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Scroll Saws
..Basic Description & Use
..Best Scroll Saw?
..Set Up & Care
..Blade Basics
..Scroll Saw Blade Guide
..Blade Tension & Misc.
..Basic Cutting Skills
..Pattern Transferring
..Cutting Multiples
..Cutting Plexiglass
..Scroll Saw Safety Rules

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Scroll Sawing Plexiglas

Cutting Plexiglas

The biggest problem you have in cutting Plexiglas, is the plastic melting and fusing back together again, two seconds after you cut it. The typical blades generate enough heat to melt the Plexiglas, instead of allowing it to disappear as dust under the table.

The best solution is to keep the blade as cool as possible and reduce as much friction as possible between the plastic and the blade.

Cooling the Blade:
I have heard that using multiple layers of masking tape, under the cut line of the Plexiglas, will help dissipate some of the heat. At the very least leave the backing paper on the Plexiglas until you are finished cutting.

It has also been suggested that if you have a compressor, and can aim a line of cool air at the blade that this also may help.

Lubricate the Blade:
There are many commercial products on the market that are designed reduce friction, from WD-40 to brand name "Dry Lubricant". Check with your industrial or automotive supply dealer.

I've also heard that ordinary cooking spray oil (like Pam) and Dove dishwashing liquid work well. Experiment, but be aware of how you want to finish the end result, and make sure that whatever you have decided works as a lubricant/coolant, but also does not leave a residue that causes problems when finishing the end product.

When working with Plexiglas, you also must be careful to use a relatively fine blade. If the TPI is not high enough, few teeth remain in the material, and it has a tendency to bounce up and down on your saw. This can cause the Plexiglas to chip. Experiment with various blades first, before you work on the real thing.

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theWoodbox.com Jan 2007