Cutting through thick plexiglass can be very difficult, particularly if you don’t have any experience. Although much can be said about the modern machines, such as cordless drills and plasma cutters, it can still be frustrating to use them to cut through tough plastics. The best way to cut through plastics using a woodworking machine is with an old fashion screwdriver, which is what this article will focus on. You can use any appropriate tool to perform these tasks, but it is always good to have at least one basic tool on hand.
How can you cut a plexiglass window with a scroll saw with no power tools? The first challenge is to get the blade to cut through the sheet without breaking or melting it. The biggest difficulty of cutting a Plexiglas with a scroll saw with no power tools is the plastic fusing and melting back together.
This is often caused by improper blade tension. Blade tension is important because it determines how the saw blade will rotate, and therefore how you get cleaner cuts. If the teeth are out-of-square it causes the plastic to bunch up and mix in with the other layers of polymer. It’s better to maintain blade tension at all times, so that you get clean cuts and minimize contamination. One way to test the blade tension is to apply force against the teeth – if they feel like they want to break then pull the blade back before it breaks!
Another challenge is cutting plastic, using woodworking machines. You might think that this is an easy task – after all, you’re cutting wood, right? Nothing could be further from the truth. The best scroll saws come with several cutting speeds and diamond plate options. These features allow the operator to choose the best speed to achieve the results for their project.
Diamond plate options allow the operator to adjust the level of friction that allows the blade to cut effectively. Friction is what causes blade wear and mess. Diamond plate also reduces heat transfer from the plastic to the wood as well as adding strength to the thin sheets of plastic. Some scroll saws have only one option, but better quality machines usually include several diamond-spaced cutting speeds.
A third challenge is getting the blade tension knob to work correctly. Many scroll saws have a tensioning system that is either on the machine itself, or a spring within the machine. If the tension is too tight, then you may find your cuts are sloppy. On the other hand, if the blade tension is too loose, the teeth of the saw can grab on and push the teeth of the material wrong, resulting in less than perfect cuts.
The fourth challenge deals with the teeth on your saw blade. Your saw blade teeth must be sharp. Dull teeth will cause rough edges and vibrations that will not work well with your plastic projects. This means you need to make sure that the teeth on your saw blades are sharp. If the teeth are not properly sharpened, they can slice into your acrylic project and hurt you and/or the materials you’re cutting with it.
So there you have it. Your four basic needs when buying a new scroll saw. You need to make sure you get a piece of saw that features the appropriate technology so you don’t encounter issues with cutting plastic. You need to make sure the blade is sharp and the teeth are clean. And finally, you need to make sure you get a saw that is appropriate for your level of experience with cutting wood and plastic alike.