're cut. This is most easily done with a power saw.
Originally Published: Jun 22, 2011