How to cut acrylic plastic

Rigid acrylic plastic, sold under a variety of trade names, is used as a building or craft material. In sheet form it can be cut with ordinary woodworking tools. The sheets come with a protective paper covering; to avoid scratching the plastic, leave the paper in place while cutting.

Use the score-and-break method to cut acrylic that is up to 1/8-inch thick. Pencil a cutting line on the paper and align a straight edge along it.

Draw a scoring tool (available at acrylic dealers) along the straight edge five to ten times, cutting deeper into the acrylic each time. Place the acrylic along a table edge, the scored line at the edge; apply a sharp, downward pressure, snapping the acrylic in two.

To get a smooth edge on acrylic plastic that is thicker than 1/8 inch, use a power saw. Support the sheet by clamping most of it on a table surface. Leave only enough overhang for sawblade clearance.