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How to Cut Multi-Wall Polycarbonate

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Building With Polycarbonate 101.pdf


Class materials given to ateendees at the Building with Polycarbonate 101 class held at the Polycarbonate Store / Charley's Greenhouse.

 

4 mm, 6 mm, 8 mm and 10 mm Polycarbonate

You can cut small amounts of polycarbonate panels with a box knife. Larger jobs should be cut with a circular saw, table saw or saber saw. In all cases, a fine-tooth blade is required. (Plywood/finish blade for circular saw / table saw, and a metal cutting blade for a saber saw.


Circular saw / saber saw: Clamp a straight-edge to the polycarbonate sheet to guide the saw. Proper cutting speed is important ... Too slow and the plastic will melt, too fast and you may have large chips.


Table saw: Push polycarbonate sheets through the saw as you would a piece of plywood paneling.

Box knife:  Not recommended, but can be used for small, short cuts.  Always draw the knife away from the hand holding the polycarbonate sheet. A box knife tends to drag and skip, making it dangerous to use. Draw the knife lightly to start the cut then repeat with more pressure. When the cut is almost complete, you can flex and snap the pieces to finish the separation.

Cutting 16 mm polycarbonate: A table saw and circular saw are the best cutting tools. A saber saw may be useful for cutting holes or rounding corners.

When the polycarbonate panels are cut to size, small particles may have entered the flute channels.  The Polycarbonate Store uses compressed air to clear the flutes.  Peel off the protective film from the inside of the panel and inspect the panel closely.  Remove any remaining  particles with a vacuum or compressed air.  Do not flush the flutes with water because it may take a long time to dry out.