How to Cut & Drill Perspex

Written by matt scheer
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Perspex is a synthetic thermoplastic. It turns to liquid when heated and becomes more glassy when cooled. It is used as a shatter-resistant alternative to glass. Perspex comes in sheets covered in a thin plastic layer. The layer can be peeled off. Perspex is used at machine shops and in industrial applications and is not difficult to cut or drill precisely. It does not take much expertise to cut or drill Perspex at a home garage, but because it can crack, it's important to treat it carefully.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Circular saw
  • Marker
  • Acrylic-grade blade
  • Metal straight edge
  • Clamps
  • Work bench
  • Safety glasses
  • Power drill with metal- or glass-grade bits

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    Cutting Perspex

  1. 1

    Lay your sheet of Perspex on your work bench. Do not remove the outer protective layer. This layer protects the Perspex from being scratched while you work on it.

  2. 2

    Mark the line you wish to cut into the Perspex with your marker and straight edge.

  3. 3

    Clamp the straight edge in place to the Perspex and work bench.

  4. 4

    Install your acrylic-grade cutting blade on your circular saw or jigsaw.

  5. 5

    Put on your safety glasses. Set the circular saw blade so that it will pass through the surface of the Perspex. If the blade is too low, it may stick to the Perspex.

  6. 6

    Line up your blade with the marked line. Turn your blade on before it touches the Perspex. Otherwise, it may cause cracks in the Perspex. Cut the Perspex cleanly through the marked line.

    Drill Perspex

  1. 1

    Mark the point on your Perspex where you want to drill.

  2. 2

    Sharpen your metal drill bit. A dull drill bit may cause fracturing on the Perspex.

  3. 3

    Put on your safety glasses. Turn on your power drill while touching the surface of the Perspex. Hold the drill firmly and press into the Perspex until you've drilled the hole to the depth you want.

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