Turn the glass over. Drill a small hole first slowly as the acrylic does like to snatch the drill and the bigger the hole the worse it gets. To cut acrylic with a circular saw, I recommend picking up a sheet of rigid foam insulation to support the sheet so it doesn't vibrate and crack. Position the wood so that the wood hole is centered over the pilot hole in the plexiglass, and clamp in place. Clamp the plexiglass sheet to the work surface for stability. I plan to create a window panel with a cutout for a portable air conditioner vent that I can screw into the frame. Two scraps of 2x4 lumber work great for this. Steps 1. 6 years ago Drill until you are through the plexiglass, then remove the wood. While drilling the final hole use a spray bottle to lubricate the plexiglass with … Drilling holes in acrylic sheet Place the drill perpendicular to the acrylic sheet and set the drill to medium speed immediately. For the best results, you'll want to support both sides of the cut line to reduce vibrations. Here are my recommendations for safety glasses and ear protection. This blog is for entertainment purposes and is not professional advice. Line the plexiglass sheet along the cut line. Tip angles on standard drill bits are commonly 118-130°. Press only lightly on the drill, the drill must sink itself through the material. on Introduction. The faster the drill, the hotter the bit gets. Cutting acrylic on the table saw or miter saw is the same as cutting wood, so long as you use the correct blade. The key to cutting acrylic with a jigsaw is to keep the speed low. Use an O flute up spiral plastic cutting bit to cut acrylic with a router. Acrylic may be stronger than regular glass, but it's still brittle! All you need is a thin acrylic sheet, a straight edge that is longer than your cut, clamps and a scoring knife. on Introduction. Designed specifically for plexiglass and polycarbonate lexan, these drill bits are great tools for drilling through plastic sheets. Progressively enlarging a small hole can be a disaster in Plexiglas because it invites the bit suddenly jam in the hole and will crack it … If you want to drill in acrylic without the steps, use special drills for plastics. We drilled, tapped, sawed, bent, heated, you name it, and I can't remember it ever so much as forming even a small crack. Acrylic chips can easily fly off during drilling and be a health hazard. Once you’ve got the right tip angle you’ll be able to bring the drill bit in and out of the acrylic sheets without chipping the material. Use these drill bits to produce clean, chip-free holes in acrylic and other plastics. Use the right tools for the right job. Replace the oversized drill bit with the desired size bit. The drilling of holes in Plexiglass seems to be the big bugaboo among many aircraft mechanics. Hole Saw. You should also back up the plastic piece with a scrap of plywood or MDO. 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. You have to use them at low speed. Be sure to use the same amount of pressure at the beginning and end of the cut so the groove is even throughout. They will "ride up" a conventional drill bit and crack. 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. . Turn the glass over. Cutting acrylic by hand is the easiest way to go for a beginner who isn't familiar with power tools. Wear safety goggles. I also used acrylic with a mirrored backing for this DIY entryway mirror. Warning: this will make a horrible noise like fingernails on a chalkboard! Here's what you'll need! 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. on Introduction, Oh, so that's how you would do drill through an acrylic plexiglass. Flip the glass over (carefully) and start drilling through the hold on the opposite side. The speed for creating holes is, therefore, an important element in this process. Reply Now this machine tends to rotate at varied speeds, which is what powers the drill bit to be able to create the holes. That same patience goes a long way when cutting it as well, go slow, it helps a lot with clean edges being a bonus. You have to buy them at specialist stores. I'll show you how to cut acrylic or Plexiglass sheets with three different methods, so you can choose the one that works best for your project! Insert a sharp twist bit into the drill and tighten the bit in place. Check to see where the blade of your scoring tool will land when you run it against the side of the straight edge. Subscribe to get project ideas, home improvement tips, woodworking plans and more delivered straight to your inbox! It also is a MAJOR help to put the plastic flat onto a sheet of wood. Unsubscribe at any time. 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. Just switch out the blade as directed in your saw's owner's manual before making the cut. Use a 10" plastic cutting saw blade to cut acrylic on a miter saw or table saw. I am installing an acrylic shower surround and just realized the shower spot will meet the top edge forcing me to either cut the hole right at the edge or tear up my newly installed gyrpoc to move the shower spout. Answer + 4. Plexiglass is a great substitute for glass, but it has one limitation. Retract your drill bit from the hole often to let it cool. Once you’ve nearly reached the other side, stop. Use acrylic point drill bits to drill holes in acrylic. Reply Place foil HVAC tape over the drill location on both sides of the plexiglas. If not, adjust the straight edge until it does. For more tutorials regarding DIY synth and Circuit bending visit www.thebetatesters.net. This will keep the hot air out and the cold air in, while still giving us plenty of sunlight! Then sand down the cut edge to remove any sharp or uneven areas. Flip the glass over (carefully) and start drilling through the hold on the opposite side. 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. If you just drill a pilot hole then jump right to a big size bit you will likely crack the plastic. Plexiglass can scratch easily, which is why it's sold with a protective film on the surface. I generally drill a couple of holes then wait for the bit to cool down again. 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. exit the acrylic without chipping. A bit with a 90° tip angle will generate smaller chips which are easier to evacuate, reducing melting and improving hole quality. Share it with us! Then slowly drill the hole with the final size bit. 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. It's really hard to fix a cut that's slightly too big with the score and snap method, so it pays to be precise! Remember that the 1/4 was only a pilot hole to guide the rest of the circle cutter - still no cracks. For small cracks, use a 1/8" drill bit to drill a hole on both sides of the crack. No excuses! 10 years ago Insert an acrylic point drill bit into the chuck of the drill and set it to a medium speed. How do you cut plexiglass without it cracking and breaking? Did you make this project? Ahh, in that case being slow and methodical would help. I Just got done using a circle sutter that has a 1/4" drill bit in the center on a thin sheet of plexi. 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. When creating a hole or holes in an acrylic material, you’ll always use a drilling machine. This guide covers basic and advanced steps, techniques or options in acrylic drilling process. Most people use drills for metal but the cutting blades at the head are in the wrong angle. Hot bits will melt the plexiglass around the hole. We won't send you spam. Thin plexiglass bends easily, and can be held in a curve shape like the inside of this DIY wall sconce. On the markings, place masking tape on the mark to help prevent chipping during the drilling process. Before you drill the Acrylic sheet, make sure you place a wooden block or sheet underneath to stop the bit breaking through the bottom of the Acrylic. Please try again. There was an error submitting your subscription. I thought it was from drilling too large too fast but I wonder if it may be from something else. A pilot hole should be at least ½ the diameter of the finished hole. Larger tip angles commonly cause cracking and blow out as the bit exits the sheet. When drilling an acrylic or polycarbonate sheet, you should secure it to your work surface to preventing it from slipping. The gradually go up in drill bit sizes until you reach your desired diameter. 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. Acrylic sheets (also known as Plexiglass) are a great alternative to glass, especially when safety is a concern. 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). Lay the sheet on a flat surface and, using a yardstick and a permanent marker (or a grease marker), measure and draw the line you wish to cut. Back in the 1970's when I first encountered Lexan polycarbonate, we used a lot of 1/8", 1/4" and 3/8" sheet to make machine guarding and enclosures. Clamp or hold down the acrylic while you drill the hole. 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. Failing that, you have 2 other options on sheet plexi, besides a step bit. It was trmendously expensive then, but as I recall, virtually indestructable. Anyone got any ideas? Make it 1/64" to 1/32" larger than your desired finish size. These bits have a different... 