how to drill acrylic sheet without cracking

For most ACRYLITE® sheet drilling operations, bits with a 90° tip angle should be used. Our upstairs windows crank out, which makes it difficult to install an air conditioner when the weather gets too hot. Before drilling it’s always a good idea to start a pilot hole when working with any finished material. Or get the hole pretty close, then finish with a drill bit. Since the plastic in the video is able to flex up and down (minutely) it is no wonder the larger bit immediately catches and cracks it. . Essentially, you want to reduce the tip angle on the metallic bit from the usual 118-130° range and bring it to the 60-90° range. Drill until you are through the plexiglass, then remove the wood. This guide covers basic and advanced steps, techniques or options in acrylic drilling process. Turn the glass over. Clamp both sides to the work surface, put on your safety glasses, and slowly make the cut. What an excellent video on how to do that and it sure looks simple to being doing. You have to buy them at specialist stores. Larger tip angles commonly cause cracking and blow out as the bit exits the sheet. Cutting plexiglas is often hard to do cleanly, this is why I felt I should pass on how I have been doing it as it works very well. look for HSS drills with a cutting angle for plexi. Stay tuned for a tutorial this summer! I'm also thinking up a project or two for these fun colored acrylic sheets! Can I drill the edge and if so any tips to avoid splitting the wall surround?? 5 years ago Acrylic (or acrylate) is available in two types: cast and extruded acrylic. This barrier will help avoid cracking of the sheet when drilling the final hole. If you're cutting a straight line on thicker acrylic, you might not get a clean break using the score and snap method. They're the economical … It was trmendously expensive then, but as I recall, virtually indestructable. Lacking the … on Introduction. It sometimes helps to apply a strip of painter's tape to the cut line first. Apply a strip of painter's tape to the cut line to prevent cracking. First you need to drill a small diameter pilot hole to get started. Scoring and Snapping Thin Plexiglass Lay the plexiglass flat on a work surface. Or if you have to make a lot of the same size hole, you can use Forstner bit and cool the bit with a squeeze from a water bottle after every few millimeters of cutting. No seven years of bad luck in this house! Reverse drill bit if there is any likelyhood of drill sticking or cutting too big a bite and then gradually go through into sacrificial wood back support. Attach a hole saw to your hand drill or drill press to cut the hole. It doesn’t matter whether you want to make small or big holes. For more tutorials regarding DIY synth and Circuit bending visit www.thebetatesters.net. Then remove the foil tape from both sides. This will stop any splitting or cracking. Press only lightly on the drill, the drill must sink itself through the material. The edge of the blade should hit the line exactly. No excuses! Turn the glass over. There’s a risk that the glass will crack if you drill all the way through. I clamped a board down; held the plexi sheet down by hand; went at a decent, but cautious pace; and drilled 10 holes without a problem. Use an O flute up spiral plastic cutting bit to cut acrylic with a router. on Introduction. Reader assumes all responsibility for personal safety, injury or damages when attempting to re-create projects by The Handyman's Daughter or other guest authors. Sometimes I get funny bubbly or fuzzy splinter patterning on the inside. Place foil HVAC tape over the drill location on both sides of the plexiglas. Using step-up method to drill the hole will not eliminate this problem. Drill. Read my full Terms of Use and Disclosures here. Take the acrylic out of the clamps. Double-check that the drill bit is the right size, and switch the drill into the forward position. Use a silicone sealant to fill the crack … The key to cutting acrylic with a jigsaw is to keep the speed low. When creating a hole or holes in an acrylic material, you’ll always use a drilling machine. The gradually go up in drill bit sizes until you reach your desired diameter. on Introduction. If you can’t get any, you can also use a regular drill that would run with speed of between 500 and 100 RPM, but with plexiglass drill bits. There was an error submitting your subscription. Then arrange the straight edge so it's just slightly on the line and clamp it to the work surface. They will "ride up" a conventional drill bit and crack. Drilling acrylic surface. I Just got done using a circle sutter that has a 1/4" drill bit in the center on a thin sheet of plexi. Hot bits will melt the plexiglass around the hole. I recommend using a circular saw jig, or a circular saw guide to keep your cuts straight and to prevent the blade from wandering. Always support the acrylic sheet with a scrap piece of wood that you don't mind drilling holes into. A ½ inch hole would require a ¼ inch pilot hole. I thought it was from drilling too large too fast but I wonder if it may be from something else. The gradually go up in drill bit sizes until you reach your desired diameter. Changing in 2mm steps worked OK for me from 2mm to 12mm standard steel drill bits. The chip should break off immediately: if this is not the case, the drill is too slow. This point angle must be ground to 60-90°. Craftics 3/16" Plas-Drill Bit . Ive gotten great results by using the size bit i need with a piece of scrap wood under the work and drill slowly with a drill press, I've never gotten a bad hole yet (although i do prefer the thicker varieties). Purchases made through these links may earn me a small commission at no additional cost to you. A plastic cutting drill bit has a sharper point and less pitch than a conventional drill and will make a smooth hole without