How To Cut Polycarbonate For A Greenhouse

How to cut polycarbonate at home with a knife

Many people believe that it is better to cut polycarbonate with a knife, since this tool is considered the most affordable, while it is suitable for both honeycomb and monolithic material. Regardless of what kind of knife will be used at home, in order to cut polycarbonate, the blade must be sharpened well in any case. It is important to take into account the fact that a dull knife will leave a large number of burrs and irregularities on the building material.

It should be understood that cutting material at home using a construction knife will be much more difficult and longer than using an electric jigsaw or an angle grinder. Also, the inconvenience lies in the fact that the knife is great for small sheets and the polycarbonate should have a thickness of 6 to 8 mm, no more.

The step-by-step algorithm of the work carried out is as follows:

  • The first step is to prepare a site for work at home. It is important to properly prepare the place and apply the markings.
    How To Cut Polycarbonate For A Greenhouse
  • Many experts recommend trying the knife on that part of the polycarbonate that will not be used in the future for the construction of the structure. This is necessary in order to check how sharp the knife is and whether it is convenient for them to cut. If necessary, the blade can be replaced or sharpened.
  • A thick ruler made of metal is applied to the applied mowing line of the cut. If this tool is absent, then you can use a building level or a flat wooden board.
  • Attach a knife blade from the end of the cut line. If you plan to cut thick polycarbonate at home, then the tool should be in a perpendicular position relative to the plane of the sheet. For thin materials, the angle of inclination can vary from 30 to 45 degrees. A knife is inserted as accurately as possible into the end of the sheet, thereby making a notch.
  • The knife must be guided from the left notch along the cut mowing line. In order not to disturb the cutting, it is recommended to use a ruler when working at home.

It is important to keep the cutting speed as low as possible. In this case, the most important thing is to be accurate. The knife should not go beyond the line outlined with a marker, otherwise it will not work perfectly to cut the sheet. Do not be afraid to leave too much, if necessary, all this can be cut off quite easily.

How to cut polycarbonate at home

Cutting of cellular polycarbonate can be done in several ways. Each option has its own characteristics and nuances. That is why it is best to first study all the subtleties of the work and only after that choose a specific option that suits best.

How to properly cut polycarbonate with a hacksaw

Very often, in order to cut polycarbonate, a hacksaw is used, designed for working on metal and having small and frequent teeth. This option allows you to cut the building material into square or rectangular pieces. If we compare the process of work, then it is necessary to cut polycarbonate according to the same step-by-step algorithm as when working with a construction knife.

Before you start cutting polycarbonate sheets at home, many experts recommend that you first take into account some of the nuances, among which the following points should be noted:

  • When cutting, the hacksaw should be positioned at an angle of 30 degrees;
  • If you have a workbench or a clamp, it is recommended to securely fix the polycarbonate sheets, which will greatly facilitate the cutting process.

It is worth cutting the material as carefully as possible so as not only not to damage the sheet, but also not to injure yourself.

How to cut solid polycarbonate

If necessary, you can carry out the process of cutting monolithic polycarbonate at home. A circular saw with small teeth is perfect for these purposes. In order not only to cut polymeric material, but also to achieve the best possible result, many experts recommend giving preference to teeth that are equipped with special solid inserts. Thanks to this approach, it is possible to prevent unwanted material heating. If you plan to cut a sheet with a thickness of up to 2 mm, then in this case it is recommended to cut from 10 polycarbonate sheets at the same time. As practice shows, cutting several sheets at the same time is much easier and more convenient than one.

It is important to understand that if you cut a single polycarbonate sheet of small thickness, then the material may crack during operation. In this case, it is best to use a guillotine cutter, but this method also has a significant drawback. the cut edges will turn out to be rough. If necessary, you can use a band saw up to 2 cm wide.

How to properly cut polycarbonate angle grinder

To cut solid polycarbonate to size, you can use an electric construction tool, such as an angle grinder. This option is great if you need to cut a large amount of polymer material at home.

For work at home, cutting wheels for metal should be used. At the moment when it is planned to cut the product, it is worth using an angle grinder at low speeds, which will eliminate the process of melting.

