Learn how to cut acrylic sheets with a table saw, safely and effectively. Incorporating glass into a woodworking project can add an interesting design element, but it can be an expensive proposition to have glass cut to a custom size by a professional to match the specifications of your project. Acrylic offers a nice alternative for woodworkers because it is almost indistinguishable from glass to the casual onlooker, but it can be cut using the standard table saw that you have in your shop. Another advantage to using acrylic is that it is not prone to shattering like glass, so it makes for a safer cutting and installation process, and also can endure more abuse through the normal toils of family living. Understanding the requirements for proper equipment and process can enable you to easily learn how to cut acrylic to a desired size without having to incur the cost and endure the delay that custom glass cutting requires.
Of course before you learn how to cut acrylic, it will be important to have a solid grasp of the fundamentals of how to use a table saw. Once you are comfortable with that, the process of learning how to cut acrylic will be straightforward.
Some of the specific lessons covered here include:
Safety: Understand the working characteristics of acrylic, and steps that need to be taken to safely perform the cutting operations.
Quality. There are a few tips that George shares that will increase your probability of success in terms of edge finish quality, as well as achieving precise dimensions for your project.
Blade selection. When cutting acrylic it is critical to use a table saw blade that is optimized for this purpose. This topic will be covered in detail to ensure that you choose a blade that can deliver the desired quality.