How to make a plexiglass windshield

Written by gail delaney
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Plexiglass is a material made of hard acrylic. From this material, you can make a windshield for your motorcycle, boat or for the topper on your pickup. Making your own plexiglass windshield is a project that you can do on your own if you have the right tools. Care must be taken when working with plexiglass, because the surface scratches easily.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Cardboard or poster board
  • Pencil or marker
  • Blue masking tape
  • Bandsaw, sabre saw or jigsaw
  • Palm-sander
  • 80-, 220-grit sandpaper
  • Sheet
  • Heat gun

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Decide what you want to make the plexiglass windshield for, and then make a template. Cover the existing windshield with a piece of light cardboard or poster board. If your windshield has any holes that need drilling, mark those places, along with any bend lines.

  2. 2

    Cover both sides of the plexiglass with blue masking tape to help protect the plexiglass surface from scratches.

  3. 3

    Trace around the pattern with a pencil or marker on the sheet of plexiglass.

  4. 4

    Cut slowly and evenly with a band saw, sabre saw or a jigsaw. The size of blade depends on the thickness and strength of your plexiglass. Ask the sales person where you purchased your sheet of plexiglass for the right sized blade.

  5. 5

    Stand the windshield in an upright position. Sand the edges with a palm-sander equipped with 80-grit sandpaper and then repeat the sanding process with 220-grit sandpaper.

  6. 6

    Drill holes with a smaller drill bit than needed. Drill slowly, especially when the bit is about to go through the other side. Drill the hole again, using a drill bit that is slightly bigger than your bolts.

  7. 7

    Remove all the blue masking tape. Place the plexiglass on a work bench covered with a large sheet.

  8. 8

    Curve the windshield if needed. Put a piece of cardboard between the plexiglass and clamp to protect the plexiglass and then clamp the plexiglass to your work bench.

  9. 9

    Aim a heat gun along the bend line, but keep the heat gun moving at all times and don't get too close or the plexiglass will bubble. If you are unsure about bending your plexiglass, take a scrap piece of plexiglass and experiment before doing it on your windshield.

Tips and warnings

  • Resist the urge to tighten the bolts in the plexiglass too much, or you risk breaking your windshield.

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