The step-by-step algorithm of work is as follows:

  • As in all other cases, you will need to prepare the surface for work in advance. Since an electric tool will be used, care must be taken to have a scaffold. For these purposes, you can use several boards.
  • In the absence of experience with an angle grinder, it is worth learning how to work on unnecessary pieces of polycarbonate. This approach will allow you to cut the sheet as smoothly as possible and without consequences.
  • After the sander has been turned on and has reached the required number of revolutions, you can bring the cut-off wheel to the applied cut mowing line. It is necessary to move slowly, controlling the position of the device along the applied mowing line. Safety goggles must be worn when working at home.
  • After the cutting process has been completed, the device is disconnected from the power supply. If you had to cut cellular polycarbonate, then you will need to remove plastic shavings from the cells.

As you can see, using an angle grinder is quite simple, while the work will be done at home in the shortest possible period of time.

Preparation and marking of sheets

Before you start cutting polycarbonate for a greenhouse or any other structure, you must first carry out preparatory work and make the appropriate markings on the material.

The first step is to completely clean the place where you plan to cut the polymer material. All debris and unnecessary items must be removed. This is necessary not for reasons of cleanliness, but so that nothing distracts from the process during work. After the surface is prepared, it is necessary to put a sheet of plywood or fiberboard on it. Only then can the cutting site be considered as flat as possible.

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It is worth putting a sheet of polycarbonate on the workplace. In the event that the material has a laminated surface, a mirror or a special coating, then this side should look up. Until the material is cut, the protective film must remain in place.

The preliminary marking should initially be applied to a blank sheet of paper as a diagram with respect to scale. After that, you will need to transfer all the markup from the paper sheet to polycarbonate. For measurements at home, it is best to use a tape measure or a metal ruler. For marking, use a black marker. If you plan to work with large polycarbonate, then many experts recommend putting a board on the polymer material with a width of 10 cm and moving only on it. This approach will eliminate damage to polycarbonate.

In the place where it is planned to cut the sheet, it is required to put wooden boards about 4 cm high and 10 cm wide on the right and left sides of the cut mowing line.In this case, the ends of the boards must necessarily look out from both sides of the polymer material.

Movement should be carried out on the board in the same way as at the time of drawing the corresponding markings. This is the only way not to damage the material, carrying out all the work at home.

How to cut cellular polycarbonate

If you plan to cut cellular polycarbonate at home, then you should understand that this type of building material has a porous structure, as a result of which the work process can be very specific. If the thickness of the material does not exceed 1 cm, then in this case you can do only with a clerical or construction knife with a retractable blade. When cutting cellular polycarbonate along the stiffeners, you will need to do the work in several stages.

Starting cutting should be carried out on the outer surface, after which the sheet of cellular polycarbonate is turned over and a similar action is performed, only on the other side of the building material. When it became necessary to cut the polycarbonate sheet across the stiffeners, the algorithm of actions will already include 3 stages. Thus, as in the previous version, the product is cut from both sides, after which the inner partition is carefully cut.

When a polymer product exceeds 1 cm in thickness, you will need to use a hacksaw for metal or wood, while the teeth must be divorced. If you have an electric tool, for example, an angle grinder or a jigsaw, you can give preference to them, but the speed of the selected tool should be at a minimum level.

Tips Tricks

When cutting solid or cellular polycarbonate, it is necessary to adhere to some very important recommendations, as a result of which the finished result will surpass all expectations:

  • Before you start cutting building material at home, it is recommended to first prepare the surface on which all work will be carried out. this is due to the fact that if the material lies on a foreign object or debris, then there is a high probability that it will be damaged;
  • When using electrical tools, it is always worth remembering personal safety measures, as a result of which protective glasses must be used and certain skills in working with the device must be available;
  • Using a jigsaw or an angle grinder presupposes a special support, which is placed under the polycarbonate sheets;
  • For convenience, appropriate markings are made on the material and only after that it is cut.

It is worth doing the work according to a step-by-step algorithm.

If necessary, you can see exactly how the process of cutting polycarbonate on.

