Cutting lexan, can be stressful! What's the big deal? Lexan is a clear, durable, polycarbonate material, used for greenhouses and sunrooms. It can be a bit difficult to cut and it's expensive!
Cracking, chipping and jagged edges, beware! A bad cut is enough to cause stomping, bawling, whining and cursing; not necessarily in that order. Here's how to avoid a tantrum, and a trip back to the hardware store, to buy more!
Time scale: 1 out of 5
The secret to cutting lexan? The proper jigsaw blade.
It is a bit pricey, but well
worth the money.
One more, extra piece of insurance? Masking tape.
There will be a removable, protective plastic coating, on the sheet of lexan. Do NOT remove. Leave this on for now. It will prevent scratches, while cutting.
Cutting lexan, first requires a nice, straight line. Use a square to make a cut line.
Use a felt pen to draw the line on.
Apply masking tape, along the felt line, on the front and backside of the lexan.
Ready? Set? Not quite.
The lexan usually is a 4x8 sheet. Support, while cutting is also important.
This doesn't mean a second person, standing by, trying to be supportive by
saying "Come on, you can do it". Nope, not that kind of support.
Use 2x4's, underneath the lexan, to lift it high enough off the floor to make enough clearance for the jigsaw blade.
Place the boards close to each side of the cut line and also partway down the
sheet to support it. This will keep the plastic from drooping or pulling, while
you cut. If it is flopping wildly, because it has no support, you can't expect
a smooth cut. What you can expect is a disaster!
Put the blade in the jigsaw.
Check the blade clearance, before you begin..... you don't want to break that expensive blade, because it whacks the floor!
Hopefully you have a variable speed jigsaw, so you can start out slowly. After you have the cut started, you can speed up a bit, but don't get too carried away.
Slow the jigsaw down, as you get close to the end.
Whew! Done! Well...almost. Peel the masking tape and the protective coating off.
You should now have a fairly smooth cut, with no chips in the that expensive lexan..what a relief!
See, cutting lexan, is actually no big deal!
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