Things You'll Need
For best results, use a fresh, sharp blade.
File down any rough edges on the Plexiglas.
Always follow the manufacturer's instructions and safety precautions for your jigsaw. Don't forget your safety equipment: eye protection, ear protection, proper clothing and a mask to cover your nose and mouth (never inhale the loose Plexiglas particles).
If you have a jigsaw, you can cut Plexiglas. One trick to help prevent splintering is to stick painter's tape over the cut line. To keep the saw from veering left or right on straight cuts, use a clamp-on guide. This will give you a more professional look. Also, don't forget the blade: Find an uncoated (that is, unpainted) fine-toothed sheet metal jigsaw blade (such as DeWalt's 32 TPI). It might be a good idea to practice first on a few scrap pieces of Plexiglas.
Place the Plexiglas sheet on an even work bench or table.
Use a yard stick or ruler to roughly measure the length of Plexiglas you wish to cut. Mark your cut line with a grease pen.
Cover the cut line by sticking a line of wide painter's tape directly over it.
Measure again and mark another cut line atop the painter's tape.
Snap the jigsaw's plastic base and insert into place.
Put on your safety goggles, leather gloves, ear plugs and mask.
Place the blade of the jigsaw at the edge of the cutting line.
Turn on the jigsaw and slowly cut the first few centimeters of the Plexiglas. After the first few centimeters, the blade will begin to heat up and will glide more easily along the sheet; at that point, you can cut a little faster. When you near the end of the cut, grab the overhanging section of Plexiglas before it falls. Do not put your hand near the blade.
Dave Baker NYC
Dave Baker is an editor and writer based in New York. He has more than a dozen years of experience in the media industry, including work for "The Nation" magazine, the "New York Times" and the "Times-Picayune" of New Orleans, where he shared two staff Pulitzer Prizes after Hurricane Katrina.