Polycarbonate is a popular plastic that is used to make or change window panes because of its excellent heat and insulation properties. This substance may be found in items as minor as toys, greenhouse covers, automobile headlights, and CDs. Polycarbonate is tough to cut and form, so almost all polycarbonate products are available in easy-to-cut plastic sheets. Polycarbonate sheets may be difficult to cut correctly because they can shatter if subjected to extreme efforts. Here’s a guide on how to properly split polycarbonate sheets.
Various tools may be utilized to cut through polycarbonate, depending on the sheet’s purpose, hardness, and thickness. For thin layers, a utility knife will work. Power tools like fine-tooth bladed saws and a router are handy for more complicated operations. You’ll need the following items in most cases:
- Tape measure
- Cutting tool
- Protective gear
- Fine-grit sandpaper or file
Using A Utility Knife
To cut your polycarbonate sheets with a utility knife or hand shears, you may make them up to one-eighth of an inch thick. To do this,
- Clamp the paper on a solid, flat surface.
- To make your cut, use a marker and a straightedge.
- To make deeper grooves, score the sheet with the utility knife while keeping the cut line’s straight edge.
- Remove the sheet from the clamp and score it again until it falls off.
- Sand the edges for a perfect finish.
Cutting Your Polycarbonate Sheet to Pieces
A jigsaw, scroll saw, or circular saw may cut thicker polycarbonate sheets than 3mm in length. Use a jigsaw or band saw to cut your sheets,
- To prevent your sheet from being scratched, clean the saw table of any specks that might do so.
- Remove the shavings before attempting any sanding or planned work to prevent chipping. When cutting curves with a saw, utilize a metal blade with up to 4mm tooth spacing.
- Set the saw’s speed to about 6000-8000 feet per minute.
- Use a marker to mark the spot where you’ll cut your sheet. You may utilize your straightedge as a guide for this.
- To minimize vibration, clamp your polycarbonate sheets on a solid surface. To get the same cut, stack multiple panels. However, if you are making your first attempt at cutting numerous panels, it is recommended that you only try using one.
- Use medium RPM when cutting through your panel to ensure that it falls off. To give the blade a rest, stop between cuts.
- Check the smoothness of your cut edge with your finger and sand it down further for a smoother finish.
Angle Grinder Use
Angle grinders are hand-held machines with a cutting wheel that has grit on them. Angle grinders rotate more rapidly than circular saws, but they cut similarly to them. To cut your paper with an angle grinder,
- Wear protective gear.
- Use a measuring tape to measure and mark the cut line on the polycarbonate panel.
- Attach the panel to a raised and stable surface.
- Turn on the power tool and let it reach its optimal speed.
- Move the angle grinder further away from you gently along the cut line you’ve drawn, cutting your panel.
The hacks and tricks in this article will make cutting your plastic sheets easier. There are a lot of ways to cut the sheet by hand, but not all of them work for every situation. Sometimes you need something more precise or have to deal with burrs that can be tricky to remove without damaging what’s underneath. With these tips, you’ll be able to cut through plastic like a hot knife through butter!
Also published on Medium.