Polycarbonate sheets are one of the easier materials to cut, so don’t be dismayed if your next project involves cutting polycarbonate to size. Polycarbonate is easier to cut than acrylic sheet, as it is very strong and heat resistant, it does not tend to splinter around the cut, so is a good material to work with. Whether you are planning a small covered area adjoining your workshop, or an ambitious conservatory, polycarbonate is the ideal material to use. You may need to cut your sheets to fit against an angle, or another wall, but with our how-to guide, cutting should be a breeze! So, read on and learn about how to cut your polycarbonate panels like a pro.
Things Needed for Cutting Polycarbonate
As with many things, preparation is the key. Before you start, make sure that you have all the tools you will need for the job. And remember the golden rule: measure twice, cut once. Always spend time measuring carefully so that you cut your sheets in the correct place. You will need your chosen saw, somewhere solid to place your polycarbonate while cutting it, glue clamps to hold your sheet in position, safety goggles to prevent any small polycarbonate chips from getting in your eyes, and masking tape and a pencil to mark your cutting line. Now you are ready to cut!
All DIY carries a risk, so taking sensible precautions to ensure that your project goes without a hitch is worthwhile. Safety goggles are essential to protect your eyes. Make sure you have a clear working area, that the floor where you are standing is clear, and that there are no trip hazards. Ensure that you are using good quality tools that have been looked after, and checked for signs of wear and tear. Take your time and make sure that you are ready before you start to cut your polycarbonate.
How to Cut Using a Band Saw
A band saw is a fixed cutting tool, through which you can feed different types of material, for a good, clean cut. A continuous toothed blade moves between two wheels providing a smooth cutting action. Set your band saw to at least 2500 RPM and choose a suitable blade, with at least 10 – 18 teeth per inch. It is essential that you push the polycarbonate smoothly and seamlessly through the band saw to achieve a smooth and clean cut on your polycarbonate sheet.
How to Cut Using a Circular Saw
A polycarbonate sheet is ideally cut using a circular saw. Where possible, choose a circular saw to cut polycarbonate sheets that are longer in length. Using masking tape to mark your cutting line will help you to cut accurately and correctly. When you are ready to cut your polycarbonate sheet, set up your circular saw. A fine tooth saw blade will give you the best cut for your polycarbonate sheet. Setting your saw at 4000 revolutions per minute will give you a nice, smooth cut. The speed of the circular saw determines your cutting speed, we consider 8m per minute to give a good cut.
How to Cut Using a Jigsaw
If you are cutting polycarbonate sheets using a jigsaw you must make sure that the sheet is securely fastened, so that it does not move up and down during the cutting process. As long as the sheet is held securely, you will be able to achieve a smooth and even cut on your polycarbonate sheet using a jigsaw. Use a fine-tooth saw blade at medium speed to cut your sheet. Don’t force the saw along, but rather allow it to move smoothly, ensuring that the sole of the jigsaw remains flat on the polycarbonate sheet at all times.
Laser cutting for polycarbonate sheets is an option, however, there are certain complications to using a laser cutter when compared to other cutting tools. Firstly, laser cutters are expensive pieces of equipment, and the average DIY enthusiast will be unlikely to have one in their collection. Secondly, as the laser cutter creates heat it isn’t necessarily the best choice for cutting polycarbonate. It can cause the material to become discoloured, and indeed some professionals even go so far as to advise against using a laser cutter on polycarbonate. Given the range of other cutting tools that will successfully cut polycarbonate, it seems sensible to consider one of these options first.
Are There Pre-Cut Polycarbonate Sheets in the Market?
At Glazing Systems we offer an extensive range of different sizes of pre-cut polycarbonate sheets to our customers. These are suitable for a variety of projects. Once you know the complete area that you need your polycarbonate panels for, you can select the best fit pre-cut polycarbonate sheets for your next project. If you need further advice on your project, please get in touch with our helpful and experienced team today.
Choose Your Polycarbonate Sheets Today
Even with our extensive range of sizes and thicknesses of polycarbonate sheets, it can still be useful to know how to safely and accurately cut your polycarbonate sheet. Often we are creating a new area, whether a carport, a lean-to, or a small conservatory against an existing building. In these cases, you may need to cut your polycarbonate to exactly fit against the contours of your external wall. Sometimes our customers are optimising their space, which may mean creating a wedge-shaped roof or covering an oddly shaped corner of your garden. In these instances, cutting your polycarbonate sheet to size will ensure that you make the most of the space that you have available. You too can cut your polycarbonate sheets to size, simply prepare your work area, make sure that you are safe and protected, and take your time. And never forget the golden rule: measure twice, cut once! Take a look at the range of polycarbonate sheets that we have, and start planning your next project today.