How to cut 4 mm polycarbonate

Choice of tool

The advantage of polycarbonate is that the tools with which it can be cut, can be found in every home. It’s fairly easy to handle, but there’s also a high risk of accidental damage. Therefore, all work must be carried out carefully, trying to perform all at once and accurately. Consider a few of the most recommended and widespread ways to cut polycarbonate.

Electric jigsaw

With an electric jigsaw you can perform cutting of sheet material of any type and thickness. Sharpened saw blades with small teeth are used. Blades designed for work with plexiglass, metal and plastic are also suitable. The cut will be clean and have a smooth edge. It is better to use an electric jigsaw for sawing complex curved shapes and holes. If you are working with sheets less than 3mm thick, they can be cut in batches of several pieces at once.

Hacksaws and various saws

Saws and hacksaws are suitable for straight cuts and for cutting material into rectangular and square pieces. This tool is used only as a last resort, when nothing else is to be found. Do not use hacksaw blades for wood, because. к. They have teeth that are too coarse and widely spaced, which can damage and tear the polycarbonate, leaving cracks, burrs, and nicks. You can only work with metal hacksaws that have fine and frequent teeth.

A box cutter

When cutting sheets up to 6-8 mm thick, a letter opener can be used. A special construction blade is a better choice, t. к. it has a more comfortable handle. It is best to perform small trimming and fitting of small pieces with such a tool, since. к. Large-area blades are awkward and time-consuming to handle. What’s more, a box cutter blunts quickly and often breaks down. It is used primarily for cutting honeycomb polycarbonate.

Special scissors for plastic

Thin (up to 3 mm) sheets are cut with special construction scissors or scissors for plastic. Only monolithic sheets can be cut in this way, t. к. The porous honeycomb material squeezes and deforms on both sides of the cut.

polycarbonate

Cutters for openwork elements

Metal cutters can be used when processing and cutting monolithic polycarbonate. Milling machines are suitable for the following operations:

  • obtain parts with precise dimensions;
  • To perform embossing and engraving;
  • edging;
  • cut out various curved and openwork elements;
  • round corners.

When working, it is necessary to remove sawdust from the cutting area in a timely manner, i.e. к. they scratch the sheet and deform the edges of the material.

Laser for exact dimensions

Laser cutting of polycarbonate is the highest quality, most precise and fastest way to cut this material. The following benefits can be achieved by laser processing:

  • high quality of cutting;
  • Dimensional accuracy when cutting (up to 0.5 mm);
  • Good speed;
  • no surface defects;
  • Cutting of the material of any thickness;
  • no need to fix sheets when working.

This equipment is quite expensive and requires professional skills, so the use of laser method is justified only on an industrial scale. It cannot be done by one’s own hands in a home workshop.

Angle grinder and circular saw for straight lines

Angle grinder is an excellent tool for cutting large sheets of polycarbonate. It is suitable for straight cuts, but with experience you can also work with curves. If such experience is not available, it is better to take an electric jigsaw or a utility knife.

Cutting is performed with metal cutting wheels. It is preferable that the marking should indicate the possibility of working with aluminum. During processing such circles the temperature in the cutting zone will be lower than when using tooling to work with metal, so the probability of melting the edges is significantly reduced. To minimize this risk and improve cut quality it is recommended to use an angle grinder at low speed. Otherwise the polycarbonate sheet can be deformed or broken.

Circular saw can also be used when cutting polycarbonate. Work is performed on low-speed gears with fine-toothed metal discs. A cutting tool support rail is used, which is applied and lightly pressed onto the material to be cut.

Cutting tools

To fit the polycarbonate sheet to the desired format, you can use one of the household tools, which is in any household.

Cutting polycarbonate to size can be carried out with such devices:

  • angle grinder (angle grinder). Simple product, but requires a steady hand and experience. In addition, only models with adjustable speed are suitable. At a rotational speed of 11,000 rpm, the plastic just melts around the edges.
  • A box cutter. Requires quality tools without backlash and with a sturdy handle. The maximum thickness of the board is 6 mm with experience.
  • Electric jigsaw. Sawing plastic can be done not only in a straight line, but also on the curve of the mowing line. It is required to install a nozzle with fine teeth.

If you have several tools in your arsenal, try working with them on scrap material and choose the one that achieves the best results.

