How To Cut Lexan

Lexan represents clear Polycarbonate sheets that have a lot of uses in various homes including; safety window construction, making of indoor aquariums, cement boards (in construction projects), backing boards et cetera. Lexan also provides insulation for items like glass lenses, containers and protective windshields among others. Consequently, through thermoforming, it can be used to make utensils and furniture.

A lightweight plastic, this polycarbonate resin has desirable optical clarity, is durable, cheap and less fragile compared to cement boards.

To maximize on its use, it would be vital to learn how to cut Lexan accurately.

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Tools That Might Be Needed

Though cutting Plexiglas is easy, doing it efficiently needs different types of equipment since it varies with size, thickness and pattern.

Any saw can be used when cutting Polycarbonate resin. The only problem is that, Lexan has a low melting point and may overheat while cutting; a reason why a blade that can withstand high temperatures and with sharp fine teeth must be utilized.

It is also important to note that, cutting Lexan is the same as cutting a cement board. The only difference is cutting through clear lightweight plastic instead of particles or wood fibers.

The following are essential tools that might be required:

Circular saw
Hand shear
  • Polycarbonate sheets/Plexiglas - this may vary in both size and thickness depending on what is needed
  • arrow-right
    Duct tape - this is essential in outlining the measured cutting points
  • arrow-right
    Circular saw - circular saws are used on sheets that are more adhesive
  • arrow-right
    Simple Utility knife - an important tool for polycarbonate sheets that are fragile
  • arrow-right
    C-clamp - this is used to hold the Lexan sheets in place
  • arrow-right
    Hand shears - important for both stiff and brittle Plexiglas sheets that are below 0.32cm thick
  • arrow-right
    Table saw - used for making window type cuts grounded at the center or in the middle of the Lexan Sheet. (or areas in which regular saws will not reach without cutting through the whole sheet)
  • arrow-right
    Jig saw - for making curved patterns. It is also important when making patterns on Plexiglas sheets
  • arrow-right
    Safety glasses - to protect the eyes from any flying objects or dust
  • arrow-right
    Dust masks - this ensures one does not inhale dust or fumes that might rise when cutting through the Polycarbonate sheets

Important Tips

Tips about cut lexan
  • Blades must always be kept sharp or replaced when necessary. Sharp blades or saws with fine teeth will always prevent rough edges.
  • lightbulb-o
    Hand saws are appropriate for Polycarbonate sheets of around 0.25 inches in thickness.
  • lightbulb-o
    The blades of shears should be dabbed with machine oil for an easier and smooth cut.
  • lightbulb-o
    Lexan always comes with protective sheets. This protection should not be removed as it shields Lexan from peripheral damage from saws and other tools.
  • lightbulb-o
    After cutting Lexan, a medium grit abrasive should be used to remove the residue that might get stuck on the edge. Edge polishing should be done with finer abrasives or rotary tools that have polishing and sanding accessories.
  • lightbulb-o
    Dust masks and Safety glasses must always be worn to avoid taking in fumes that arise from the saw blade when tracing through Plexiglas.

Procedure Of Cutting Plexiglas

Step 1: Ensure The Polycarbonate Sheets Are Stable On A Flat Surface

If the sheets are placed on a surface that is wobbly, edgy and inconsistent cuts may result. Again, irregular cuts may occur if sheets themselves wobble up and down when cutting; a reason why it is important to use a duct tape on the sides or edges of the shape that is being cut.

Duct taping should therefore be done before making marks or measurements to ensure the sheets are fixed or are not moving much.

Step 2: Cut Or Trace Through The Sheet With The Cutting Tools Or Equipment

Cut lexan by tools

After making shapes or desired measurements, trace or cut through it. Always ensure to cut through the markings. Not following the lines might result in inappropriate cuts. i.e. more or less of the material with shorter markings and allowances. This will make the Lexan Sheets look bad.

Step 3: Cut Through The Sheets With Hand Shears

Cut lexan by hand shear

Like the first few steps, the Plexiglas sheets are placed on a stable flat surface, markings made and cut through with the hand shears.

While making markings, it important to note that the polycarbonate sheets are a little sensitive thus extra care must be taken to avoid damaging or scratching them. Cutting should be slow and through the marks to avoid uneven edges or wobbles.

Step 4: Use Of A Circular Saw

Cut lexan by Circular saw

A circular saw is used on Lexan sheets that are more than 0.32 cm in thickness. Any more adhesive sheets will end up with uneven, rough edges. The Plexiglas layers may even be damaged as the saw may not be strong enough to make desired clean cuts.

Support should be provided on both sides that are being cut. Marks should be made with a pencil and never a permanent marker and a duct tape in making special outlines for desired cuts.

A c-clap can also be used to hold the Lexan sheets together for a steadier surface, with the circular saw allowed to cut through without additional pressure or force.

In Conclusion

A jig saw can be used to cut through curves, making designs or even patterns that are not straight, in slanted lines or angled. For window type cuts i.e. those at the center or middle of the sheet, a table saw would be ideal. Again it is always vital to be aware of the cuts to be made so as to know the type of tools and equipment to use.

Right tools and equipment should always be used for the right project, different projects have different needs depending on the thickness of Plexiglas, the pattern or outlined shape and the overall purpose of cutting.

There is no better tool that can be used to replace the above listed ones. All the steps on how to cut Lexan should also be followed for that final desirable look.

