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Cutting acrylic sheet with hand Saws
Article Title: Cutting acrylic sheet with hand Saws
Article Summary: Information on using straight, coping, and hack saws on acrylic
Article Date: 4/9/2009
Article ID: 579
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Acrylic sheet may be cut with almost any type of hand saw. And while good results are possible with hand saws, the techniques involved are considerably more difficult than with power saws. Practice on scrap material before attempting to make critical cuts.
With any hand saw, it is important that the blades be kept sharp. For best results, the teeth should be of uniform size and shape, and have very little set.
Every effort should be made to prevent vibration of stress while cutting. Flexing at the point of the cut or binding of the saw blade may cause the acrylic to crack. Clamp the material securely and keep the saw straight when cutting, and apply very little pressure. Let the blade do the work. With practice and proper care, you can get good results.
Straight saw: Straight saws or cross-cut saws may be used for long, straight cuts on acrylic sheet of almost any thickness. The saw should have a hollow-ground blade with very little set and at least 10 teeth per inch (25 mm). Make certain the material is firmly clamped and supported. Hold the saw at an angle of about 45° from vertical, and be sure to keep it straight.
Coping saw: Coping saws or scroll saws are good for shorter cuts, curved cuts, or even intricate designs. Use very narrow blades with only a slight set.
Hack saw: These narrow saws for cutting metal may also be used for short cuts in  acrylic sheet. Choose a blade with approximately 18 teeth per inch (25 mm). Use a smooth, even stroke. Apply very little pressure.


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