Tips for drilling/ cutting lexan and plexi


#1

i dont know about all of you my first holes drills ok, then i step up in size and it cracks. the pieces ive tried are .093 acrylic


#2

make sure to

  1. keep the protective film on the sheet until finished.
  2. clamp onto two pieces of wood on both sides.
  3. It cuts easily so go as slow as possible.

#3

Use Forstner bits instead of something that cracks your plexi all to hell.


#4

is one easier to cut/ drill than the other?


#5

GP = DRILL/LASER/CUT
FF = Die Trying

For accuracy, go to an engraving shop, or PM me…

A laser + Acrylic = god

but seriously, GP acrylic cuts/drills with a nicer less chipping finish.
FF is not as clean, but still useable.

GP on a laser = polished edges, FF = choppy…

in the end use what you can get, because we are talking .050 or less thick material for joysticks it doesnt really make a difference.

Use good drill bits, and you wont have issues.
or a laser…


#6

I sandwiched 1/8" Plexi between a wooden template and another piece of plywood with clamps for support and that made a pretty good cut then went over the edges with a butane torch to clean up the edges.


#7

that is a great idea.


#8

went very slow one step up at a time, pretty much melted instead on drilled i think. hey djbordie what is gg and ff ? thanks for all the help dudes


#9

If youre drilling this with a hand drill, you will get frustrated quickly. You should use a drill press.
Its the best way to make a nice clean hole in either acrylic (plexi) or lexan.


#10

if your using a hand drill use a stepping drill bit. i call them reamers idk what other ppl call em.


#11

No, don’t use a step-bit, just use a forstner and be done with it. If anything, make a small pilot hole with a small drill bit, to guide the center point on the forstner.


#12

exactly…

i started my project using a hand drill & forstner bits…

i did the joystick hole (24mm) but this took forever

i attempted to drill the button holes (30 mm) but the one i started started to slip.

once i saw that happening… i went to my old employers shop to use his drill press… major improvement. it was like cutting butter.

BOTTOM LINE… USE A DRILL PRESS & FORSTNER BIT.


#13

going to pick up a set of forstner bits tomorrow and a few sheets of 1/4 inch lexan. thanks for the advice


#14

I’ve always used a hole saw sandwiched between wood, worked fine for me. I’ve heard lots of positive feedback for forstner bits though.


#15

Using a holesaw I found that setting the drill to reverse and effectively melting your way halfway through with the arbor helps, then switch back to normal direction and drill the hole proper.


#16

i had a big sheet to cut today (18" x 24"). let me tell you, that was a pain in the but w/o the proper tools. only had a hack saw with a 5" blade. i asked some guy at home depot and he said to just score it with a blade and snap it…that didn’t turn out too great either, left some sides a little uneven (by 1-2mm at most?). nothing a little sanding won’t fix. i’ll be gluing and stuff tomorrow morning, and priming later in the evening. great way to spend spring break huh?


#17

To cut down big sheets, it’s easier with two people. Score the sheet with a straight edge and sharp blade. Then put the sheet over the edge of a table and have someone press down on the sheet/table at the edge, while the other person bends and snaps it. Just don’t smack yourself in the face when it snaps. lol


#18

exodus, thanks, we tried that and it worked pretty damn well. just not 100% perfectly straight, but that’s ok, gonna sand it down a little anyways to make it straight. kind of hard to score with a box cutter, what did you use?

btw the way, i searched “drill press” on lowe’s and found this

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=125773-28920-69997&lpage=none

somehow i have a feeling this isn’t useful at all


#19

We use an acrylic cutting blade (find them in home depot or lowes) but a sharp utility knife will do. We use a t-square to line up the score and do it once lightly and then go over it again with more pressure. If you want to be anal, you can clamp the t-square to the table/sheet when you score it.

And no, that’s not a drill press. lol. They look like this: Drill Press

Btw, you an also use a table saw to cut plastic, with the right blade.


#20

thanks exodus. i’ve seen a drill press before, i was just wondering if what i linked could be useful at all. link to what an acrylic cutting blade looks like?