How to cut Axgard glazing sheets?
One of the reasons Axgard Solid Plastic Sheets are a popular roofing solution is because of how easy they are to work with, cut and drill! Unlike cheaper plastics which go brittle and shatter when cutting, polycarbonate is simple to cut.
By the end of this blog, you will successfully be able to cut your glazing sheets with ease and if you are still not convinced, just let the team at Clear Amber do this for you. We offer free cut-to-size across all our Polycarbonate Sheets.
Before you start cutting your sheets the first step will be to calculate your rafter spacing as when you are installing a polycarbonate roof its more than likely you will have to either cut your sheets to size, to match your rafter spacing. It can seem a difficult task to complete if you do not normally work in the trade. However, when done right and with using the correct tools even individuals with no experience can complete this.
It’s also important to remember that polycarbonate expands slightly with heat so you will need to trim your sheets width ways to allow for an expansion gap. Please check you’re the specification of your glazing bars to identify the correct gap measurement.
To have a clean finish on your sheets, it is essential to learn how to cut the sheets properly. Plus, it is an excellent skill to have for any future projects you may have. Follow the steps below to learn how to cut Axgard solid plastic glazing sheets:
To cut Axgard Sheets you will require:
- A Jigsaw with blade (Installers Tip: a fine tooth blade with upward-cutting teeth is easiest)
- A Measuring Tape
- A Marker Pen
- A Level or Ruler
To cut Axgard Glazing Sheets follow these steps below:
- Ensure you are wearing the appropriate PPE and have the correct tools before starting
- Secure the Axgard Glazing sheet that you are cutting is with a clamp, or similar, to hold it firmly. Any movement will effect how straight your cut finishes up!
- Using the marker pen draw a line on the Axgard Protective Film where you want you cut to land, using a Level or similar to keep it straight. You can also cut shapes and curves if you wish! (Installers Tip: A Jigsaw Edge Guide, as shown in our How 2 Video, can be easier if you are close to the edge)
- Select the highest blade speed available.
- Start the jigsaw and check it is all running smoothly and in order
- Starting from your chosen point, move the jigsaw slowly into the Axgard® Sheet being carful to start off straight
- Then speed up to a medium feed speed as you move across the sheet, following your marker line
- When reaching the end, main your feed speed until an inch or so from the edge where you will want to slow down. Be careful at this point as the offcut may be moving around more!
Don’t have the time to cut your sheets?
Take the hassle out of cutting your sheets on-site and let our manufacturing teams deal with it. All you need to do is request the specific size you require when ordering your Axgard® solid sheets and we'll do the cutting for you. Free cut so size on all polycarbonate sheets.
Common Questions about Cutting Plastic Sheets
How To Get A Clean Cut When Cutting Plastic Sheets?
To cut a plastic sheet cleanly it requires two things: the correct blade on the right tool and the sheet to be secured down firmly.
Firstly, having the correct tool and blade makes a significant difference. The best saw to use for Plastic Sheets is a Jigsaw. They are easy to control and keep in a straight line! For polycarbonate, a fine-toothed blade is the best option to use. Using a fine-toothed blade creates a smoother cutting motion and in turn a cleaner cut. Do not be tempted to try it with a rough-toothed blade.
Secondly, it is important to hold the sheet firmly in position to achieve a good clean cut. The sheets ideally should be clamped down and not move at all when cutting.
How to Cut Shapes in Glazing Sheets?
Depending on your project, you might need to create a shape in your glazing sheet; for example, around a soil pipe on the back wall of a lean-to roof.
To cut your shape into the plastic sheets, you need to first create a template for the shape. In DIY applications, templates can be made from paper or cardboard. On one side of the template draw up your shape with all the correct details, such as holes, cut-outs and notches. Then trim your template to match the shape outline. It’s very important to double-check that the template is the accurate size so measure twice and cut once.
Alternatively, you can mark cutting lines onto the protective sheet film to show where you like to cut your polycarbonate. Marking on the film will save drawing on the sheet itself.
Once you have marked or created a template you can simply follow the cutting video instructions above.
Is Polycarbonate Or Acrylic Easier To Cut?
Both polycarbonate and acrylic sheets can be cut but acrylic sheets are particularly hard to do without cracking. Acrylic sheets are made from a much more brittle plastic so tend to crack or split when cutting.
Polycarbonate is very easy to cut compared to acrylic due to its high quality and shatterproof material. This is true for both solid and twin wall polycarbonate sheets.
Another sheet similar to acrylic is styrene sheet, even harder to cut and very brittle. Styrene is a low-quality material that should be only used for low-impact internal uses.
Are Multiwall and Solid Polycarbonate Sheets Cut The Same?
Yes, Axgard Solid and Axiome Multiwall Plastic Sheets have the same easy cutting method.
There are some slight differences so please view our How to Cut Polycarbonate Sheets video for the full guide on cutting our Multiwall and Twinwall Polycarbonate Sheets.
Can I Use a Hand Saw to Cut Solid Glazing Sheets?
No, only on some thicknesses. The main challenge of using a hand saw to cut solid plastic sheets is that it is very hard to get a high enough speed to create a smooth cut and you run the risk of an untidy finish. From experience, you are best to avoid using a hand saw and use a jig saw, or similar, instead.
It is important to consider the thickness of the sheet before attempting to cut it with a handsaw. Relatively speaking if you are using thicker sheets of 8mm or more it is possible to hand-cut a sheet due to the extra rigidity. Anything below 8mm will be too thin and flexible to be able to cut properly.
Would you like further help with your Polycarbonate Sheet Project?
Simply jump on our Live Chat or via email firstname.lastname@example.org where our Teams will provide you with all the advice and support you require for your project.
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