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How Do I Cut Lexan Sheet Plastic?

Updated February 21, 2017

Lexan is a polycarbonate sheet with UV protection used for greenhouse coverings. Lexan is also used in skylights and covered walkways. It is inexpensive and transmits up to 90 per cent of available light throughout the greenhouse. It is impact resistant and durable, with more than 20 times the resistance of fibreglass and 40 times that of glass, protecting from hail, wind and other flying objects with 109 Kilogram of impact. Sheets of Lexan can be purchased in grey, bronze and opal to reduce the brightness and heat inside greenhouses. Lexan can be installed easily with woodworking tools and come in sheets that are 8 to 40 feet long by 27 to 51 inches wide.

Measure the length and width of the Lexan you need. Mark your sheet for the saw line using a marker or pen that will write on the polycarbonate.

Set your circulating table saw blade. Use a blade that is narrow, and try one with a 5 degree negative rake angle. Set your drill blade to 3/8 inch or less above the sheet. Use a 10-inch, sharp, carbide-tipped, square-tooth blade. Cut the Lexan in a smooth motion, but watch for heat that will smear the polycarbonate.

Cut Lexan using sheet metal shears at room temperature for sheets that are 0.125 inch thick.

Cut your sheet using a band or reciprocating saw for curved cuts. Use a blade that has 10 teeth per inch to avoid smearing.

Trim your polycarbonate sheet with a router that has a carbide-tipped bit that is 1/2 inch in diameter using a 5 degree positive rake angle at 18,000 rotations per minute.

Tip

Cut Lexan with a portable circular saw for rough cuts only.

Warning

Do not stack the sheets when you are cutting them; they will weld together from the heat.

Things You'll Need

  • Circular table saw
  • Measuring tape
  • Router
  • Sheet metal shears
  • Reciprocating saw
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About the Author

Rebekah Smith is a writer and editor from Montana and the owner of several businesses. Smith has consulted and worked with businesses in the fields of commercial greenhouses, ecommerce, technology and home improvement. She holds a Master of Business Administration and is working on a Ph.D. in business.