For do it yourself building projects there are basically just two types of clear plastic panels we tend to think about. Clear sheet acrylic, generally known of as plexiglas is thought of for its flexibility and workability. Polycarbonate
, such as GE Lexan
is more often the choice for projects which require a greater degree of impact resistance. Either type can be used for windows or other exterior applications but be aware that polycarbonate seems to maintain its clarity after long term exposure to UV better than plexiglas
If your source for clear plastic sheeting doesn't cut the material to your needed size and sell it that way, that means you will need to size the material for your project when you get home. The simplest way to get clean straight cuts in either material is on a table saw using a 60 tooth or greater, triple chip carbide blade
. Be sure to wear appropriate personal protection and feed the material slowly and steadily through the saw.
Thinner rigid plastic sheeting can be sized by scoring deeply with a sharp blade. Make repeated passes along a metal straight edge to ensure a deep score line on both sides of the material. Just scoring on one side will not produce a nice clean break. After scoring the material, place it so the score line is at the edge of a table or work bench and trap the sheet by holding it down with a piece of lumber along the score line. Then simply apply firm downward pressure to snap the material right along your score line. If you'd like to you can easily smooth your newly cut edge with a little fine grit sand paper or emery cloth.