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Author Topic: CUTTING lexan(or plexi) with jigsaw.....  (Read 3182 times)

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SNAAAKE

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CUTTING lexan(or plexi) with jigsaw.....
« on: June 09, 2003, 02:29:20 am »
Okay tired of cutting using the plexi cutter..works and all but there is GOT to be a better way :(.

Would any kind of special jigsaw blade I could use to cut plexi glass or lexan  ??? ?
Oscar,any input?
Or anyone else...I will go the home depot tomorrow to look for blades so what should I look for?
I know I cant use the same blade I use to cut wood(its too rough).
That plexi glass cutter never bothered me except I think I am doin too much work for nothing..bah !  :P
« Last Edit: June 09, 2003, 02:32:43 am by SNAAAKE »

Amra

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Re:CUTTING lexan(or plexi) with jigsaw.....
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2003, 04:26:11 am »
You can use a plastic/metal jigsaw blade to cut lexan, typically the more teeth the better.  However, Plexi is a horse of a different color.  Plexi is best just scored and snapped.  That or cut by melting.

Lexan is a bit softer, thus a bit more pliable.  This makes it /seem/ more resiliant, and easier to use, but because of this, it is very easy to scratch.

Plexi on the other hand, is harder, so it breaks a lot easier, but is also more difficult to scratch.

Its a tradeoff... its always a tradeoff.
Save a Tree, Eat a Beaver!

Sprucemoose

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Re:CUTTING lexan(or plexi) with jigsaw.....
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2003, 10:44:48 am »
I actually used a circular saw without any problems.  No special blade or anything.  

bionicbadger

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Re:CUTTING lexan(or plexi) with jigsaw.....
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2003, 10:53:24 am »
I used my table saw as well to cut Lexan.  Worked much better than the jigsaw.  Don't need a special blade but should have one with a relatively high tooth count.

You can use a router with a straight cutting bit as well.

Plexiglass is different though, the guys at the glass shop just score it and snap it.  (I watched em cut my smoked plexi)

Les

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Re:CUTTING lexan(or plexi) with jigsaw.....
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2003, 11:58:17 am »
Router is the best way to go.  If you can snag a laminate bit all the better.

SNAAAKE

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Re:CUTTING lexan(or plexi) with jigsaw.....
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2003, 01:50:11 pm »
okay so no way of cutting plexi with any saw ???.
Plexi is cheaper so needed a solution.
Well I will post back if I buy that laminate trimming bit..that should do for plexi ????

Dunno..wondering around... :P
« Last Edit: June 09, 2003, 01:53:55 pm by SNAAAKE »

NatasNJ

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Re:CUTTING lexan(or plexi) with jigsaw.....
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2003, 10:46:05 pm »
Did you ever cut it?  Your plexi?

I have 2 pieces of plexi which will be cut this weekend.  Must know my options!!!


SNAAAKE

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Re:CUTTING lexan(or plexi) with jigsaw.....
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2003, 11:33:55 pm »
Did you ever cut it?  Your plexi?

I have 2 pieces of plexi which will be cut this weekend.  Must know my options!!!


Plexi broke in half..LOL (small piece).
But lexan worked great..I was doin some tests.
get a blade with as many teeth as possible ! :)

Unkis17

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Re:CUTTING lexan(or plexi) with jigsaw.....
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2003, 09:51:48 am »
My experiance with Plexi is almost identical with that of Lexan.  Score with that stupid little knife, then flip it, score it again (this covers the ends chipping out from uneven pressure).  I like to score both sides, lay a board just a smidge back from the score, clamp down that board and wack that SOB swift.  Don't go slow, don't be afraid to hit it, this will just flex it and your corner/ends tend to crack unevenly.  I have cut both on the table saw.  I would not use a jig saw unless it is a good one with a bearing behind the blade.  Those blades are so narrow they flex pretty easily.  If you can use a Milwaukee Super Sawsall (recipricating saw).  Use a metal blade.  The Sawsall has wider blades than a jig saw.  Plus you would pull a Recip saw torwards you rather than push a jigsaw away from you, the pulling will create a more even stroke...
But i cheated all this, my first panel i made was when i was still in the College of Engineering and cut the whole damn thing on a waterjet!  Gotta love CNC machines and AutoCAD!  I also cut some stuff on a laser!  That was cool too.
I was thinking maybe i will go back their and make a whole new panel top out of 1/4" polycarbonite!  Tough as nails and you could see through it!

Superdude

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Re:CUTTING lexan(or plexi) with jigsaw.....
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2003, 12:01:04 pm »
Snake,
Don't be so cheap.  Buy the DuraPlex (High Impact) at home depot.  (Not the Optix Plexi Glass)  It's 3 dollars more than the Plexi Glass. You can cut that stuff with no problems.

AlanS17

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Re:CUTTING lexan(or plexi) with jigsaw.....
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2003, 12:04:58 pm »
Lexan cuts soooo easily with a jigsaw. Plexi is another matter. It can melt back together and get your blade stuck or cause hairline cracks. In either case, the thinner the material, the better. Thicker stuff has more friction and you get more melting.


