How to Cut Plastic

How to Cut Plastic

Plastic can be used to make or fix a wide variety of objects. For someone who enjoys DIY projects, learning how to cut plastic is fundamental. The type of plastic you’ll work with is what decides the tool you’re going to use. In this article, we provide with the basics of cutting hard and thick plastic.

How to Cut Hard Plastic

Using a Hacksaw

  1. Place your plastic sheet on a table.
  2. Fix the plastic firmly with the hold-down clamp.
  3. Start cutting slowly and gently.

Using a Circular Saw

  1. Change the wood-cutting circular saw blade with another plastic-cutting one.
  2. Put the plastic sheet on the tabletop.
  3. Plug the circular saw into an electrical socket to turn it on.
  4. Wait for the machine until it is at its utmost speed. Then, push the plastic near the blade bit by bit.
  5. Keep doing so until all of the plastic is cut entirely.

How to cut thick Plastic

Using a Fine-toothed Saw

  • Clamp your plastic on a stable and solid workbench. Choose a saw with fine teeth in order to make accurate and clean cuts without hurting or damaging the plastic. Using a saw with large teeth would tear the plastic apart.
  • Open the blade at utmost length and start sawing.
  • As you cut, move the blade back and forth quickly and smoothly.

Using a Jigsaw

  • If you’re going to cut heavy plastics such as PVC pipe, the best tool to use is a jigsaw. Clamp the plastic it on a flat surface, or simply hold it with a firm grip.
  • The trigger should be squeezed before the blade comes in contact with the plastic sheet you intend to cut.
  • Push the blade with pressure to cut through your material steadily.

Using a Non-Melt Blade

  • Turn the table saw on, then place the plastic sheet on the saw table’s flat surface.
  • The plastic is to be held by its sides, then push it reaches the blade.
  • Once the blade is engaged, carry on pushing the plastic until it is cut completely.

Using Electric Power Drills

  • Purchase a power drill and a small drill bit, whose size is no wider than 1/8 inches. You can find them in your local hardware shop. Making drills before starting cutting would facilitate the process for you.
  • Drill no less than 6, and no more than 10 holes in the sheet you aim to cut. These cuts would be more useful if they’re close, so do your best at making them the closest to one another.
  • Next, cut through from one hole to the other with a utility knife, which you can find in any craft shop.

Using String

  • For this method, you need to have a section of cotton or polyester string around 2 feet. This can be used to customize RC or with small tasks, but it would consume too much of your time.
  • Pull using your hands in an outward direction without investing much effort and pressure.
  • Fix the plastic sheet between your knees. It should be placed firmly so you can slice although it. If the sheet is too large, attach it on a workbench. But be careful because if you invest too much effort, the plastic risks to break.
  • Place the thread along the sheet’s edge and start moving it in a back and forth motion.
  • When you start seeing a few and small cuts, put the thread inside and move it back and forth until it is cut entirely.
  • In case the thread starts getting hot, change it.

Wrapping up with Safety Measures

  • Protect yourself against acrylic or polycarbonate pieces by wearing eye protection.
  • Always clamp your plastic sheet on a worktable using a vice.

References:

  • http://www.safetyculture.com.au/procedures/Circular_Saw_Safety_Procedure.php
  • https://www.ehow.com/how_5682232_cut-thin-plastic-sheets.html
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic
  • Our own experience

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