Preparing the workplace and tools

Cellular polycarbonate is easy to crumple, break along the inner partitions. Sharp objects easily pierce through holes in the panel.

Before starting the manipulation you should prepare the workplace. The entire sheet must rest on the base, so its table can not be less than 2150 mm. The length of a standard sheet is 6 or 12 meters, there should be no dangerous objects in this area.

For convenience and to avoid damage approaches to the workplace free from garbage and foreign objects that can affect the balance of the master or cause him to fall. The space is cleared on all sides, because the standard width of 210 cm sheets do not allow to make a cross-cut from one edge.

In the manufacture of non-standard products first do the layout of parts, cut to scale on a sheet of paper. It will help to avoid a large amount of waste. When drawing, do not forget that inexpensive panels are most often protected by a UV coating on one side and can not be installed with a protective layer inside the structure.

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If you need to lean on the sheet during the work, you should put a wide sheet of wood chipboard or a chipped board that you can walk on.

Marking

For marking, the sheet is laid with the protective film upwards. All mowing lines are drawn directly on the foil, which is removed after the part is mounted on the mount frame.

You can draw the outlines with a dark-colored marker. For convenience, use plaster rules of great length or other flat objects. For small parts you will need a construction angle.

Knives can cut cellular polycarbonate of 4 and 6 mm in thickness. The tool is suitable for straight lines, but when cutting shaped parts, it is better to refuse it, because the work takes a lot of time and requires great accuracy. The tool may slip along the stiffening ribs, ruining the part.

Do not cut with a knife honeycomb material with a number of chambers greater than two and monolithic panels.

The blade must be carefully sharpened, and new replaceable blades are used with clerks and construction tools.

The step-by-step algorithm looks as follows:

  • Prepare an even base.
  • Lay the sheet and make a marking.
  • Press a metal rail, a rule, a steel ruler, which will serve as guides, to the cutting line. Do not use wooden parts, as the blade will make an incision in them and get stuck. An assistant should be used to hold long rails.
  • Cut from the far edge towards yourself.
  • Repeat the attempt, leading the knife along the left groove, if it was not possible to separate the part from the sheet at one time.

When cutting the polycarbonate do not use the method of cutting plasterboard. If the sheet is not cut through, it cannot be broken.

You can use a knife when cutting the side of an arched greenhouse. To do this, lay the panel on the assembled edge arch and, using it as a template, remove excess material.

Angle grinder

Angular grinder is used to cut polycarbonate in a straight line or with a minimum bend. the tool is not used for shaped parts.

For the work of the master use cutting discs for concrete, aluminum or metal. There is no consensus on the best wheel. The important condition is that the thickness of the wheel must be as small as possible.

Try different circles and choose the one that gives the best quality of cut without melting the edges or heating the panel to a high temperature.

Not suitable angle grinder with a large number of revolutions, if there is an adjustment, then set the minimum speed.

  • Preparing the workplace.
  • Under the sheet lay a wooden bar thick enough so that the circle did not reach the base and rotate freely.
  • Cover the place of the cut with a wooden board with a thickness of 24 mm, press.
  • Turn on the angle grinder, give it a working speed.
  • Carry out cutting of the material.

It is necessary to cut along the bridges along the internal hollow channel without cutting into the ribs.

Remove the particles of plastic that got into the honeycomb with a vacuum cleaner or blow out the cavities with a compressor. It is undesirable to use water to wash, so before installation you have to wait for the panel to dry, which takes a long time.

Electric jigsaw

Mechanized tool is optimal for cutting out shaped parts, which are difficult to produce with a saw, angle grinder or a knife.

Some manufacturers facilitate the choice, releasing special saws marked “for plastic”.

Before starting work, it is advisable to check your skills and the quality of the seam, working with unnecessary segments of material. If you have the skills and the right tools proceed to cutting parts.

  • Under the panel install a wooden stand of sufficient thickness to freely move the saw blade without resting against the base;
  • It is desirable to use a new replacement tool;
  • Before starting to cut with a knife, make a notch on the end, so that the beginning was flat;
  • start cutting polycarbonate after the electric motor reaches a working speed;
  • Do not allow a gap between the sole of the jigsaw and the sheet, as vibrations lead to damage to the polycarbonate;
  • cut away from yourself, moving forward.

To speed up the work, thin material can be sawn by laying it in several layers.

