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Drilling Into Acrylic

Discussion in 'Tips & Tricks' started by Jo Hill, Dec 10, 2019.

  1. JBurton

    JBurton Signtologist

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    And my wife wonders why I like working evenings... Props on running the show solo!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Modern Ink Signs

    Modern Ink Signs Premium Subscriber

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    I’m going to assume that you are having the material cut to size....

    I’d find someone in your area that has a cnc router. Work up a relationship with them on projects like this. They can cut the material to size/shape/holes/etc. Then all you have to do is your lettering/printing on the material.

    I did this and now we are good friends. Works out great we did work for them and they do work for us!


    If you are drilling the material yourself, as mentioned use the proper drill bit(s). Also put some masking tape on the front and back of the area you will be drilling. This will help the material from cracking
     
  3. ams

    ams Very Active Member

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    Use a drill press with a fresh drill bit and drill slowly. No cracks.
     
  4. jc_0125

    jc_0125 Graphic Designer

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    put the drill into reverse like you're taking a screw out and use a standard drill bit. Rather than drilling into the acrylic, you're basically melting it. I do this all the time. Works like a charm
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  5. ledhead

    ledhead New Member

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    Like what everyone else said. Buy the specific bit for drilling that type of material. I also put a wood board underneath and clamp it down tight. I have not had any cracks since doing it that way.
     
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  6. Jayefkay531

    Jayefkay531 Member

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    i know a few other people mentioned....but the unibit or stepbit works wonders. cuts through like butter. NEVER cracked on me. No need to use two pieces or tape or anything - it drills through as if you're drilling pvc.
     
  7. WB

    WB Active Member

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    I've never heard of anyone doing this, Unless it was my wife and she didn't know the drill was in reverse..
     
    • Hilarious! Hilarious! x 1
  8. Consider using edge grip standoffs. No drilling.
     
  9. Martin Denton

    Martin Denton Member

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    Use a standard tile drill . I can drill a 1/2 inch hole in acrylic in one go with out any cracking. It is incredible try it you will be amazed
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  10. jc_0125

    jc_0125 Graphic Designer

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    I mean ive been doing it for 2+ years with no issues. Gets the job done. Nice holes, no cracks
     
  11. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Cracks can develop over time.. they may not show right when you drill.
     
  12. wes70

    wes70 Very Active Member

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  13. Martin Denton

    Martin Denton Member

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    Use a ceramic tile drill, they work like magic, They can go through 10mm holes in one go on 5mm acrylic with no risk of shattering, best discovery i made about 15 years ago never used anything else since
     
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    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  14. Sign Works

    Sign Works Very Active Member

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    These, smooth as butter. 61S6UUC45DL._SL1500_grande.jpeg Craftics_Pro-Series_Drill_Bit_Kit_01_1390x.jpg
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Z SIGNS

    Z SIGNS Very Active Member

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    Drilling plexi has always been risky business. Yeah you need the right bits And even then it's a crap shoot.
     
  16. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    Why waste money on special bits. Grab you a steel bit and just drill the hole slowly, holding back on the drill itself. Work your way up till you can use the step bit and finish it out, its not difficult. Just take it slow
     
  17. Sven

    Sven Member

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    One trick is to heat the plastic carefully with a heat gun for about 30 seconds while using a pre-drilled piece of wood clamped to the acrylic as a guide for the bit.
     
  18. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

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    A FYI for everyone, if you're on a jobsite or something & have to drill acrylic, but don't have an acrylic bit,
    a workaround I have used is to use a regular bit, but put the drill in reverse... it's not as fast or clean but
    it gets the job done ( I have only done this a few times & it's been a while, so I would try this on scrap 1st if you can)

    Edited to say: Dang, someone else posted this already, :( I thought I was a genius for thinking
    to try it one day when I was in a bind.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2020
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