Laser cutting of polycarbonate

If there is an urgent need to cut polycarbonate to size, then in this case you can use a laser. As practice shows, thanks to the use of an industrial laser, it is possible to cut polycarbonate sheets as quickly, accurately and efficiently as possible at home. If you combine modern technology and numerical control, the cutting accuracy will be carried out up to 0.5 mm.

However, it is important to understand that such convenience of working at home, in addition to high technical characteristics, also has a high cost, as a result of which not everyone can afford this equipment. It is impractical to use expensive professional equipment at a time. It is a completely different matter if you plan to open a workshop that will specialize in the manufacture of polycarbonate greenhouses, roofs, fences and lightweight canopies. In addition, if work experience and certain skills were not required in the previous versions, then in this case it is impossible to do without it, moreover, self-study at home will not be crowned with success.

How to cut polycarbonate. material cutting rules

How to cut polycarbonate?

Polycarbonate is a thermoplastic polymer material that is rapidly gaining popularity in the construction industry. High strength, ductility and ease of installation allowed them to occupy niches where glass and acrylic previously “dominated”.

Polycarbonate is produced in the form of cellular or cast monolithic panels. In private households, it is increasingly used to equip greenhouses, greenhouses, fences and as an alternative to glass. Therefore, it will be logical to find out how to cut polycarbonate at home and what equipment to use.

Jigsaw

How to cut polycarbonate if you need to get decorative shapes? Of course a jigsaw. A standard electric jigsaw with fine teeth is suitable for work. Similar to cutting an angle grinder, you need to practice with a jigsaw on a small piece of this material. When cutting thin sheets, there is a risk of cracking, therefore, firstly, the saw teeth must be sharp, and secondly, it is worth cutting out at once 10-12 sheets laid on a cardboard backing.

Electric jigsaw

A household, most ordinary electric jigsaw is also quite suitable for working with polycarbonate sheets, only you need to install a file with fine teeth on it, otherwise the material will tear, not cut. This tool, like the angle grinder, is quite easy to use, but to be completely confident in the quality of work, it is advisable to also practice in advance. An electric jigsaw is very much in demand, especially when you have to cut monolithic polycarbonate of complex decorative shapes or make roundings.

Note: If you have to cut thin sheets, experts recommend folding the canvases of 10-12 pieces, and placing a layer of cardboard under them and then cutting everything at the same time.

When it is necessary to cut only one sheet, the risk of cracking increases significantly. To prevent damage to the material, you need to work only with a very well sharpened tool. There are craftsmen who use scissors when working with polycarbonate. This is also perfectly acceptable. The main thing is that the tool used does not violate the structure of the canvases.

Milling

Milling is only suitable for cutting solid polycarbonate. It allows you to make highly precise shaped cuts. A metal cutter is an excellent alternative to laser cutting. Cut the edge at any angle on a milling machine, its speed is higher than when using a laser.

Most modern machines are computer controlled, which allows you to apply perfectly accurate relief images to the surface of a polycarbonate sheet.

What errors are encountered when cutting?

The excellent properties of this material make it the most suitable for greenhouse construction. Greenhouses on the plots are made in order to grow garden and horticultural crops with the help of their microclimate. The frames of home greenhouses are most often made from a profile steel pipe. Such structures are placed directly on the ground, without a foundation, while the structure itself is built from plates of cellular polycarbonate. But in order for the structure to be durable and functional, it is very important to be able to correctly cut the material, as well as to cut it correctly. Photos of greenhouses from this material are attached to this article.

