How to make a cut-out on an acrylic sheet


What is the right tool and method to make a small rectangular cut-out (about 9"x5") on an clear acrylic sheet (0.093" thick)?

I want to use the sheet as a kind of kitchen back splash protector behind the stove. The sealing on the new tumbled marble back splash is no match for the greasy/smokey cooking that my family does.

The cut-out is for light switches and outlets.

I used a plastic cutter from Home Depot to cut the large sheet (36" x 72") into the overall shape that I want, and it took a very long time (I was probably not doing it right). So I hope there's a better tool/way to make the cut-out.

Best Answer

As you have already found out, cutting P-glass is tricky. The plastic cutters you mentioned are very gimmicky and don't work that well. I would suggest the following procedure:

After marking out your cut on the plexi, take a scrap piece of any firm material, plywood, an old board, anything, and cut a slightly oversuninstallized hole in it to act as a backer for your plexi.

With your plexi on top of the backer, Drill holes in two oposite corners of the marked hole you want to make.

Use a varible speed jig saw at a very low speed with a fine tooth wood or course tooth metal blade to cut out the shape. Stay just barely inside of the waste side of the mark.

Finish the hole and smooth the edges with a fine bastard file and some 220 grit paper.

If you are really cleaver, you could make the hole smaller than the device cover so no plexi edges would be exposed. You may need longer screws to attach the cover plates, but you can get them at any electrical dept.