Does Home Depot Cut Plexiglass? Tips For Professionals And DIYers.
Plexiglass is synthetic and cost-effective material used for designing windows, aquarium, windscreens and LED screens. It’s an incredible alternative to glass.
Several features make plexiglass an excellent glass substitute. And among them is the fact that it is lightweight, shatterproof, durable and rigid.
Plexiglass cutting is the major challenge. Being a rigid acrylic material makes it hard and tricky to cut. If you don’t take proper care, you could hurt yourself in the process or damage the synthetic glass.
So, you must have some patience and know-how to cut plexiglass. Home Depot has the financial and human resources to provide such cutting services, but here’s the big question many have been asking.
Does Home Depot cut Plexiglass?
Unfortunately, Home Depot is no longer doing plexiglass cutting. They were offering the service in the past but didn’t find success doing it.
Plexiglass cutting may look simple on the outside. But in reality, the process is quite a chore. You have to be very careful not to mess the material up or harm yourself.
Keep reading for more information on this topic.
Why Did Home Depot Stop Offering Plexiglass Cutting Service?
In business, the first thing people consider is profit and risk. No company is without risk. But if the risk outshines the reward, then it’s not worth it.
Home Depot offers wood cutting service, making DIYers and professionals’ jobs a breeze. The company used to provide plexiglass cutting service, but no longer does.
You can buy plexiglass from the Home Depot and do the cutting yourself or find a hardware store to do it. No Home Depot associate will assist you with that. And here’s why.
Damage recorded was more than the number of plexiglasses sold:
Unlike wood and glass, cutting plexiglass is quite tricky and demands a lot of patience, which many associates might not have. One mistake and you would have to buy new plexiglass. Otherwise, you may have to abandon your construction project.
One primary reason Home Depot stopped plexiglass cutting is the high risk involved. Anything can happen to the material while cutting it.
Associates were damaging more plexiglasses than the company was selling. So it didn’t seem like a reasonable decision to continue offering the plexiglass cutting service.
Home Depot is held responsible when an associate damages a customer’s plexiglass. And sometimes, losses incurred can accumulate to worrying figures. This gave the company enough reasons to stop plexiglass cutting.
No business is glad to incur losses, no matter how small they are. Therefore, Home Depot made a wise choice closing cutting service for the synthetic material.
Home Depot’s decision to abandon plexiglass cutting might not have sat well with most customers, but the company should be happy with their decision.
The plexiglass cutting seemed too demanding for the company. And besides, the many damages associates were incurring; one could easily get injured while cutting plexiglass.
When an associate gets injured while discharging his duties, Home Depot has to take care of the persons’ hospital bills.
If you aren’t careful while cutting plexiglass, chances are, you could cut yourself in the process. This also contributed to Home Depot’s decision to abandon the cutting service.
Limited floor space:
If you have been to any Home Depot store, you will understand that they have limited floor space. The company sells multiple items, so you would occasionally find their stores filled to the brim.
Besides the materials, Home Depot often gets crowded with customers. Therefore, creating a stable space for plexiglass cutting sakes may not be a viable decision business-wise.
Furthermore, if associates decide to make room within the store to cut the material, they would have to keep other customers waiting. Packing the items in the store together would also make self-service more challenging for other customers.
The best option would be to have a special work station dedicated to plexiglass cutting because one has to be extremely careful when cutting this material. But unfortunately, Home Depot doesn’t have much space to spare.
No plexiglass cutting full-time employees:
Hiring full-time employees for plexiglass cutting would have made the service a hit at Home Depot. The employees would be given proper training and gain more experiences since their focus will be wholly on plexiglass cutting.
One needs to be extremely careful when cutting this synthetic material. It would help if you had maximum concentration, patience and know what you’re doing to avoid terrible mistakes.
On the other hand, customers always want their plexiglasses to be accurate and cut in various shapes. Some even request round cuts, which takes time and requires utmost concentration. Unfortunately, Home Depot associates are super busy and might not fancy spending too much time cutting plexiglass.
So, with full-time employees dedicated to plexiglass cutting, things would have been easier. But then Home Depot may have to charge a fee, maybe 15 USD or more. But how many customers would be willing to shell out such an amount?