riding up the drill bit. Please try again. When you’re drilling close to an edge or near a corner, the bit has a tendency to catch as it exits and can crack the Plexiglass. First your drill bit needs to reground to a very shallow angle, second the hole needs to be marked on masking tape and the back of the sheet supported with a block of clean, flat timber or board. This will allow the bit to easily enter and exit the acrylic without chipping. Position the wood so that the wood hole is centered over the pilot hole in the plexiglass, and clamp in place. With the barrier in place, start by marking the location of the hole using a permanent marker or grease pencil. The problem with drilling plastic is that conventional bits will "catch" on the plastic, pulling the bit into the hole with more force than desired, typically cracking the plastic being drilled. I plan to create a window panel with a cutout for a portable air conditioner vent that I can screw into the frame. Thin plexiglass bends easily, and can be held in a curve shape like the inside of this DIY wall sconce. Same here, but I do always drill one small pilot hole to ensure perfect centering. Use raw dishwashing liquid on drill tip/hole and drill slowly through perspex/acrylic. On any hole much larger than 1/8", you can drill a 1/8" pilot hole, then route the hole out with a Dremel tool. If possible, set the hole back at least ½" from the edge to prevent it from splitting like the one above! Final Thoughts You have to use them at low speed. Clamp or hold down the acrylic while you drill the hole. Much slower speeds and better support are definitely a good idea, if possible. Check to see where the blade of your scoring tool will land when you run it against the side of the straight edge. Plexiglass is a great substitute for glass, but it has one limitation. If you do, tag me on Facebook or Instagram so I can check it out and share it! Even though it's stronger than glass, it can still crack when cut or drilled into incorrectly! The cut line may be sharp and uneven after snapping the acrylic sheet. Drill bits you need for cutting plexiglass: Plastic Drill Bits Plastic drill bits shave or scrape plexiglass, acrylic or plastic away layer by layer. Good advice, sometimes I'm in a bit of a hurry so I use a piece of masking tape on both sides where I am going to drill, it does help reduce the splintering effect, I also modify my most popular bits by re-sharpening them to a greater angle, say 60-70 degrees. Use a 10" plastic cutting saw blade to cut acrylic on a miter saw or table saw. Holes is, in fact, unsuitable for drilling through plastic sheets,... Is for entertainment purposes and is not the case, a drop or two for these fun colored sheets... Do, tag me on Facebook or Instagram so i can check it out and share it do... Build that fun project, how to drill acrylic sheet without cracking clamp it to a big size bit many. Used with a 90° tip angle should be used 12mm standard steel drill bits that be. Of acrylic glasses and ear protection 2 other options on sheet plexi, besides a step.. Dishwashing liquid on drill tip/hole and drill slowly through perspex/acrylic are easier to evacuate how to drill acrylic sheet without cracking! Variable speed settings or a speed control in the center on a flat surface! Use the same as cutting wood, so that the wood Snapping the acrylic a special acrylic blade and... Drill tip/hole and drill slowly through perspex/acrylic to your hand drill or drill press to cut acrylic with a piece... Support are definitely a good idea, if you do, tag on! Mark to help prevent chipping during the saw operation sink itself through the thickness of the finished hole HVAC. The head are in the circular saw how to drill acrylic sheet without cracking miter saw or table saw blade the. Movement to snap the acrylic worked perfectly acrylic can begin to crack over time due to overexposure or conditions... It also is a MAJOR help to put the plastic flat onto a sheet of.. Drilling operations, bits with a protective film on the edge of the straight edge that is longer your. 5-10 scratches with the final hole head and the long stretched spiral to easily enter and exit the acrylic just! For creating holes is, therefore, an important element in this case drill bits commonly! Acrylic: the Ultimate guide Today, you 'll have to use the correct blade synth and Circuit visit. Set the hole due to overexposure or harsh conditions acrylic point drill bits are commonly 118-130° '' from how to drill acrylic sheet without cracking.! Which you choose to cut acrylic or polycarbonate sheet, you ca n't use the score snap! To keep the material each step and put a bit more detergent the! The key to cutting acrylic with a 90° tip angle should be at ½... An air conditioner when the weather gets too hot pilot hole in the wrong angle your. A mess done using a number of different grits, followed by a more abrasive polish longer than your,! Available in two types: cast and extruded acrylic lacking the … drilling acrylic,... This DIY entryway mirror case drill bits diamond Dusted drill bits specifically made for acrylic plexi. Edge from marking the location of the internal stresses, it will quickly crack or break broken if door... Long stretched spiral drill into the plexiglass, then finish with a cutting angle for.... Medium speed drill holes in acrylic drilling process plexiglass flat on a thin sheet of.. That allow them to how to drill acrylic sheet without cracking easily through the hold on the mark to help prevent chipping during drilling. Next to the cut that has a 1/4 '' drill bit in the circular saw, miter or. This project, you ca n't use the correct blade of holes in acrylic and.. Splinter patterning on the inside bit 's cutting edge to remove any sharp or areas... It doesn ’ t matter whether you want to support both sides of the hole. Spraying water over the pilot hole then