How to cut an acrylic light diffuser

Written by c.l. rease
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How to cut an acrylic light diffuser
Acrylic light diffuser panels soften the light emitted from a fluorescent light. (neon light image by Eldin Muratovic from Fotolia.com)

Acrylic light diffuser panels soften the light emitted from fluorescent lights. The acrylic diffuser panel comes in stock sizes and occasionally you will need to cut the diffuser panel to length. You have options when it comes to cutting an acrylic light diffuser, but one option requires no power tools or saws. Scoring and snapping an acrylic light diffuser creates a smooth cut when performed correctly and is a usable cutting method for acrylic sheets less than 3/16-inch thick.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Acrylic light diffuser panel
  • Tape measure
  • Permanent marker
  • 24-inch framing square
  • Utility knife

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Set the acrylic light diffuser panel on a firm flat surface. You need to ensure that the work surface is stable, as you will need to exert a lot of pressure on the acrylic light diffuser panel.

  2. 2

    Stretch the tape measure along the side of the acrylic light diffuser panel perpendicular to the side of the panel you need to cut and place a mark on the surface of the acrylic light diffuser panel with a permanent marker.

  3. 3

    Place the short leg of a framing square on the side of the acrylic light diffuser panel, with the long leg of the framing square aligned with the cut mark you placed on the surface of the panel in the previous step.

  4. 4

    Run the blade of the utility knife along the edge of the framing square to place a score line on the surface of the acrylic light diffuser panel. Repeat the process of running the utility knife along the framing square until you have a score line that is at least 40 per cent of the way through the thickness of the acrylic light diffuser panel.

  5. 5

    Remove the framing square from the surface of the acrylic light diffuser panel and slide the score line to the end of your work surface.

  6. 6

    Place one hand on either side of the score line and press quickly down on the hand placed on the side of the score line overhanging the work surface to snap the acrylic light diffuser panel.

  7. 7

    Drag the blade of the utility along the snapped line to remove the sharp edge left from the process of scoring and snapping to complete the cut on the acrylic light diffuser panel.

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