Go Back  DoItYourself.com Community Forums > Interior Improvement Center > Paneling and Trim
Reload this Page >

What are the best tools to use to cut light panels?

What are the best tools to use to cut light panels?


  #1  
Old 11-21-07, 06:21 AM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 16
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Question What are the best tools to use to cut light panels?

Hello,

I purchased a sheet of acrylic light panel for my fluorescent lights and need to cut it 11" wide by 4 ft. long. The sheet is already 4ft long, so I just need to cut it in two, 11" wide.

What are the best tools used to cut these things? I've tried using the exacto knife, sharp scissors, but I can never get a good cut. It always ends up cracking off the straight line where I want the cuts to be...

Any suggesions is greatly appreciated.

Thanks
 
  #2  
Old 11-21-07, 10:35 AM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 27,318
Received 1,979 Upvotes on 1,774 Posts
Those light panels sure are brittle- more brittle than normal acrylic because they are so thin and because of the rough surface that gives the panel lots of weak spots to fracture.

I've had good success just using a fine toothed carbide blade on a table saw, and feeding it very very slowly. A jigsaw would also work- provided you select the right kind of blade... too fine and it will gum up from the heat and friction, too course and it will want to catch the material causing it to jump up and down as you cut, or cut so aggressively that it will fracture the panel like glass. Holding the material firmly and cutting slowly is usually important if using a jigsaw. A blade that cuts on the downward stroke would be helpful if you could find one. If you can't, buy an assortment of jigsaw blades and use the one that cuts the best.

A black abrasive blade (for either steel or masonry) in a table saw would also work- they basically burn/melt their way through the stuff.
 
  #3  
Old 11-21-07, 03:32 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 36,607
Upvotes: 0
Received 11 Upvotes on 10 Posts
You could also flip it to where the smooth side is up, score it with a laminate scoring tool and a straight edge, then carefully snap it.
 
  #4  
Old 11-21-07, 03:42 PM
C
Member
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Taylors, SC
Posts: 9,261
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
You could back it up with a piece of wood and cut along the wood on a tablesaw.
 
  #5  
Old 11-21-07, 08:43 PM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 16
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Hey all, thanks for your replies.

I tried flipping it over and and scoring it with an exacto knife on the smooth side... then I placed a heavy block near the score, and carefully bent the peace.

It did snap clean in some places, some areas it cracked on the other side I did not need and left sort of a jagged edge. I guess I needed to score it a bit more in those areas.

Nevertheless I managed to cut out enough for my lights.

Yes the piece I was using was very thin and rough and very tricky to cut.

Thanks for all the tips. I will surely put them to use.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: