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post #1 of 14 Old 10-01-2012, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
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Drilling acrylic

Anyone have any suggestions for drilling acrylic blanks? Do I need some plastic bits? How about those colt bits? They look good but there are mixed reviews out there. Sorry to shotgun blast the questions.
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post #2 of 14 Old 10-01-2012, 11:15 AM
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Just go slow.

That bowl was perfect right up until that last cut...
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post #3 of 14 Old 10-01-2012, 11:31 AM
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+1 about going slow.

I have Colt brad point bits, with the double spiral. I have only used in wood. I like them.

I also have Colt Maxi-Cut Forstner bit, also only used in wood. I LOVE these.

The reason for going slow is to minimize heat. If too much heat, the acryllic will melt rather than cut and you will not like the result.

I would experiment if possible on a scrap piece, to test type of bit, feed rate etc.

I would also slow down the drill press to about 500 rpm.
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post #4 of 14 Old 10-01-2012, 12:31 PM
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Very slow and clean off chips often

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post #5 of 14 Old 10-01-2012, 12:54 PM
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Even with the drill press at its lowest setting I've had blanks blow out due to heat build up.

My method:

1) never use brad point bits
2) slowest setting on the drill press
3) only advance the bit 1/4 inch into to blank before backing out
4) use WATER -- I have a few syringes I fill with cold water and dribble into the hole, each time I back out the bit I fill it up to the top with more water

You need plenty of paper towels, and there can be a little spray -- but you were wearing your safety glasses anyway, weren't you

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post #6 of 14 Old 10-01-2012, 09:17 PM
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I normally do it on my lathe, at about 500 rpm. Slow and steady, back out to clear debris often and you should get a nice clean hole.
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post #7 of 14 Old 10-01-2012, 09:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Itchytoe
I normally do it on my lathe, at about 500 rpm. Slow and steady, back out to clear debris often and you should get a nice clean hole.
I should try it on the lathe...

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post #8 of 14 Old 10-01-2012, 10:34 PM
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Woodcraft sells a great bit. I believe they are Woodriver brand. Brad point bits are a must as they prevent blowout, especially in acrylic. Hope this helps.
David.
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post #9 of 14 Old 10-01-2012, 11:01 PM
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Any bit will do just drill so slow and eject the chips every 1/4" problem solved
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post #10 of 14 Old 10-02-2012, 01:31 PM
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Go slow,Back out often,keep tools very very sharp.....I even take breaks and go do something else to let the blank cool down. Heat is is NOT your friend.
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post #11 of 14 Old 10-02-2012, 07:03 PM
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Second the use of water. You can also stop the drill a sixteenth shy of going through and trim the end off if you consistantly have problems with catches and splitting out when drilling through.
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post #12 of 14 Old 10-02-2012, 11:18 PM
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Drilled over 100 acrylics, some guys go over kill with suggestions, literally sharp bit eject frequently, don't need to use water nor take a break, your bit or blank would hear would NOT heat up if you drill slow and eject your chips SIMPLE , brad point bit, never had one crack
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post #13 of 14 Old 10-03-2012, 08:19 AM
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Lotsa good suggestions so far. I would only use blanks that are cast acrylic, not extruded. They look the same, but machine differently. I agree, any sharp drill bit will work if used slow. If you have a drifting problem at the start, place the bit to the mark and turn the bit backwards for several turns just to make a starting divot.





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post #14 of 14 Old 10-12-2012, 06:10 PM
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Hi All
Thats the secret go at a slower n steady feed on the drill press I found doing it on the lathe was not that successful unless you have the right chuck jaws to hold your work peace nice n square.
Good Luck
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