3. The edge of the blade should hit the line exactly. Or get the hole pretty close, then finish with a drill bit. Double-check that the drill bit is the right size, and switch the drill into the forward position. Holes look great. This point angle must be ground to 60-90°. If the acrylic is still hazy, carefully sand the acrylic using a number of different grits, followed by a more abrasive polish. There’s a risk that the glass will crack if you drill all the way through. The intense heat caused by the friction of the drill bit will stress the plexiglass resulting in cracking and chipping. on Introduction. Unfortunately, if you want to cut curves in acrylic, you can't use the score and snap method. Then arrange the straight edge so it's just slightly on the line and clamp it to the work surface. Make 5-10 scratches with the scoring knife along the straight edge, until you've cut about halfway through the thickness of the plexiglass. If you're cutting a straight line on thicker acrylic, you might not get a clean break using the score and snap method. 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. Click on the link here yo but a set of Titanium coated drill bits for drilling acrylic and plastic. The plexiglass drill bits have geometric structures different from the traditional drill bits that allow them to puncture easily through the acrylic. You should also back up the plastic piece with a scrap of plywood or MDO. Water or a water soluble oil works well. Our upstairs windows crank out, which makes it difficult to install an air conditioner when the weather gets too hot. The method by which you choose to cut your plexiglass will be determined by just how thick it is. Many DIY plexiglass and lexan sheet projects require a hole or two. Drill. Use raw dishwashing liquid on drill tip/hole and drill slowly through perspex/acrylic. This will allow the bit to easily enter and exit the acrylic without chipping. Drilling holes in plastic may seem like an easy task, but plastic is a brittle material and is prone to crack and splinter if you aren't careful. Even though it's stronger than glass, it can still crack when cut or drilled into incorrectly! Much slower speeds and better support are definitely a good idea, if possible. 5 years ago They're the economical … I hope this post was helpful! Final Thoughts Larger tip angles commonly cause cracking and blow out as the bit exits the sheet. Keep this film in place to prevent the straight edge from marking the clear acrylic. 5 years ago This will stop any splitting or cracking. Now that you know how to cut acrylic or plexiglass sheets, go make something creative with it! Stay tuned for a tutorial this summer! Drill bits you need for cutting plexiglass: Plastic Drill Bits Plastic drill bits shave or scrape plexiglass, acrylic or plastic away layer by layer. Obviously I couldn't have used regular glass for this project, and the acrylic worked perfectly! Then remove the foil tape from both sides. Use the saw at a slower speed, or keep the material cool by spraying water over the cut point during the saw operation. There are precautions that you must take to ensure that the hole does not get hot and melt the acrylic sheet or that the exit side of the acrylic sheet does not crack. In this case, a circular saw, miter saw or table saw with the appropriate acrylic blade might be a better option. Slow to medium speeds work best when working with acrylics. Drill a hole in one piece of wood. Stop drilling before you break through the other side. look for HSS drills with a cutting angle for plexi. You can finish the hole, directly, if you have a routing table. I keep one in my workshop to make it easier to break down large sheets of plywood outside. They will "ride up" a conventional drill bit and crack. Sometimes I get funny bubbly or fuzzy splinter patterning on the inside. 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. The see-through sides make it easy for him to spot that elusive piece at the bottom. It should break cleanly along the cut line. Knowing the proper drilling technique for making holes in plastic can save you a lot of headaches and ensure that your holes are clean and evenly cut. Apart from the power drill, you also need to have a piece of wood, permanent markers or grease oil, masking tape, and spray … Fit a circular saw or table saw with a fine blade with crosscut teeth to prevent chipping the piece during the cut. 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. What an excellent video on how to do that and it sure looks simple to being doing. Drilling acrylic surface. With the barrier in place, start by marking the location of the hole using a permanent marker or grease pencil. Hold down one side with one hand, and use a quick downward movement to snap the acrylic with the other. A ½ inch hole would require a ¼ inch pilot hole. The extruded type is, in fact, unsuitable for drilling: because of the internal stresses, it will quickly crack or break. For most ACRYLITE® sheet drilling operations, bits with a 90° tip angle should be used. If you just drill a pilot hole then jump right to a big size bit you will likely crack the plastic. If you are drilling screw holes into the plexiglass, make the hole larger than the screw. 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