Saws for plastic

For straight cuts, you can buy a plastic hacksaw or use a tool to cut laminate and aluminum. The tool is distinguished by small undiluted teeth.

lay the polycarbonate on the edge of the work table, so that the base does not interfere with the movement of the blade. The top is pressed down with a wooden or metal batten. To prevent cracking, the blade is placed at a minimum angle.

The secret of success depends on how firmly the plate is fixed between the base and the clamping plate. the slightest vibration will cause the cutting line to crack and the tool to jam.

How to cut Polycarbonate sheets to size | Plasticsheetsshop.co.uk

Metal hacksaw

It is impossible to cut parts longer than 40-50 cm with a standard metal saw because of the design.

Use interchangeable blades installed in handle grips. Teeth should be facing forward, away from the handle.

Cutting speed is slow, but the quality of the cut is good.

It is important to hold the workpiece securely between the base and the clamp. Operate smoothly without jerks that can cause burrs.

The angle between the workpiece and the blade should be 30-40 degrees.

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Laser and milling machine

If you need to get a lot of shaped pieces, it is better to call a professional company. As a rule, such companies have machines that perform laser cutting.

Monolithic sheets are often cut on large milling machines with computer control.

Even if there is a milling machine at home, it will be difficult to pick up a replacement tool and modes of operation, so that in the process of milling not to damage the polycarbonate.

Polycarbonate. a popular material in construction and repair. There is often a question. how to cut this material? About it in our article.

Polycarbonate. a popular material for the repair of high- and low-rise, as well as country and cottage construction.

Polymer sheet is used in the construction of awnings and canopies, used instead of glass in various building structures, in the arrangement of gazebos, greenhouses and terraces, in the lining of walls and much more. Working with it is easy, convenient, but the question often arises. how to cut the polycarbonate sheets to the right size?

The best tools for cutting polycarbonate

angle grinder. If you have not worked with this tool before, it is better to practice on the unnecessary rests of polycarbonate not to be sorry to spoil. An angle grinder cuts polycarbonate easily and evenly if you set the 125 wheel for working on metal. RPMs are high, that’s why you need at least some experience with the tool.

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With a box cutter. If you do not have an angle grinder, use a box cutter. It copes well with honeycomb polycarbonate sheets of 4-6 mm thick. However, not suitable for 8mm.

Use an electric jigsaw. Suitable for cutting polycarbonate, provided you install a saw with fine teeth. In the case of large, polycarbonate sheets will not cut, but tear.

What can not cut polycarbonate

Hand saw or hacksaw, these tools will crack the material. Experienced craftsmen advise the following: if you want to cut a sheet of polycarbonate on a straight line. arm the angle grinder. Details of small size and rounded shape is more convenient to cut with an electric jigsaw, and minimal trimming can be performed with a utility knife.

Compliance with the rules

A clean, rough-free cut can be obtained by observing the following principles:

  • Place the material on a hard and level surface.
  • Press a metal ruler tightly against the mowing line of the cut.
  • Use a box cutter with a new blade. Break a blunt tip immediately!
  • Start cutting from the far edge, with a notch on the polycarbonate.
  • When you cut a long sheet of material, use an assistant to hold the ruler in place.
  • Press the blade of the knife to the ruler and apply pressure.
  • Remove any small roughness on the monolithic sheet with a emery cloth.

Important! When cutting “thick” material, a large blade angle is necessary. Do not use rulers made of wood! If the polycarbonate does not separate after making the first mowing line cut, run the knife again. Do not over bend in the hope of breaking the material! It will not break, but bend!

Finishing conversation about the knife we can say that this tool is almost ideal for cutting monolithic polycarbonate.

Polycarbonate is a plastic heat-resistant polymer material, which has found wide application in construction due to its great mechanical strength and high level of thermal insulation properties.

In our country is widespread use of cellular (or honeycomb) polycarbonate panels and solid (or monolithic) polycarbonate.

Cellular polycarbonate is used for the construction of greenhouses, mounted on facades, hinged structures and operated in many buildings.

This is because it is flexible, durable, lightweight and transparent. Solid panels are used as protective glass.

People, puzzled by the construction of a greenhouse on the site or an awning over a gazebo, ask the question. what to cut polycarbonate at home?

Is it possible to do it yourself or will it be necessary to invite specialists to do such work??

The process of cutting polycarbonate is not as difficult as it seems at first glance.

