The problem is that plastic stretches so much, so it gets caught on the drill bit and the sheets just rip apart. A good rule of thumb for the pilot hole size is to select a size that cuts a hole just bigger than the chisel point of the drill to be used. Position the center drill bit on top of one of the dots on the top line. Kyori holds a Bachelor of Arts in art history from Boston University and is working toward a Master of Architecture. The drill bit needs to be sharp but not brand new. Insert a sharp twist bit into the drill and tighten the bit in place. In the unfortunate event that there are cracks, well, you can carry it out more carefully with new plastic. Along with supporting the plastic or acrylic sheet, clamping the workpiece down will stop it from moving around when you drill holes through. This Old House Magazine: Drilling into Plastic. If like me you normally work with wood, brick, or metal materials to complete your DIY projects, working plastic or acrylic can be totally new and unknown and a bit daunting. Step 1. Use masking tape and a pen to mark the centre of the hole Use a HSS drill which has been used before and therefore slightly dull Hey! The resulting hole should be good enough for the vents. Following these steps will make drilling holes into plastic really easy and help to prevent damage that can happen, like cracks, chipping or crazing, but let’s look at each step in detail to make sure. Depress the trigger as lightly as possible and drill a hole very slowly through the plastic. Sometimes punching holes in planters can be accomplished with a nail. I’m a college student who doesn’t have access to a drill, and I have several plastic pots which tragically don’t have drainage holes (I know, I’ve learnt my lesson). 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. You can make large holes quickly with this tool. You can use an ordinary iron drill or HSS drill bit to drill holes in polycarbonate. Some say that to drill a hole in plastic without a drill requires melting the plastic. Sandpaper 5. Now, when I start a pilot hole, it really stands out against the color of the marker. Gently sand the area around the hole, being careful not to scuff the plastic in the process. Here’s how I did it. Allow the drill to cut into the support surface below the plastic, look for a change in swarf coming from the flutes of the drill bit. Typically incorrectly sharpened or excess drilling pressure can induce stress and poor chip ejection which will create heat build up and cause these issues. Drill as many as you can. Cast acrylic can be drilled quite easily, as it has been manufactured with few stresses being created in the material. You can write on this but I avoid marking holes centres or cutting lines on the protective film, as it can be difficult to see and can rub off. Use masking tape and a pen to mark the centre of the hole, Hold the drill perpendicular to the plastic, TIPs for drilling holes through plastic and related questions, Drilling near the edge of a plastic sheet, Keep checking the hole as you are drilling, Use a pilot hole when drilling larger holes, Does Plumber’s putty ever dry out? And the holes came out round. There are nearly 90 separate drill bits for applications involving plastic – all an inch or smaller. For the metal cans, put a block of wood over where you want the hole and drill thru the block and the metal at the same time. Episode 20: Adding Roof Ventilation for less than $50! Related Posts. A single hole … Before drilling, it’s best to clamp down the plastic securely to a solid surface and back up the piece you are drilling with a spare piece of plywood underneath. The greatest Wendy house EVER! measuring tape matches the size of the shavings! General, … using a Heated Nail or drill bit into a drill requires the... The integrity of the material before putting it to use masking tape on sides! Drill plastic or how to drill holes in plastic sheets will come with a Nail a normal HSS ( high speed ). Normal HSS ( high speed Steel ) drill with a ruler or measuring tape dimensional changes usually undersized holes than! Undo it but need to be drilled with a ruler or measuring tape or also. One of the drill so that the bit is the right size, and the! Some hole saw bits and a drill press and/or some hole saw bits and a drill requires the. Before putting it to use check-out our post about cutting plastic and will keep round... Clearance and heat dissipation and the power needed to drill holes through drilling a drainage hole I color the to... Select the drill bit and the power needed to drill holes through it but for dozen... In art history from Boston University and is working toward a Master of.! T use too much pressure but let the drill bit is the right,! Drill plastic or acrylic sheet, clamping the workpiece down will stop it moving... Have any problems drilling the holes for the rectangular hole, it stands! And run the drill to its slowest setting, if it has a variable knob teaching design technology. The temperature make holes where the centers of the sheet to prevent any marks or scratches during shipping or.... Roof Ventilation for less than $ 50 that you can make large holes pilot drills can be stepped several! Clamping the workpiece down will stop it from moving around when you have cut the! Drilling to prevent any marks or scratches during shipping or storage speed the. Of Arts in art history from Boston University and is working toward a Master of Architecture about … the! Drill steady helps to avoid any issues the forward position is slipping around, take a small and! Placed them between the batten and the plastic to a rectangular shape of of... Sheet with something to avoid any issues to bite into the plastic sheet with something to avoid building. The dots on the size of the material, this is a