How to cut a hole in plexiglass

Written by c.l. rease
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How to cut a hole in plexiglass
The tools required to cut a hole in Plexiglass vary depending on the size and style of the hole. (Magdeburg - blaues gebäude image by Bea Busse from Fotolia.com)

Cutting a hole in a Plexiglass sheet, requires tools common to working with both wood and metal. The required tools change depending on the type and size of the hole. Round holes under six-inches in diameter use different tools than a round hole larger than six-inches in diameter and square holes require the use of multiple power tools to complete the hole. One thing remains the same for each type of hole, you need to keep the Plexiglass cool or the Plexiglass will fuse behind the cutting tool.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • 2 sawhorses
  • 1/2-inch plywood
  • Plexiglass
  • Masking tape
  • Carpenter's pencil
  • Safety glasses
  • Hole saw
  • 3/8-inch variable speed drill motor
  • Water-filled spray bottle
  • Clean rags
  • 220-grit sandpaper
  • Hole cutter
  • Straight edge
  • 7/16-inch drill bit
  • Jigsaw blades, 32 teeth-per-inch (TPI)
  • Jigsaw

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Set up the sawhorses four to five feet apart. Making sure the sawhorses are stable.

  2. 2

    Lay the 1/2-inch plywood flat across the two sawhorses and place the Plexiglass flat on top of the plywood.

  3. 3

    Cover the Plexiglass with two layers of masking tape. The masking tape will protect the surface of the Plexiglass from scratches that can occur during the cutting process.

  1. 1

    Mark the centre of a round hole with the carpenter's pencil and put on your safety glasses.

  2. 2

    Secure the hole saw in the 3/8-inch drill motor for holes under six inches in diameter or the arbor of the hole saw into the drill motor for holes larger than six-inches in diameter.

  3. 3

    Drill a hole on the centre mark you placed in the masking taped covered Plexiglass with the pilot bit of the hole saw or the arbor of the hole cutter.

  4. 4

    Coat the surface of the Plexiglass with water from the water-filled spray bottle.

  5. 5

    Constantly spray water on the Plexiglass as you cut the round hole in the Plexiglass with the hole saw or the hole cutter.

  6. 6

    Wipe the water from the Plexiglass with a clean rag, remove the masking tape from the Plexiglass and sand the edges of the hole with 220-grit sandpaper to smooth the cut edge.

  1. 1

    Mark the four corners of the square hole with the carpenter's pencil. Extend each corner mark by aligning the straightedge with two corresponding corners and drawing a line along the straightedge with the pencil.

  2. 2

    Put on your safety glasses.

  3. 3

    Secure the 7/16-inch drill bit into the 3/8-inch dill motor and drill a hole at the each corner of the square hole while cooling the drill bit by spraying the drill bit with water from the spray bottle.

  4. 4

    Insert a 32-TPI jigsaw blade into the jigsaw, slide the jigsaw blade into one of the 7/16-inch corner holes you drilled into the Plexiglass.

  5. 5

    Cut along one pencil marked side of the square hole with the jigsaw, while constantly spraying water on the jigsaw blade with the spray bottle. Turn the jigsaw 90-degrees and repeat the cutting process. Repeat the procedure until you have completed cutting the square hole in the Plexiglass.

  6. 6

    Remove the water from the Plexiglas with a clean rag and remove the masking tape from the area around the square hole.

  7. 7

    Run 220-grit around each cut edge to remove the sharp edges left by the jigsaw blade to complete the cutting of the square hole in a Plexiglass sheet.

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