How to drill perspex, plastic and thin metals

Fing

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Hi,
There was a discussion on chat the other night about drilling plastic. Here is what i've been using successfully for years.


Find some "Wood bit Drills" these are also called sheet metal bits, they are like a twist drill but have a raised cutting edge on the outside so they behave like a hole saw.[attachimg=3]


They will also cut a round hole instead of a oval in thin metals. They are used in wood work because they don't splinter the timber.


I've also had success in drilling 20mm holes in 3mm perspex using a speed bit, once again with the raised outer edge.[SIZE=78%][attachimg=2][/SIZE]

cheers
Fing
 

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Fing

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Sorry, my bad… the spade is only good for perspex :-\
 

fasteddy

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I find using a small drill bit as a pilot hole works wonders

When drilling plastic its important you do not apply too much pressure and give it support

The larger the hole the more important the pilot hole becomes

To remove the bur i just run the drill bit around the hole at an angle
 

mborg10

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I use these in my drill press and they do the job. No complaints.
http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&alt=web&id=121130813027
 

Fing

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Step drills are also great, their problems being you need space under the hole for the bit if the size you want is on the "top end" of the drill, and if the material you are drilling is thicker than the step you can get some unwanted chamfering


Cheers
Fing
 

Fing

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hi,
60mm hole saw, or if you don't have one, mark a 60mm circle and drill out the circumference with say a 6mm drill each hole close to each other, then knock out the centre and file the hole round.


or even some type of jigsaw or dremel thingy, depends what you have on hand.


personally i'd go with the hole saw


Cheers
Fing
 

fasteddy

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Boomer said:
What would you recommend for drilling a hole in the side of my nice new steel enclosure for a 60mm vent?
It's the fastelec enclosure Fasteddy recommended recently
http://www.fastlec.com.au/p/Enclosures/Metal-Enclosures/IP65-Steel-Wall-Mount-Enclosure/IP65-Steel-Wall-Mount-Enclosure-300H-x-300W-x-150D/AV-303015
It will be housing a couple of power supplies and my P12.
I have used a 60mm hole saw for this purpose and Ive made a lot of boxes in the past. At that size though its easier if you have a drill press
 

fasteddy

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Christmas @ the Myrtle (Michael) said:
What about cutting Perspex/acrylic. Will a normal power saw do the trick?
I use a band saw to cut my aluminium profile which has a diffused PMMA or PC cover, but make sure you use a fine pitched blade
 

Fing

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Fasteddy said:
Christmas @ the Myrtle (Michael) said:
What about cutting Perspex/acrylic. Will a normal power saw do the trick?
I use a band saw to cut my aluminium profile which has a diffused PMMA or PC cover, but make sure you use a fine pitched blade

Bandsaws with a fine blade work well, i've also used jigsaws and hacksaws, but you have to support the material well. I've even used a router on thicker stuff.
thin perspex can be "scored and snapped" which gives a nice finish, unless it is sunday and it's the last piece you have and it's really important, then it will shatter into a million bits, thanks to murphy :-\
 

scamper

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Bandsaws with a fine blade work well, i've also used jigsaws and hacksaws, but you have to support the material well. I've even used a router on thicker stuff.
thin perspex can be "scored and snapped" which gives a nice finish, unless it is sunday and it's the last piece you have and it's really important, then it will shatter into a million bits, thanks to murphy :-\
[/quote]
HA HA HA.
I am with you there!
The only thing I will add to cutting Perspex, is speed is critical.
Too fast and it will melt. A little bit of melting of the shavings is ok as it can just be snapped off, but you don't want to weld it back together.
 
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