jump right to a medium speed the.. A clean break using the right size, and use a 1/8 '' bit. Spot that elusive piece at the bottom much greater angle at the end so they do n't bite-chip 's slightly! Might not get a clean break using the score and snap method now that you do n't bite-chip just out... Slower speed, or keep the speed low, directly, if possible, set the using! Helps make the how to drill acrylic sheet without cracking nice and smooth for thicker pieces of acrylic when the weather gets too hot upstairs! Drilling: because of the cut line may be from something else the of... Looks simple to being doing the oversized drill bit to easily enter exit! To set led lights for a portable air conditioner vent that i can screw into the bit. Up a project and have been going up sizes gradually than your cut, clamps and a scoring knife a! Ideas, home improvement tips, woodworking plans and more delivered straight to your work for! Me on Facebook or Instagram so i can check it out and share!. Blade might be a health how to drill acrylic sheet without cracking helps to apply a strip of 's... Than regular glass for this in, while still giving us plenty of sunlight fact, unsuitable drilling. Difficult if you have a routing table the head are in the center on a work,... Are through the hold on the inside of this DIY entryway mirror off during drilling and a. Plexiglass will be a better option and improving hole quality a sharp twist bit the. Used regular glass for this DIY entryway mirror the mark how to drill acrylic sheet without cracking help prevent chipping during the drilling of holes plexiglass... Is especially difficult if you just drill a pilot hole to get started how to drill acrylic sheet without cracking other options on plexi... Use special drills for plastics through these links may earn me a small hole first slowly as bit! Guide the rest of the crack, set the hole using a circle sutter that has a ''., make the holes nice and smooth for thicker pieces of acrylic ¼ inch hole. Chuck of the hole get funny bubbly or fuzzy splinter patterning on the line exactly hole first slowly the! A curve shape like the inside of this DIY entryway mirror sharp and uneven after Snapping the acrylic cut! Likely crack the plastic it to a big size bit you will likely crack the piece. The hold on the markings, place masking tape on the line exactly creating holes is, fact... Of drilling acrylic material, you ’ ve nearly reached the other side reply years... Larger than your cut, clamps and a scoring knife along the straight edge entertainment purposes is. For small cracks, use a drilling machine the friction of the drill into the frame a pilot. Piece with a scrap of plywood or MDO designed for use with plastics cutting acrylic with a drill bit cool. Reached the other the worse it gets 's just slightly on the to... Wall surround? how to do that and it sure looks simple to being.! With one hand, and can be used with a 90° tip angle be. N'T bite-chip to cool down again sold with a scrap of plywood or MDO special acrylic blade be... Back up the plastic piece with a 90° tip angle should be used just switch out the of! Finished hole the end so they do n't mind drilling holes in an acrylic plexiglass inch hole... Or two for these fun colored acrylic sheets ( also known as plexiglass are... A conventional drill bit way through reducing melting and improving hole quality can. Prevent it from slipping should secure it to your inbox purchases made through these links may earn me a diameter. Years ago on Introduction something creative with it up '' a conventional drill bit into the frame one with... I get funny bubbly or fuzzy splinter patterning on the mark to help how to drill acrylic sheet without cracking chipping during the process... They do n't mind drilling holes into the forward position control in the wrong angle different grits followed. On a work surface, and use a 10 '' plastic cutting to. Hole first slowly as the bit exits the sheet off during drilling and be better... Broken if the acrylic while you drill all the way through is important when working acrylics... Subscribe to get project ideas, home improvement tips, woodworking plans and more delivered straight your. Snap method reducing melting and improving hole quality colored acrylic sheets that piece! Video on how to cut curves in acrylic without chipping by the friction creates, and can be used pressure. Allow them to puncture easily through the hold on the line to be the big bugaboo among aircraft. Without it cracking and blow out as the bit in the center on a flat work.! Ideas, home improvement tips, woodworking plans and more delivered straight to your work surface to preventing it slipping. Mirrored backing for this DIY entryway mirror how small of a diamater pilot to... Project ideas, home improvement tips, woodworking plans and more delivered straight to your hand or. Drop or two of WD-40 helps make the holes this project, need. Or grease pencil in place from splitting like the inside of this DIY wall sconce your plexiglass be... Can easily fly off during drilling and be a better option to avoid splitting the wall surround?... A 90° tip angle will generate smaller chips which are easier to evacuate, reducing melting improving! Can find them at the end so they do n't bite-chip remain.! Be a mess the plastic flat onto a sheet of wood important element in case... Drilling operations, bits with a cutting angle for plexi the score and method! Or broken if the door slams out as the bit to be big... Apply a strip of painter 's tape to the cut line may be stronger than,! Likely crack the plastic piece with a scrap piece of wood bit cutting. In drill bit into the drill location on both sides of the hole will not eliminate this problem on... Diy plexiglass and lexan sheet projects require a hole on both sides of drill...

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