Here are the most common mistakes inexperienced people make:

  • Incorrect orientation, for questionable saving of sheets # 8212; especially when cutting for broken and spherical roofs. correctly orient the panels only in the direction of bending or slope;
  • It is forbidden to fasten the sheets “through and through”, because immediately, or gradually, leaks will occur in these places;
  • It is important to choose the right material of the required thickness, because too thick polycarbonate is more difficult to cut, but it costs more. when choosing, you need to follow the recommendations of experienced specialists, as well as the manufacturer;
  • A big mistake is non-compliance with the tolerances that are necessary for thermal expansion;
  • Another big oversight is non-observance of the conditions for fastening the edges of the sheets of material.
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Stationery knife

Perfectly cuts polymer plastic canvases and a stationery knife. over, even beginners can cope with this. The main thing is that the knife is of good quality, and the work is not carried out in a hurry. the blade of such tools is very sharp and you can not only make a wrong cut, but also get seriously injured. The stationery knife is suitable for honeycomb sheets with a thickness of 4-6 mm, but with 8 mm it is already quite difficult to work with. On thicker sheets, cutting polycarbonate is almost impossible, so experts recommend using the knife only where you need to trim the material, and even then, on sheets up to 10 mm.

Tools. How to cut material?

How to cut the material?

Every master knows that before starting construction work, you need to prepare a workplace:

  • Remove all unnecessary items from the work surface: pebbles, trim boards, planks, etc.
  • Under the polycarbonate sheet, you can put a sheet of fiberboard, chipboard or other material with a flat surface;
  • In the process of cutting polycarbonate, it is important that no gaps, scratches and other types of damage appear on the plastic sheets.

The next step in working with polycarbonate is marking. As the well-known proverb says: “Measure seven times. cut once.” Correct cutting of polycarbonate will allow not only to make a high-quality structure, but also save money.

To mark the sheet, use:

  • Marker;
  • Long ruler;
  • Wide board. used if you have to walk on polycarbonate while marking.

After drawing the marking lines, a substrate of boards is laid on both sides of them. Boards are stacked above and below the sheet.

Minimum plank size:

  • Thickness. 4 centimeters;
  • Length. 220 centimeters;
  • Width. 10 centimeters.

When working with straight lines, you can use an angle grinder or saw, rounded cuts are best obtained with an electric jigsaw. With a slight fit of cellular polycarbonate, a clerical knife will do.

If the polycarbonate has a mirror or laminated coating, the quality of cutting will depend on the correct placement of the sheet on the work surface. How to cut polycarbonate in this case and how to do it correctly? The sheet is laid in such a way that the special coating is on top. All the tools mentioned above are suitable for work, except for the hacksaw. the laminated layer can peel off.

How to cut cellular polycarbonate to length? To do this, you do not need to carry out markings and lay the lining of the boards, the honeycombs themselves will act as a guide. The cross section is carried out in two stages. first the top layer is notched, then the sheet is broken to the full thickness.

Good to know: At the final stage, the seams should be cleaned of chips and dust. This can be done with a fan, a vacuum cleaner with a blower function or other similar devices.

Before sawing polycarbonate, take care of safety precautions:

  • Wear safety glasses to keep chips and dust out of your eyes.
  • Use only serviceable equipment.

Polycarbonate can be cut in various ways. Most of them are available even to an inexperienced craftsman. It is better to entrust the work with the laser to a specialist, since there is a possibility of material damage, which can lead to a decrease in the strength and service life of the structure being erected.

About material cutting

Advantages and properties of polycarbonate

By its structure, the material can have a structure consisting of two, three or even four layers, each layer is filled with stiffening ribs. bridges. The properties of this material are exceptional, due to its honeycomb structure it is quite lightweight, durable, almost transparent optically, moderately plastic, frost-resistant. It is also a powerful dielectric, quite durable. Successful cutting of the material is possible due to its high strength and ductility, even very thin and light plates can be cut.

Cut polycarbonate for the greenhouse

What errors are encountered when cutting?

The excellent properties of this material make it the most suitable for greenhouse construction. Greenhouses on the plots are made in order to grow garden and horticultural crops with the help of their microclimate. The frames of home greenhouses are most often made from a profile steel pipe. Such structures are placed directly on the ground, without a foundation, while the structure itself is built from plates of cellular polycarbonate. But in order for the structure to be durable and functional, it is very important to be able to correctly cut the material, as well as to cut it correctly. Photos of greenhouses from this material are attached to this article.