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polycarbonate

To do this, you can use the most common devices, such as:

  • angle grinder, colloquially called “angle grinder”;
  • laser unit;
  • Hacksaw or hand saw;
  • jigsaw;
  • A clerical knife;
  • milling machine.

Normal “angle grinder” with a 125 mm wheel will help make even cuts on the polycarbonate cloth.

However, if a person previously had no experience in cutting polycarbonate with this tool, then, given the high speed of the angular grinding machine, it is first worth practicing on small pieces of panels.

How to properly cut polycarbonate with a laser? When working with a laser machine also need to have experience with it, in addition, it is quite expensive equipment, which is used mainly by professional cutters glass and polycarbonate panels.

If you do not set the power of the installation, there is a risk of melting the edges of the sheet to white.

However, all the above disadvantages are compensated for by such advantages as:

  • High speed cutting;
  • Excellent quality of the edges of the resulting parts;
  • high-precision surface finish. less than five hundredths of a millimeter error;
  • It is not necessary to fix the machined surface when cutting.

The main varieties of polycarbonate

Cutting methods of polymer polycarbonate plates depend on their type. Depending on the structure, a distinction is made between:

  • Cellular polycarbonate. Is a sheet consisting of two thin plates connected together by transverse ribs. Due to the design forms a honeycomb inside the cell. This material is characterized by flexibility, low weight and affordable price.
  • Monolithic polycarbonate. Has a solid molded internal structure. The polymer is located across the entire thickness of the sheet. Due to this, the material bends worse, but provides a higher resistance to mechanical stress. This allows you to use the product as glass in the glazing of windows, arrangement of skylights and other.

What to cut polycarbonate at home: basic tools

What to cut polycarbonate at home: basic tools

angle grinder

Is in the first place among other tools, because almost everyone has an angle grinder. It is not necessary to buy an expensive tool at all. Even an inexpensive angle grinder does the job perfectly and makes clean cuts. For this purpose, you have to install a wheel 125, which is designed for metal. Only before you start slicing, you need to practice on unnecessary scraps, as the tool makes sharp turns and with a lack of habit can damage the material.

Topical recommendation: angle grinder is a very good cutter for polycarbonate, but if possible, for more accurate cutting it is better to use angle grinders with a guard for safety. Do not use cutting-off wheels of wrong diameter, either basic or fitting. It is forbidden to use circular saw blades!

A clerks knife

The knife is the most readily available of all tools suitable for cutting monolithic or honeycomb polycarbonate. As a rule, office or construction knives with retractable and interchangeable blades are used. If you have a choice, it is better to take a construction tool, because it has a comfortable handle. And the blade locking mechanism is more reliable.

A box cutter is the most affordable tool for cutting

A few aspects to consider when doing carving work:

  • The tool must be of excellent workmanship to cut polycarbonate without effort.
  • Note! It is necessary to cut polycarbonate without haste, because the blade is sharp. Here it is possible not only to spoil a polycarbonate but also to hurt yourself.

Important! Stationery knives are only suitable for cutting not thick sheets, approx. 4-6 mm. Working with thicker ones on your own at home will be difficult. The knife by and large, is useful where it is only necessary to quickly trim the edges.

Shoemaker Knife

Regardless of the type of tool, it must be well sharpened. A blunt knife will not only significantly slow down the process, but it will also leave a lot of burrs on the material. The construction knife is best suited to work with small sheets. For their trimming and adjusting to size.

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Cobbler knife is suitable for cutting polycarbonate

But, in comparison with an electric jigsaw or “angle grinder” it will take more time to cut polycarbonate with a knife. It is not very convenient to work with sheets of a large area. Please note that office and construction knives are suitable for cutting polycarbonate with a thickness of up to 6-8 millimeters.

To make a correct cut with the knife, you need to observe the following steps : Firstly, remove all unnecessary. Secondly, to test the sharpness of the knife on unnecessary scraps. Third, place a rule or thick metal ruler against the mowing line of the cut. You may also use a straight board or spirit level. When working with large sheets of area need helpers to help hold the sheet.

Using a knife to cut polycarbonate

Next, to the end of the cut bring the blade of the knife, holding the tool perpendicular to the plane of the sheet. If the polycarbonate is thin, it is acceptable to keep the knife at an angle of 30-45 °. With a smooth movement, bring the knife into the edge of the sheet to leave the initial notch there.

