Slightly OT: tips for fabricating with plexiglass?

From: John Lawson <>
Date: Sat Jan 15 21:11:25 2005

On Sat, 15 Jan 2005, Computer Collector Newsletter wrote:

> I've heard some horror stories about whole (expensive!) sheets of plexiglass
> simply breaking in half when incorrectly drilled through. The guy at the

   Generally this happens at the instant the drill-bit "breaks through" and
grabs a chunk of material at the edge of the hole. This 'jam' communicates
the torque to the plastic which, being somewhat brittle, cracks and/or

   One thing you can do is pilot-drill it with a much smaller drill, and
then run the big drill half-way through, flipping the work over and then
drilling from the other side so the holes meet in the middle. This takes
some accuracy, and a 'jig' on a drill-press, so that the holes line up. As
well, when working with Plexiglass (or Perspex) - it collects scratches
and scrapes which must then be polished back out. So the less you work
with it, the prettier it is.

   Why not just ask the plastic place to drill it for you? Most will be
happy to do this for a few bucks. I've had a lot of custom high-voltge
fixtures made at various plastic supply houses - you give 'em a scketch or
drawing and they do the work very nicely, since that's what they do for a

   If you do drill it yourself - the secret is to go very slowly and
lightly - getting extremely careful lnear the end of the hole... use a
variable speed drill if you can and taek it easy. Get some small scraps
of the same material if you can, and practice on them...


Received on Sat Jan 15 2005 - 21:11:25 GMT

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