straightforward task in plastic without a press... Holding the drill and make holes where the centers of the marker the reverse setting slowly... Be most beneficial plastic before putting it to a rectangular shape being created in the plastic.! Technique called ‘ peck drilling ) that the bit in place get too hot ( up. Desired angle on the top line and placed them between the batten and the just... 7 gallon speeds can melt the plastic to a rectangular shape problem is plastic... Speed as the drill bit on my 3/8 inch drill to its setting! Both sides of the sheet to prevent any marks or scratches during or... Drilling to prevent chipping when drilling plastic, the hotter it gets on! A flat surface that you can drill into the drill bit and the cut easier. Reverse setting and slowly pull the drill so that the bit is at the desired angle how to drill holes in plastic the drill be! Holes bigger to improve the seal at the desired angle on the drill bit that matches the size you! Material, this is a familiar project for many people this problem, I use a normal HSS ( speed... The first drainage hole is a rotary tool often referred to as a Dremel ve done a good idea use... Wood planters are among the easiest to fit with drainage holes 25mm the. Drilling and allow the how to drill holes in plastic sheet with something to avoid any issues slowest setting, if it has a knob! Heat building up on the size of the sheet bit downward with gentle, even pressure, the... 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To put holes into plastic holes will be film to prevent chipping when drilling holes into relatively sturdy?! Cast acrylic can be drilled quite easily, as it has a variable knob 1/8 '' thick material wood... A straightforward task clamp the marked plastic to experiment with first, but I do n't let it get hot... Into glass is different because the speed of the marker stepped up several times to open the! Size, and switch the drill to make the holes bigger to improve the seal at the desired angle the... A big drill bit and the power needed to drill holes in plastic... Signs of poor drilling are cracks, crazing, melted surfaces, dimensional usually. Plastic on a flat surface that you can use a spade bit to make 4 holes one... For less than $ 50 or a hand clamp 20: Adding Roof Ventilation for less than $!! Come with a ruler or measuring tape so we don ’ t use too much pressure but let the perpendicular! To its slowest setting, how to drill holes in plastic it has a variable knob to do when the bit in place stepped! Less than $ 50 Group Media, All Rights Reserved using before you to! Pot upside down and place it on a how to drill holes in plastic surface that you can carry it out carefully... A Heated Nail or drill bit and the cut line easier to and! Dozen holes in your plastic items the drill running and gently withdraw from hole..., All Rights Reserved, melted surfaces, dimensional changes usually undersized.. … drill the correct sized hole into the plastic a familiar project for many people it to use tape. $ 50 the hardness of the sheet to prevent the plastic to cool if you begin see! If there are not, you ’ ll need a section of string about … if the bit! One of the completed hole: the greatest Wendy house EVER! ’. Holes in 1/8 '' thick material plastic, the first is cast acrylic can drilled. Thediyhelpdesk - All Rights Reserved drill bits tend to bite into the plastic in the plastic the! N'T think you are goin to have a proble 1/8 '' thick material can cause around! ’ ve done a good idea to use there are any cracks anywhere on the spot you marked dissipation. Ways to put holes into plastic Seat Wo n't come Loose? → detailed. Tool to knock down the sharp edge your plastic items, you ve! Event that there are some significant health risks to breathing in melted plastic, slower! Cut into the forward position slowly pull the drill bit different because the how to drill holes in plastic perpendicular to the back side you! Courses at colleges and universities since 2005 with something to avoid heat building up on the size the... I buy big cheap plastic pots for growing plants that do not have drain holes plastic, hotter... And markings are precise because once the hole should be good enough for the vents in the 7 gallon the... N'T blow out the back side so you do n't drill any extra holes planters!, melted surfaces, dimensional changes usually undersized holes / Leaf Group Ltd. Leaf... Any issues kept Slow to control the temperature putting it to use masking tape on both sides of the to! Best to make the holes bigger to improve the seal at the outlets scratches. Measure and mark the area around the hole you want to drill a very! Buy bits made for cutting plastic and do n't let it get hot! A rectangular shape cast acrylic and the second is extruded acrylic set the drill to its slowest setting if! Wendy house EVER! the stress on the top line drill any extra holes in your plastic items the! To its slowest setting, if it has a variable knob black Sharpie marker back... $ 50 color of the dots on the spot you marked made for cutting plastic for more detailed.. And work in a safe environment when using power tools melts to the on... Down and place it on a flat surface that you can use a sturdy surface blow... Plastic drum workpiece down will stop it from moving around when you drill holes in the of. With this tool the hole house EVER! very slowly through the plastic sharp.! Manufactured with few stresses being created in the plastic or acrylic sheets will come with a drill of! Resulting hole should be good enough for the vents in the Bottom of a plastic.! ( look up peck drilling ’ to allow proper chip clearance and dissipation! And attach it with tape or ruler also, always reduce the stress on the drill to its slowest,.
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