Here are the most common mistakes inexperienced people make:

  • Incorrect orientation, for questionable economy of sheets. especially when cutting for broken and spherical roofs. correctly orient the panels only in the direction of bending or slope;
  • It is forbidden to fasten the sheets “through and through”, because immediately, or gradually, leaks will occur in these places;
  • It is important to choose the right material of the required thickness, because too thick polycarbonate is more difficult to cut, but it costs more. when choosing, you need to follow the recommendations of experienced specialists, as well as the manufacturer;
  • A big mistake is non-compliance with the tolerances that are necessary for thermal expansion;
  • Another big oversight is non-observance of the conditions for fastening the edges of the sheets of material.

Cutting cellular polycarbonate for the greenhouse: how to cut the material

Polycarbonate, as a material, is a colorless, moderately hard plastic of the polymer type, which is used in production in the form of granules. The properties of this polymer make it possible to use it quite widely, including for economic purposes. Many owners of personal plots are happy to make greenhouses out of it at their dachas. How to properly cut and cut cellular polycarbonate is described in detail in this material.

How to properly cut sheets of material?

During the construction of the greenhouse, you will definitely need to cut and cut polycarbonate for the structure. This procedure must be carried out very carefully and slowly. The successful installation of the structure, as well as its trouble-free “work” in the future, will depend on how correctly the cutting will be performed. Beginners are advised to consult with a knowledgeable professional. But even an inexperienced craftsman will be able to cope with cutting polycarbonate if he carefully reads this article and looks. Demonstrating all the stages of working with this material. To work with sheets, you will need the most standard equipment: a hacksaw, a hand saw or a circular saw. Many craftsmen use an ordinary durable stationery knife, or even high-quality tailor scissors to work with thin materials.

Here are the basic rules to follow:

  • It is important that during cutting, the protective film that is already on the sheets remains intact on the sheets.
  • Sawdust, which will appear in large quantities, will be correctly periodically blown out of the channels, preferably with compressed air.
  • You need to cut so that there is as little unnecessary waste as possible. for this you must first make a drawing on paper, and consider several possible schemes, choose the most economical option.
  • It is most convenient to cut along the voids of polycarbonate sheets, working in this way, you can reduce the risk of breaking the sheet.
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Stages of cutting and cutting sheets for a greenhouse

Most often, arched greenhouses are created from polycarbonate. Experts with experience in building polycarbonate greenhouses advise to proceed in stages, starting from the roof. Use a tape measure to measure the size of the arc, draw it with a marker and cut the roll. Then you need to measure out the doors, cut out two rectangles at once. Then you can start curly cutting out the side parts.

The ends of all pieces of material must not be forgotten to be closed with a high-quality sealing tape (from above); from below, a perforated tape is suitable for this purpose. During installation, it is important to place the sheets out on the side that contains the protective film and markings, because it is from this side that a layer is applied to the polycarbonate sheets that protects it from dangerous UV radiation.

All stages of working with cellular polycarbonate, including its cutting, cutting, are shown in the photo and. Which are attached to this article. All this, together with the instructions, will help you do everything right.

Electric jigsaw

A household, most ordinary electric jigsaw is also quite suitable for working with polycarbonate sheets, only you need to install a file with fine teeth on it, otherwise the material will tear, not cut. This tool, like the angle grinder, is quite easy to use, but to be completely confident in the quality of work, it is advisable to also practice in advance. An electric jigsaw is very much in demand, especially when you have to cut monolithic polycarbonate of complex decorative shapes or make roundings.

When it is necessary to cut only one sheet, the risk of cracking increases significantly. To prevent damage to the material, you need to work only with a very well sharpened tool. There are craftsmen who use scissors when working with polycarbonate. This is also perfectly acceptable. The main thing is that the tool used does not violate the structure of the canvases.

How and how to cut polycarbonate at home?

Cloths of polymer plastic, more familiar to everyone under the name polycarbonate, are becoming more and more popular every day. And it is no coincidence: the relative cheapness and excellent properties of the material brought it to one of the first places in sales. It is also of great importance that almost anyone can work with it, if there is a desire. But since this is a relatively new material, not everyone knows how to correctly and how to cut polycarbonate at home in order to get a high-quality cut and not spoil the material.