Hold the knife perpendicularly to the plane of the sheet

Then guide the knife along the beveled line of the cut with a ruler or rule. To prevent the knife from going over edges or irregularities in the curves, use it carefully. Do not be afraid to leave too much. you can cut it afterwards.

Cutting polycarbonate at home with a knife

And if the cut sheet does not separate from the rest of the material? So you need to spend another time on the place of the cut with the blade. Do not break the material may cause cracks and other defects.

Trim off any burrs that may exist. Trim off the excess so that the sheet is true to size. If there are any sharp edges, seal them with construction adhesive tape or duct tape. Make sure that dust and debris do not get into the cells.

Electric jigsaw

Cutting polycarbonate with an electric jigsaw

You can use a traditional electric jigsaw, it is quite suitable for cutting polycarbonate sheets. However, there is one prerequisite here. the installation of a saw with the finest possible teeth. If you do not perform it, the polycarbonate sheet will not cut, but tear.

This tool is easy to use, which is certainly a plus. It is ideal for cutting monolithic material. Electric jigsaw will cut polycarbonate, realizing complex and decorative forms, reproduce a smooth rounding.

Specialists recommend

When you need to cut thin sheets, you should stack the blades like cards 10 to 12 pieces in advance. And underneath it is recommended to put a layer of cardboard. And only after complete preparation, you can begin to cut, resulting in a remarkable result.

As for a single sheet of polycarbonate, so it is not necessary to cut it that way risk of cracking. Fixes the situation by 5 with a sharpened tool.

Cutting polycarbonate on a 4-meter greenhouse Kremlin

Hacksaw

Here you need to consider your level of professionalism on cutting polycarbonate. If there is a preparation then you can apply a hacksaw. Knowing how to cut and fasten will help eliminate any mistakes.

Hacksaw

1.Hold the hacksaw at an angle of about 30°; fix the polycarbonate sheet as carefully as possible;

Use a workbench, vise, or clamps if you have them. convenient and most importantly, the quality will look cutting material using an electric jigsaw or a construction knife with a retractable blade.

A small addition to the above

When it comes to what to cut polycarbonate for the greenhouse at home, you can also use materials for cutting, which are practiced in the works on metal! For example, the cutter.

Deciding to engage in cutting polycarbonate sheets, a person who does not have experience will doubt how you can cut polycarbonate with a hacksaw. The answer to the question: it is also possible with a simple hand saw. The trick lies in the fact that without experience, it is easy to get cracks in the mowing line cuts.

Remember if you decide to use a hacksaw the fastening of the sheets plays the most important role here! They need to be secured in such a way as to avoid any vibration and stress. Then the hacksaw will not let you down.

Fast laser cutting

Fast and precise laser cutting

If before we considered simple, accessible to everyone tools, now it is worth mentioning a more progressive innovative means. The laser is probably one of the best tools that can safely cut polycarbonate. Of course, such a facility is not for everyone, in addition, it requires a set of skills. Therefore, this method is often chosen by people engaged in polycarbonate on a professional level. They know exactly how to cut and fix polycarbonate, any mistakes are excluded.

Advantages

  • Maximum speed of manipulation. Minimal time and effort.
  • This option, how to cut monolithic polycarbonate at home, guarantees the absence of failures and defects.
  • Precise cutting is ensured, as the laser controls dimensional accuracy down to 0.05 mm.
  • During the sawing sheets are not required to secure, which facilitates the task.

Cutting polycarbonate

However, despite all the apparent advantages and chic characteristics, such equipment is very expensive. Of course, a one-time use is not worth the expense. Another thing if you have grandiose plans in the field of manufacturing greenhouses own workshop, in which you will regularly make various coatings from polycarbonate. It should be understood that when working with an industrial laser, you can’t do without the appropriate skills, which are almost impossible to learn on your own.

Stages of cutting and assembling polycarbonate

What to cut polycarbonate and how to do it correctly

What and how to cut polycarbonate? This question asks almost every second visitor of our site. Let’s see what tools and skills are needed to do it.

Over several years of work with a wonderful material called polycarbonate, I certainly tried different tools for its cutting. And today I would like to distinguish some of them especially valuable and frequently used.

Earlier I wrote about how to cut a sheet of polycarbonate. And at the time of writing I was using exactly those tools, which are listed in the article. But time and technology don’t stand still. I had to try quite a few tools, of course. And today, I will talk about more reliable means and methods of cutting polycarbonate.

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