How to drill perspex, plastic and thin metals

Discussion in 'Tips and Tricks' started by Fing, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. Fing

    Fing Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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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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  2. bjpc2716

    bjpc2716 need more lights to light up the world

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    8) do not use a spade forget it metal use a hole saw the metal one plastic low speed
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Fing

    Fing Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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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
     
  5. mborg10

    mborg10 Michael Borg

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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
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Fing

    Fing Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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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
     
  7. Boomer#6

    Boomer#6 No magic smoke yet!!

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  8. OP
    OP
    Fing

    Fing Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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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
     
  9. mborg10

    mborg10 Michael Borg

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    What about cutting Perspex/acrylic. Will a normal power saw do the trick?
     
  10. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    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
     
  11. fasteddy

    fasteddy I have C.L.A.P Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    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
     
  12. Boomer#6

    Boomer#6 No magic smoke yet!!

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    Thanks Fing & Fasteddy, will try the hole saw (in a drill press ;) )
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Fing

    Fing Full Time Elf Generous Elf

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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 :-\
     
  14. scamper

    scamper Senior Elf

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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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