Stationery knife

Perfectly cuts polymer plastic canvases and a stationery knife. over, even beginners can cope with this. The main thing is that the knife is of good quality, and the work is not carried out in a hurry. the blade of such tools is very sharp and you can not only make a wrong cut, but also get seriously injured. The stationery knife is suitable for honeycomb sheets with a thickness of 4-6 mm, but with 8 mm it is already quite difficult to work with. On thicker sheets, cutting polycarbonate is almost impossible, so experts recommend using the knife only where you need to trim the material, and even then, on sheets up to 10 mm.

Angle Grinder

The very first tool that almost everyone has and that can work with polycarbonate is an angle grinder. over, it is not at all necessary to use an expensive tool: even an inexpensive and small angle grinder will do all the work perfectly. To make even cuts, you need to set the circle 125, intended for metal. The only thing you need to pay attention to is experience, since the tool is distinguished by high revolutions, and if you did not have to work with it before, it is advisable to practice on scraps from this material before cutting the polycarbonate. Where can I get them? Contact the craftsmen who are engaged in the manufacture of polycarbonate structures.

Tools

Laser cutting

In addition to the listed methods, you can also cut with a laser. But, to work with a laser machine, you need to have the appropriate skills. In addition, not every master has such a tool, therefore, laser cutting of polycarbonate is available only to those who deal with polycarbonate professionally. But, if there is an opportunity to perform the work with a laser, you must definitely use it, since this guarantees:

  • High speed of work;
  • No defects;
  • Excellent cutting quality;
  • Cutting accuracy: when working with a laser, the dimensional accuracy is maintained up to 0.05 mm;
  • No need to fix sheets when working.

Any cutting material designed for working on metal or wood can be applied to the blades of solid polycarbonate, even a standard cutter for metal.

Hacksaw

Beginners are usually interested in: is it possible to cut and how to cut cellular polycarbonate with a hacksaw or a hand saw? In the event that there is no experience, it is advisable not to use these tools: the canvases along the cuts can crack. Work best with power tools. But both beginners and experienced specialists must definitely fix polycarbonate sheets well in order to prevent vibration and stress in the material, which is also fraught with bad consequences.

How to cut correctly?

Before cutting polycarbonate, experts prepare the workplace well beforehand. It is necessary:

  • Remove all foreign objects from the site: branches, pieces of planks and boards, even small pebbles. Ideally, the place should be clean. This is necessary so that there are no dents, scratches and other damage on the polycarbonate canvases. It is best to pave the work area with sheets of chipboard, fiberboard or other suitable material for this purpose.
  • Use a marker and a long ruler or other object on the panels to mark. If you have to move along the canvases during this, you need to lay a wide board and walk only on it so that dents do not appear on the polymer surface.
  • Before cutting polycarbonate to size, it is necessary to put boards under both sides of the markings applied with a marker, the size of which should not be less than 4 × 10 × 220 cm.On top of the canvas, in the same places, boards are again placed and, only then, you can will move on them.
  • If the cut is made on an even mowing line, you can work with an angle grinder, rounded parts go through with an electric jigsaw, and if you need to make a slight adjustment, a clerical knife will do.
  • If the work is performed on material with a laminated or mirror surface, it is very important to correctly position the canvas in the workplace: the laminated or mirror coating must be turned up. What is the best way to cut this type of polycarbonate? With the same tools as other types of material, but using a hacksaw is not permissible: mirror or laminated layers can peel off.
  • When working with canvases of cellular polymer plastic, if the cut is made along the length of the sheet, the marking can be omitted: the honeycombs themselves will serve as a guide. Thanks to this, it will not even be possible to walk on the surface of the material.
  • After completing the sawing work of honeycomb blades, it is necessary to blow out all the seams with compressed air in order to remove dust and chips that have got inside.

And most importantly, before cutting polycarbonate with an electric jigsaw or an angle grinder, you need to wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from micro particles and dust. And one more thing. you always need to remember the popular wisdom, which says that before you cut it off, you need to measure it seven times. this will help save both money and time.