Slightly OT: tips for fabricating with plexiglass?

From: Stan Barr <>
Date: Sun Jan 16 03:04:11 2005


> It's only "slightly" off-topic because what I'm building is a new case for my
> Apple 1 "Replica 1" board.
> I've heard some horror stories about whole (expensive!) sheets of plexiglass
> simply breaking in half when incorrectly drilled through. The guy at the
> plastic supply company tried selling me a special drill bit, but I'm hesitant
> about that. Does anyone has hands-on experience and tips (vs. just
> speculation) about working with this stuff? This computer will be on display
> as some public events, so the final appearance is very important.

I've worked with the stuff a fair bit...competition car windows, radio gear
etc. - even a guitar!
Use a sharp, perferably new, bit and drill slowly so as not to melt the
plastic. For larger holes, drill a small pilot hole first and work your
way up through the drill sizes until you get to the size you want.
Don't work on it in the cold, it shatters *much* more easily when cold.
Lightly coutersink each side of the hole to reduce stress build-up.
Make sure the work is solidly supported on a smooth flat surface with no
bits trapped underneath. Practice on a few off-cuts first.
All these things found out the hard way :-)

Edges can be polished with very fine wet-and-dry paper followed by metal
polish or jeweller's rouge.

Stan Barr
The future was never like this!
Received on Sun Jan 16 2005 - 03:04:11 GMT

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