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Cutting Perspex tip needed.

Total Topics: 28
Total Posts: 67
Hi there, oh knowledgable one's ... just wondered if anyone has any tips on the best way to cut acrylic/perspex sheet?

I have a piece 2mm thick that I want to make a guitar template with but I don't want to crack it when I cut. Is a bandsaw a good idea? Then how to smooth the cut edges? Glass paper?

Your thoughts as always much appreciated.


Apr 11, 10 | 7:21 am

Total Topics: 20
Total Posts: 240
Try a small practice piece on the bandsaw to see if that works.

Then I use an oscillating sander or the sanding barrels (from the Luthier's Friend kit) in my drill press to smooth the edges.

One way to do it is to make a template from some Hard Masonite or plywood and smooth the edges to perfection then use that template to cut out your acrylic with a router.

Preferably the router should be hooked up to a router table as it eases this process.
The router leaves the edge very smooth and I find, sometimes, it doesn't need to be polished.

Be very careful using the router set up with the table because if you feed the item in the wrong way it can be disastrous! Don't ask me how I know this. ;>)

Home depot sells thicker acrylic sheet goods if you need it to be thicker.

Good luck!


Apr 11, 10 | 9:49 am

Total Topics: 28
Total Posts: 65
Thanks Don ... I already have a plywood template which I used with my current, first, build but I recently saw someone using an acrylic template which made life so much easier when guestimating how the plate would look.

I might use the ply template as a template for the acrylic on the router. I guess I will have to set up some kind of bearing to stop me router through the plywood template also!

Apr 11, 10 | 10:20 am

Total Topics: 20
Total Posts: 240
Hi Paul,
All you need is a pattern making router bit that comes with the bearing already attached to the top of it so that when it comes up through the router table the bearing is on the top of the cutter.
Then place your ply on top of your acrylic with two sided tape and route the acrylic while the bearing rides on the plywood's edge.

I bought a small craftsman router table with router included for 89.00 at sears and I have to say it works awesome.

I use Whiteside Downshear Flush Trim #2580 router bits that have a shear angle to the flukes. The cutters are about 2" long with a 1/2" shank for routing 3/4" plywood.
Here is a link:

If you have no experience with the router being attached to the table learn what direction to feed the piece into. My first piece was ripped from the table, hit me in the stomach and flew 25'into the yard. OUCH! Please exercise caution.
Also, there are always several ways to do the same task. This is just my method.
Best of luck,

Apr 11, 10 | 11:44 am

Total Topics: 6
Total Posts: 295
I cut acrylic on the band saw. 10 teeth per inch, and I put tape on both sides of the acrylic where I'm going to cut. I've never had a problem.


Apr 11, 10 | 12:02 pm
Kevin Sjostrand

Total Topics: 84
Total Posts: 981
I too cut out all of my acrylic templates on the bandsaw, then sanded them smooth, also using a drum sander for some of the sanding.
I think the tape on either side would be a good idea too.


Apr 11, 10 | 6:07 pm
Ken Cierp

Total Topics: 58
Total Posts: 2262
These work fine

I prefer the DS style since they tend to push the work down rather then lift it off the table. The plastic cutting bits I have used all have a special spiral configuration.


Kenneth Michael Guitars est. 1978

Apr 12, 10 | 10:38 am

Total Topics: 28
Total Posts: 65
thanks guys ... a few things to look at.

Apr 12, 10 | 11:14 am

Total Topics: 20
Total Posts: 240
Great link.
Thanks Ken

Apr 12, 10 | 6:45 pm

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