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Plexiglass, also known as acrylic glass, is a type of plastic sheet made to look and work like glass. To be more technically accurate, it is made of polymethyl methacrylate.
Since it is made of acrylic, a petroleum-based thermoplastic product, plexiglass is a better alternative to glass in most appliances and fittings as it is shatter-resistant, stronger, and more resistant to erosion and elements than glass. It is frequently used by manufacturers in products and services such as windows, lights, furniture, transportation, and shipping, among many others.
You can also use plexiglass for household needs for furniture protection and other DIY projects. If that is what brought you to this page, welcome! In this article, you will specifically learn how to cut plexiglass circle for your requirements easily.
How to Cut Plexiglass Circle – 4 Easy Steps
1. Preparing the plexiglass for the cut
The first step is to prepare the plexiglass for the cut you are going to make. You don’t want the glass to chip or have rough edges. This means you have to do some prep work in order to do a neat cut.
To start, make sure you have the protective sheet on. If you are working with a new sheet of plexiglass, you will see a protective plastic or paper covering over the glass. Do not remove it.
It is best to make the cut with this covering on for two reasons. First, you can prevent any untoward scratches on the surface. Second, it is a great advantage to make your draw on in order to make your markings for the cut. This way, once the cut is done, you can remove the covering from the plexiglass. This will leave it without any marks or traces on the sheet itself.
If you do not have the protective covering or you are working on used sheets of plexiglass, you can use masking tape for the same purpose. Once you are done with the cut, you can remove the tape.
Holding the plexiglass in place
The next important step in the prep work stage is to make sure that the plexiglass sheet is held in place before you cut it. You may sandwich it in between two pieces of plywood or any scrap wood. This is ideal if you are working on a large piece of sheet, so it seems easier to place it on the floor rather than a workbench to make the cut.
If you are placing it on a desk, you may not have to place it between the two pieces of wood. You can use clamps on the plexiglass on the desk to hold it in place. Make sure the protective covering is on before you make the cut.
2. Marking your cut
It is definitely easier to make a straight cut on your plexiglass than other shapes. However, do not fret. Even if you are wondering how to cut plexiglass circle, there are simple methods.
Once you have prepared your plexiglass for the cut — that is, you have a protective layer on the surface and you have placed it between two pieces of plywood (or clamped it on your work desk) — the next step is to make your markings for the cut.
You can make your markings on the piece of wood. If you are not using wood, you can make them directly on the masking tape/ protective covering.
For cutting circles, the best method is to use a circle cutter. You need to find the center of the circle. Adjust the cutter to draw a circle of the diameter of your choice. If you do not want to use any tools, you can use a suitable template to draw your circle. The templates could be round plates, container lids, or any circular frames. You’ll use them to draw the outlines in order to know where to cut.
Once you have made the circular marking on the plywood or the protective covering, as the case may be, you are ready to make the cut.
3. Cutting a circle in your plexiglass
One of the main factors that determine how to cut plexiglass circle is the actual thickness of the sheet.
For thin plexiglass sheets
Cutting a circle out of a thin plexiglass sheet is pretty straightforward. For this, you may not have to necessarily sandwich the sheet between plywood pieces. All you have to do is place it on your desk with the protective covering facing up and clamp it tight.
Draw your circle using a marker on the protective covering with the help of a template. With the sheet held tight, and the marks clear, now use a blade, cutter, or utility knife to cut alongside the marks. This is called scoring. Make sure to flip the sheet and score on both sides. This is so that you can easily separate the two pieces by pushing your circle gently down and releasing it from its outer remains.
You will hear a pop, which means you have a neat, clean-cut.
For thick plexiglass sheets
Cutting a circle out of a thick plexiglass sheet requires more effort and better tools. You may use any of the following tools, based on what is feasible for you and what you are comfortable with:
Drill a small hole about 1/4th of an inch slightly inside the perimeter of the circle. This will be your pilot hole which will be the starting point for you to drill your way along the circumference of the circle.
For cutting large circles through thicker plexiglass sheets, it is recommended that you use power saws. Remember not to overheat the blade. This will cause chipping and could also melt the glass, leaving uneven edges. The melted glass could also stick onto the blades. Cool it down before you can resume drilling.
Step 4 — Polish and Finish
Once you are through with the cut and you have your final circular piece, it is recommended that you smoothen any rough edges using sandpaper. Wrap a piece of sandpaper around a sanding block and sand the circular edges until you get a smooth and even surface.
Next, for polishing the surface, you will need a plexiglass polisher or a basic kitchen/bathroom paste cleanser. Put this polish on a small piece of cloth and rub it along the sides of the curved edges of the plexiglass to polish it. As you complete this process you will be left with a smooth, even, white finish for your freshly cut circular plexiglass.
There you go! These are some quick tips on how to cut plexiglass circle yourself easily. Follow these steps for your next DIY project!
What is the best way to cut a circle in plexiglass?
First, clamp your plexiglass sheet onto the workbench. Mark your circle on the protective covering. Cut along the marks using a blade or drill your way through the circumference of the circle using a jigsaw or a hole saw.
What is the best tool to cut plexiglass?
For thin sheets of plexiglass, you may use a utility knife, or a blade to score your way through your marks. For thick sheets, it is recommended that you use power saws for an easy and smooth cut.
Plexiglass is a sheet of plastic made from polymethyl methacrylate and is used as a substitute for glass in many products such as windows and household fittings. If you are wondering how to cut plexiglass circle for your DIY projects, it’s quite simple.
For thin sheets of plexiglass, all you need to do is use a utility knife and score your way through the marks you have made on the sheet. For thick sheets, you will need heavy-duty tools such as a jigsaw or a table saw to make your job easier, thereby leaving a smooth and clean cut.