Drilling Lucite

Over the years I have had many occasions to drill Lucite or similar materials. No problem drilling small holes in the material (1/8" to 1/4") when in my drill press where I can drill slowly. However, when I drill the material and it is free standing, I have much trouble with the drill bit "grabbing" the material and causing small fractures. The bits I have been using are just the ordinary HSS. I have a project coming up where I will be drilling many 3/32" holes in an acrylic computer case. It appears that I will not be able to use my drill press. Any suggestions as to technique or drill bits?
Thanks.
Norm
Norman S. Nadel, M.D. Retired, Chief Urology Kaiser
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It would be hard to "step drill if the final opening is 3/32 ; however. You might want to try using small pointed soldering iron or even heating a finishing nail and melting a hole in the plastic then trim with a razor blade.

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In regards to my question, I do believe I was in error with the 3/32" measurement. The holes will end up being between 1/8" & 1/4". I am not sure at this time since I have not as yet received the case and some of the components.
Norm

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wrote:

If you have a grinder, you can regrind the point angle for drilling plastics. I can't recall offhand what the angle is. You can easily find that on Google, or ask at rec.crafts.metalworking
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I would rather purchase the correct drill bit rather than play around with one of my good drill bits. Thanks .....
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http://www.americanplastics.net/technical_guide.htm [Scroll down to "Drilling"]
For bits, see: http://tinyurl.com/7qyrn
--
Luke
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Key is to keep plastic from melting. Do drilling under water. Put workpiece in a tray with water in it. Add a little hand dish washing detergent helps to cut surface tension. Play around for best drill speed.

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Interestingly I just had an unpleasant experience drilling lucite this morning. It grabbed like crazy and shattered the plastic repeatedly. I tried different drill speeds, but nothing worked.
When I drilled partly from one side and then completed the hole from the other, I got through without mishap. It still grabbed, but maybe a quarter as much as all from one side. I think that if I had gotten my allignment perfect, it wouldn't have grabbed at all, but I wasn't that lucky.
The other surprise was how easily it cut on the table saw.
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NSN writes:

Sharp tools. Rigid holding. Proper feed and speed. End of story.
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Thanks to all who responded. After reading all the responses I conducted a few appropriate Googles and found:
http://www.acrylicbirdcages.com/plastic_working_tools.htm
I ordered a few of the top two items ... Diamond Dust Drills & Plas-Drills.
I shall report back to the group on how they work out in about 2 weeks.
Norm
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