TalkingOctopus

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Re:CUTTING lexan(or plexi) with jigsaw.....
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2003, 12:53:08 pm »
Cutting lexan with a circular saw is much better than a jigsaw.  I tried a practice piece with a jigsaw and it was ugly.  When cuttng lexan, the more teeth on the blade the better.

AlanS17

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Re:CUTTING lexan(or plexi) with jigsaw.....
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2003, 12:57:34 pm »
Cutting lexan with a circular saw is much better than a jigsaw.  I tried a practice piece with a jigsaw and it was ugly.  When cuttng lexan, the more teeth on the blade the better.

I guess it depends on the hand. Some people have built entire cabinet with a jogsaw rather than a circular saw. I think that's pushing it, but using a jigsaw really isn't hard.

The secret to straight cuts (at least for me) is holding down the base plate with your extra hand and actually pulling it away from you with your thumb rather than actually trying to guide it with your trigger hand. Guiding it with your hand down on the plate also allows for really easy turns.

I don't know if this is how other people do it or not, but it works well for me.


GamingGreg

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Re:CUTTING lexan(or plexi) with jigsaw.....
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2003, 04:05:36 pm »
So, what about drilling holes in plexiglass?  Does that work okay? Is so, what kind of drill bit is best (hole saw, forstner, spade, etc.)

Also how would you cut an interior (square) hole for a trackball?  (Trackball plate will be on top of that)  It seems the score and whack method would work there.

AlanS17

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Re:CUTTING lexan(or plexi) with jigsaw.....
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2003, 04:10:59 pm »
This is just how I would do it. Other may have their own ways.

For drilling, I really recommend lexan over plexi, but in either case go very slow. Some people recommend you put it in reverse and melt through. This may be more beneficial for plexi. Not necessary for lexan, though.

For cutting a hold in the middle, I'd first drill a hole and insert my jigsaw and work out from there.


hyiu

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Re:CUTTING lexan(or plexi) with jigsaw.....
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2003, 04:11:35 pm »
I donno about plexi....

but I'm planning to drill a 2+ inch hole for my trackball on lexan...

I'm planning to use a plunge router.... there is a circle drilling plate that can be used to drill circles....

that plate costed me $30 (S&H included) but can drill perfect circles from like 2 in up to like 7 in in diameter....

Another Brilliant mind ruined by education....  :p

AlanS17

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Re:CUTTING lexan(or plexi) with jigsaw.....
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2003, 04:14:12 pm »
He's putting his trackball plate on top, though. Doesn't need to be a perfect circle. Just needs to fit his trackball.

As for cutting holes, I don't know why a hole saw wouldn't work for lexan. Only cuts one size, but it's much less expensive. Would be usefull if you don't plan on cutting other sizes.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2003, 04:15:24 pm by AlanS17 »


Unkis17

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Re:CUTTING lexan(or plexi) with jigsaw.....
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2003, 04:51:15 pm »
Drilling Holes can be done in both.  I have done it with both a Spade Bit and a hole saw.  I wouldn't waste your nice Fornster bits on it, you're after all going all the way through.  Spades suck in the fashion that their is really only two points cutting so it has a higher probablity of catching and snapping the material.  Holes saws are nicer IMO.

RacerX

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Re:CUTTING lexan(or plexi) with jigsaw.....
« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2003, 04:58:36 pm »
I cut my Lexan overlay with my Dremel rotary tool and one of those discs that came with it.  The Lexan was only about 2 or 3 millimeters thick, though.  It would not have worked very well on anything much thicker.

I drilled in reverse for the holes as has been mentioned here many times.

AlanS17

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Re:CUTTING lexan(or plexi) with jigsaw.....
« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2003, 05:21:38 pm »
For lexan, I recommend a hole saw, drill forward, and don't apply too much pressure. Pressure increases the friction and temperature. You want to cut through - not melt through - if you can. Melting can cause the hole to actually shift or cause excess material build-up around the hole.


GamingGreg

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Re:CUTTING lexan(or plexi) with jigsaw.....
« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2003, 05:23:16 pm »
Thanks guys!  :)  Another opinion question.  Would it be best to clamp the plexi onto the wood and then drill the holes in one step. Or would it be best to drill in the wood first, clamp on the plexi on,  flip it over, and then drill through the holes into the plexi? (essentially using the holes as a guide)

Also I take it that joystick holes are 1 1/8", just like the button holes. Is that right?

(SNAAAKE, I don't mean to change topic or hijack this thread, but these questions seem related to the original topic.)

AlanS17

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Re:CUTTING lexan(or plexi) with jigsaw.....
« Reply #21 on: July 11, 2003, 05:33:28 pm »
It's easier (at least for me) to put the holes in the wood first. Plus if the lexan melts with wood shavings on it you wight end up with woody lexan when it melts back together. It's best to keep it clean.

As for the hole size, I use the same for joysticks and buttons. It depends on how close you mount your joysticks to the top. Their throw is slightly less at the base than at the top. So the closer your joystick is to the surface, the smaller the hole has to be. If you're mounting from underneath the wood, you're going to need a very long shaft and probably a larger hole, too. (Oh the inuendos that could be made...)


  
 

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