How to cut plastic roofing

Written by c.l. rease
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Plastic roofing panels have the same profile as galvanised corrugated panels and the two are used together during a corrugated roof installation. The clear or tinted plastic corrugated panels allow natural light to enter the area beneath the roof, without the additional materials and labour involved in installing standard skylights. Cutting the plastic roofing panels to length requires fine-toothed cutting blades that will not grab and crack the panel or generate excessive heat in the cutting area, which will melt the edges of the corrugated panel.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Permanent marker
  • 32 teeth-per-inch (TPI) jigsaw blades
  • Jigsaw
  • Safety glasses
  • Leather work gloves
  • Water-filled spray bottle
  • Utility knife

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Mark the cut location on the plastic corrugated panel with the tape measure and permanent marker. Make sure to give yourself a clear line across the sheet to use as a cutting reference.

  2. 2

    Insert a 32 TPI jigsaw blade into the blade holder of the jigsaw.

  3. 3

    Don your leather gloves and safety glasses. Do not omit the leather work gloves, as the edges of the plastic corrugating panel will be sharp and inflict deep cuts similar to thin metal.

  4. 4

    Coat the surface of the plastic panel with water from the spray bottle. Keep the water-filled spray bottle in your hand that will not be holding the jigsaw.

  5. 5

    Start the jigsaw and slowly push the moving blade into the plastic panel with one hand. Place your wrist of the hand holding the water-filled spray bottle on the surface of the plastic panel with the nozzle of the spray bottle pointing toward the jigsaw blade.

  6. 6

    Work along the marked reference line with the jigsaw, as you slide your hand holding the spray bottle along side of the jigsaw. While sliding your hand along side of the jigsaw, continually spray water on the surface of the plastic panel to keep the cutting area cool.

  7. 7

    Drag the blade of the utility knife along the cut edge of the plastic panel to remove the burr and melted material from the panel's edge.

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