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?
Norman S. Nadel, M.D.
Retired, Chief Urology
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
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.
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.
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.
Thanks to all who responded. After reading all the responses
I conducted a few appropriate Googles and found:
I ordered a few of the top two items ... Diamond Dust Drills &
I shall report back to the group on how they work out in about 2
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