The dermal can also be used to cut Plexiglas. It may not be the best tool for this type of media, but sometimes you’re in a bind and it’s the only option.
All of the fundamental concepts of cutting with the dermal are in play here, but Plexiglas introduces a new consideration. Since Plexiglas melts at such a low temperature, you must use a low, low, low cutting pace.
If you’re bored with the way you’re cutting it, you’re on the right track. I went with the flex shaft and the strengthened #426 cutting wheel, which is the only cutting wheel worth using for any work.
I have a scrap piece of Plexiglas on which I etched a simple design with my cone-shaped grinding stone. Etching deserves its own article, mostly because this was my first attempt and I’m still not very successful at it.
Since we’re taking out a pane rather than a hole, you’ll want to cut on the outside of your line this time. This is what happens when you cut at an excessively fast pace. The Plexiglas melts and then cools, leaving behind a smattering of noxious Plexiglas-crumbs.
If they build up too fast, you’ll have to cut back the debris that has resoled the field and glued the groove shut. There’s no need for a grinding stone now that it’s been cut out, so you’ll need a smooth straight edge.
To clean it up, I simply rubbed each side with my sanding block. Even if it’s a little crumby, it cleans up well. The clean/slow cut sides, on the other hand, needed much less effort to clean up.
That concludes our discussion. You can get good results with a small investment if you choose your method carefully. You should expect outstanding results if you take safe care on both your body and the piece you’re working on.
Cutting Plexiglas with Dermal
- If the Dermal rotary tool is plugged in, unplug it. Tighten the collets with the wrench after loosening the collect and inserting a 561 multipurpose cutting bit. Connect the tool to a power source and set it aside.
- To cover yourself, put on protective goggles and gloves.
- Create a mark on the Plexiglas where it will be cut. If a straight cut is needed, use a straightedge as a reference, clamping the straight edge to the Plexiglas to prevent it from moving. If you’re cutting the Plexiglas freehand, no cutting guides are required.
- Label the Plexiglas with a marker where you want to cut it with a straight edge.
- Remove the cutting bit from the tool and use an air compressor to blast any material cuttings free.
- Start the cut by setting the tool to 6 or 8. When cutting into a piece of material, Dermal suggests starting at a 45-degree angle. This will improve the blade’s contact with the material. As needed, finish the cut.