Lexan represents clear Polycarbonate sheets that have a lot of uses in various homes including; safety window construction, making of indoor aquariums, cement boards (in construction projects), backing boards et cetera. Lexan also provides insulation for items like glass lenses, containers and protective windshields among others. Consequently, through thermoforming, it can be used to make utensils and furniture.

A lightweight plastic, this polycarbonate resin has desirable optical clarity, is durable, cheap and less fragile compared to cement boards.

To maximize on its use, it would be vital to learn how to cut Lexan accurately.

More…

How To Cut LexanTools That Might Be NeededImportant TipsProcedure Of Cutting PlexiglasStep 1: Ensure The Polycarbonate Sheets Are Stable On A Flat SurfaceStep 2: Cut Or Trace Through The Sheet With The Cutting Tools Or EquipmentStep 3: Cut Through The Sheets With Hand ShearsStep 4: Use Of A Circular SawIn Conclusion

Tools That Might Be Needed

Though cutting Plexiglas is easy, doing it efficiently needs different types of equipment since it varies with size, thickness and pattern.

Any saw can be used when cutting Polycarbonate resin. The only problem is that, Lexan has a low melting point and may overheat while cutting; a reason why a blade that can withstand high temperatures and with sharp fine teeth must be utilized.

It is also important to note that, cutting Lexan is the same as cutting a cement board. The only difference is cutting through clear lightweight plastic instead of particles or wood fibers.

The following are essential tools that might be required:

Circular sawHand shear

  • Polycarbonate sheets/Plexiglas – this may vary in both size and thickness depending on what is needed
  • arrow-rightDuct tape – this is essential in outlining the measured cutting points
  • arrow-rightCircular saw circular saws are used on sheets that are more adhesive
  • arrow-rightSimple Utility knife – an important tool for polycarbonate sheets that are fragile
  • arrow-rightC-clamp – this is used to hold the Lexan sheets in place
  • arrow-rightHand shears – important for both stiff and brittle Plexiglas sheets that are below 0.32cm thick
  • arrow-rightTable saw – used for making window type cuts grounded at the center or in the middle of the Lexan Sheet. (or areas in which regular saws will not reach without cutting through the whole sheet)
  • arrow-rightJig saw – for making curved patterns. It is also important when making patterns on Plexiglas sheets
  • arrow-rightSafety glasses – to protect the eyes from any flying objects or dust
  • arrow-rightDust masks – this ensures one does not inhale dust or fumes that might rise when cutting through the Polycarbonate sheets

Important Tips

Tips about cut lexan

  • Blades must always be kept sharp or replaced when necessary. Sharp blades or saws with fine teeth will always prevent rough edges.
  • lightbulb-oHand saws are appropriate for Polycarbonate sheets of around 0.25 inches in thickness.
  • lightbulb-oThe blades of shears should be dabbed with machine oil for an easier and smooth cut.
  • lightbulb-oLexan always comes with protective sheets. This protection should not be removed as it shields Lexan from peripheral damage from saws and other tools.
  • lightbulb-oAfter cutting Lexan, a medium grit abrasive should be used to remove the residue that might get stuck on the edge. Edge polishing should be done with finer abrasives or rotary tools that have polishing and sanding accessories.
  • lightbulb-oDust masks and Safety glasses must always be worn to avoid taking in fumes that arise from the saw blade when tracing through Plexiglas.

Procedure Of Cutting Plexiglas

Step 1: Ensure The Polycarbonate Sheets Are Stable On A Flat Surface

If the sheets are placed on a surface that is wobbly, edgy and inconsistent cuts may result. Again, irregular cuts may occur if sheets themselves wobble up and down when cutting; a reason why it is important to use a duct tape on the sides or edges of the shape that is being cut.

Duct taping should therefore be done before making marks or measurements to ensure the sheets are fixed or are not moving much.

Step 2: Cut Or Trace Through The Sheet With The Cutting Tools Or Equipment

Cut lexan by tools

After making shapes or desired measurements, trace or cut through it. Always ensure to cut through the markings. Not following the lines might result in inappropriate cuts. i.e. more or less of the material with shorter markings and allowances. This will make the Lexan Sheets look bad.

Step 3: Cut Through The Sheets With Hand Shears

Cut lexan by hand shear

Like the first few steps, the Plexiglas sheets are placed on a stable flat surface, markings made and cut through with the hand shears.

While making markings, it important to note that the polycarbonate sheets are a little sensitive thus extra care must be taken to avoid damaging or scratching them. Cutting should be slow and through the marks to avoid uneven edges or wobbles.

Step 4: Use Of A Circular Saw

Cut lexan by Circular saw

A circular saw is used on Lexan sheets that are more than 0.32 cm in thickness. Any more adhesive sheets will end up with uneven, rough edges. The Plexiglas layers may even be damaged as the saw may not be strong enough to make desired clean cuts.

Support should be provided on both sides that are being cut. Marks should be made with a pencil and never a permanent marker and a duct tape in making special outlines for desired cuts.

A c-clap can also be used to hold the Lexan sheets together for a steadier surface, with the circular saw allowed to cut through without additional pressure or force.

In Conclusion

A jig saw can be used to cut through curves, making designs or even patterns that are not straight, in slanted lines or angled. For window type cuts i.e. those at the center or middle of the sheet, a table saw would be ideal. Again it is always vital to be aware of the cuts to be made so as to know the type of tools and equipment to use.

Right tools and equipment should always be used for the right project, different projects have different needs depending on the thickness of Plexiglas, the pattern or outlined shape and the overall purpose of cutting.

There is no better tool that can be used to replace the above listed ones. All the steps on how to cut Lexan should also be followed for that final desirable look.

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