The issue with accuracy:
Regardless of where you want to mount your plexiglass, ensuring accuracy when cutting the material is crucial. If the cut is not accurate, it won’t fit properly into the window openings, exhaust hose flanges, windscreen or air conditioner you’re constructing.
However, having accurate cuts is one of the issues with cutting plexiglass materials. That’s why most hardware stores make customers understand that they will not be held responsible should anything go wrong while cutting their plexiglass.
This material easily breaks. But if you can muster the courage to cut it accurately, you’ll find that it’s a perfect substitute for glass material.
DIY Tips On How To Cut Plexiglass
Do you know you can cut plexiglass accurately in your home without any special skills? What you require is the right tool and a platform to lay the material.
You may even have some of the required tools already. But if you don’t, approach your neighbors for help or get the tools you don’t have. You may need it for other DIY projects later. Who knows?
So, your first step should be getting the needed plexiglass cutting tools. Here are the examples.
- Safety goggles
- Work gloves
- Circular saw blades
- Tape measure
- Circular saws
- Utility knife
- Glass cutter
- Power drill
Here are the simple steps:
Step#1 – Find a suitable work surface:
Don’t lay your plexiglass on the bare floor to cut. Have the material placed on a raised and smooth platform.
It would be best to use a wooden work surface, so the plexiglass won’t break if accidentally dropped.
The work surface should also accommodate the entire plexiglass and still have extra space all around it. Use a leveled work surface to prevent the plexiglass from slipping and falling off.
Another vital thing to do is ensure the protective layer on the plexiglass stays put until you cut and finish the material.
Step#2: Start marking the plexiglass:
This is the point where you’re going to need your tape measure, pencil or marker, and ruler. You don’t need your safety goggles or hand gloves. Hand gloves will make marking the material accurately more challenging.
Using your tape measure, start marking the portion of the plexiglass you want to use. And ensure you have measured where you want to have it mounted before you start marking the plexiglass.
After marking, use short dashes to extend the lines on each marked point. Then use your ruler to connect each dash to make a straight line.
A Handy Tip: Check if the line you made across the plexiglass is accurate by observing first and measuring with your ruler. If it isn’t, try repeating the process until you’re sure it’s correct.
Step#3: Time to score or cut the plexiglass:
You’re going to need your circular saw, saw blade, cutter or knife close by at this stage. Safety should also be a concern.
You need to wear your goggle to protect your eyes from splinters. Do not cut the plexiglass without wearing one.
Another protective item is hand gloves. Since you’re going to be working with sharp objects, you need to wear gloves to prevent injuries.
The next step is to clamp the plexiglass gently to the work surface. And ensure it is stable so you can cut accurately.
Remember you can use a saw, cutter or utility knife. Now let’s assume you’re using a circular saw.
First, fit the blade into the saw and ensure it’s one with a cross-cut for chipping prevention. The next step is to start cutting. Place the circular saw at the start of the marked line and cut gently. Place the saw upright while cutting.
Maintain a slow speed while cutting your plexiglass. However, if you’re looking to cut through the material faster, then spray some water occasionally on the cut surface.
Let’s assume you’re using a utility knife or cutter. In that case, all you have to do is score the plexiglass on both sides on the previously marked line 5 to 10 times.
After doing that, move the scored line to the edge of the work surface. Then have it clamped down gently.
Step#4: Finish the surface:
Your plexiglass’ surface would be uneven after cutting. It doesn’t matter if you used a circular saw, cutter or utility knife.
You would need wet-sanding and finer sandpaper to finish the cut surface at different times. Use the wet-sanding (120-grit) for the first time. When the surface becomes smoother, then you can use the finer sandpaper (600-grit).
Once you achieve a suitable texture, that’s where the hand drill would become useful. With a buffer fitted to the drill, polish the plexiglass’ edge to your taste.
Does Home Depot cut plexiglass? The company used to offer this service, but it stopped for several reasons. So, Home Depot does not cut plexiglass. It only sells it.
If you want to cut plexiglass, you can either take it to a hardware store or do the cutting yourself. Use the tips provided on this post to cut your plexiglass without messing things up.