If favor me you typically work with wood, brick, or metal products to complete your DIY projects, working plastic or acrylic can be totally brand-new and unknown and a little bit daunting. 
But functioning with brand-new materials prefer acrylic, nylon, and also other plastics or ‘non-ferrous’ products doesn’t must be scary.

You are watching: How to make a hole in plastic without cracking it


I recently required to create some brand-new windows because that my daughter’s wendy house and also rather 보다 use perhaps expensive tempered glass, I decided to change them with new plastic panels, they were reduced to size currently but I require to add some solving holes, so I essential to know how do girlfriend drill plastic? Here’s how I did it.
To drill plastic and acrylic:Support the plastic ~ above a level surface that you have the right to drill intoUse clamps to organize the plastic down. Use masking tape and a pen to note the centre of the hole Use a HSS drill which has been offered before and also therefore slightly dullHold the drill perpendicular to the plasticSet the drill to a medium speed Let the drill sink with the material do not use too lot pressureTake care when breaking through, enable the drill to run into the assistance belowLet the drill run whilst removing from the workpiece 
Following these steps will do drilling holes into plastic really straightforward and help to prevent damages that have the right to happen, like cracks, chipping or crazing, however let’s look at each action in information to do sure.
Plastic sheets space flexible and will bend if not appropriately supported which adds tension to the surface and this stress will cause the surface to crack when you try to drill a hole v the plastic sheet. 
Using a stiff board underneath will minimize the amount of flex the sheet will certainly have and the tension on the surface, one off reduced of scrap lumber or an old item of plywood for larger sheets will not just support the plastic sheet however also enable you come drill into this together a sacrificial piece, which will will alleviate chipping or an episode when drilling with the various other side.
Along with sustaining the plastic or acrylic sheet, clamping the workpiece down will stop it native moving roughly when friend drill holes through
Make certain to spread out the clamping force over as much of the workpiece as possible to alleviate stress top top the surface, and also avoid camping the plastic paper to firmly as this can reason cracking,
I provided a item of wooden batten on optimal of the plastic paper then provided several clamps to hold it in place, this method I didn’t have to force the clamps as well tight which might have cracked the plastic.
It’s likewise a an excellent idea to safeguard the plastic sheet with something to stop scratches or dents. I provided some old rubber strips that ns had and also placed them in between the batten and the plastic.
You could use thin cardboard or something similar, simply remember to avoid adding pressure in one spot and check for dirt ~ above the surface prior to clamping, a great wipe through a cloth always helps.
Most plastic or acrylic sheets will certainly come v a protective movie to prevent any marks or scratches throughout shipping or storage. 
You deserve to write on this yet I avoid noting holes centres or cut lines top top the safety film, as it deserve to be complicated to see and can obstacle off.
I offered masking tape and also a pen to mark the center of the holes before I drilled through the plastic sheet, you must avoid making use of a beat or scribe as this can crack the surface before you even drill the hole and also the ice cream will help prevent chipping when you start to drill the hole.
It’s a an excellent idea to usage masking ice cream on both political parties of the paper to avoid chipping as soon as drilling holes into plastic.
To drill plastic or acrylic you have the right to use a typical HSS (High rate Steel) drill v a drill edge of 118 degrees.
Use one HSS drill which has actually been used at the very least once before, this removes any kind of burrs indigenous sharpening a drill bit and helps the drill protect against biting into the plastic.
The drill little needs to be sharp but not brand new. I uncovered that brand brand-new drill bits tend to bite right into the surface and also can reason chipping around the hole.
I ran a new drill bit through a wood block a pair of times, just to take it the sheet off, the drill will certainly still it is in sharp however this help prevent any kind of tearing or chipping. 
Drilling holes in plastic creates heat and also can melt through the product rather 보다 drilling a clean hole, making use of a great drill helps alleviate this heat.
Using the right speed and also feed price helps to protect against heat structure up top top the surface. Setup your drill to a medium speed and also applying light push will allow the weight of the drill to push the drill bit into the product without adding too much stress.
The formula listed below is a an excellent rule of thumb overview to setup the right speed because that drilling plastic:RPM (Revs per minute) = (3.82/Drill Diameter) x SFM (Surface feet per minute)The SFM for plastics is:100 – 300 For example, the speed required for drilling a 10mm hole with a plastic sheet will certainly be:(3.82/10) x 300 = 115 RPM
Most cordless drills work between 0-1900 rpm and setting the right rpm to drill through plastic needs a bit of finger adjustment on the trigger.I provided a medium cause position come start and also released the trigger slowly until I acquired to approximately the ideal speed, I found I had actually to adjust this position as ns was drilling the holes.
To give you one idea, here’s a perform of almost right speeds for the market-leading cordless drills:Hikoki 0-1400rpmDewalt 0-1750rpmMakita 0-1300rpmFestool 0-1500rpmMilwaukee 0-1800rpmBosch 0-1800rpmErbauer 0-1450rpmMetabo 0-1800rpmDraper 0-1350rpmEinhell 0-1800rpmWorx 0-1600rpm
When drilling the hole with the plastic save the drill upright or in ~ 90 levels to the surface and try not to move about too much. 
Holding the drill steady helps to keep the feet square through the plastic and also will keep hole round and the right size.
Let the drill carry out the work, through the speed collection and making use of a great drill bit the plastic should reduced cleanly and the swarf must break turn off nicely specifically when drilling feet in acrylic.
If not, try adjusting the rate of the drill, yet be cautious not to walk too rapid which will certainly raise the surface temperature and the plastic will melt.
As the drill nears the bottom that the hole, reducing the pressure will aid the drill cut through the other side and avoid chipping.

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Allow the drill to cut into the assistance surface listed below the plastic, look because that a adjust in swarf coming from the flutes the the drill bit.
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