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Modding Can you drill into acrylic without cracking it?

Discussion in 'Modding' started by TheMadDutchDude, 19 Feb 2018.

  1. TheMadDutchDude

    TheMadDutchDude The Flying Dutchman

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    Hey guys,

    It's a simple question that I wanted to ask the pros about...

    I am contemplating building myself a desk PC, albeit a much more simplistic one than you get from the real modders on this forum. It'll consist of two IKEA counter tops (they're stupid cheap for what you get!) and an acrylic surround that'll separate the two. I need some way to secure them in place, and I figured drilling into them would be the best method.

    I was thinking of getting an inch thick acrylic sheet, and as long/wide as needed to cover what I need.

    What's the best way to go about mounting the two table tops together, without cracking it?

    If I do go ahead with this, it'll be a learning curve, without any doubt. :D
     
  2. The_Crapman

    The_Crapman Don't phone it's just for fun.

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    You can use metal bits, but there are proper plexi drill bits if you want to use those. Mount it on scrap wood to prevent the bottom dropping out, put tape on top to stop that chipping depending on size of hole you need you might want to start with a smaller hole then work your way up to the desired diameter in a couple of steps, and lube it up to prevent heat cracking it, water should be fine. And go at it slow, let the bit do the work, don't push too hard.
     
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  3. Xlog

    Xlog Active Member

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    Metal bits need to be modified for proper plastic (or brass) drilling - you'll need to flatten the cutting edge on a grind stone. Also stepped cone drills work very well.
     
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  4. TheMadDutchDude

    TheMadDutchDude The Flying Dutchman

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    Fantastic! Thank you, fellas. :)
     
  5. Cheapskate

    Cheapskate Insane? or just stupid?

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    I use normal bits. The key is having a block of wood clamped to the underside and very little pressure on the bit. I'd add water if using a press or using a big bit. Go slow if using a hand drill and use a guide to stay level. If the bit grabs / starts cracking / pulls as it breaches the underside, your wood backing is too soft.
     
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  6. Attila

    Attila still thinking....

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    Likewise, I've only ever used normal high speed steel bits without trouble.
     
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  7. CAF PCs

    CAF PCs Custom PCs

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    Not 100% sure what you're trying to accomplish but I think just creating a lip for the acrylic to sit in would keep it in place.
     
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  8. alpha112

    alpha112 Member

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    If you're using a really fast drill you might ned up melting it, I've done that a few times. And as the others said, a scrap wooden block underneath will make it a lot easier and stop it flexing at all (although not really an issue if it's an inch thick.

    For Ikea counter tops, look in the damaged section at the end. I picked up a 3m oak covered one for £10.
     
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  9. mnpctech

    mnpctech bit-tech sponsor

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  10. djjiz

    djjiz New Member

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    If the drill bit is too hot to touch its on the verge of cracking. Any bit will do up to that point .
     
  11. LePhuronn

    LePhuronn Member

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    I use simple HSS drill bits but go slowly and gently with a bit of water to lube up and cool the acrylic and bit cool. Don't apply constant pressure, drill in a little then take out to clear the swarf and cool down, then go back in a little more. It's called "pecking" I think. That's how you drill Delrin and it's worked fine with acrylic too.
     
  12. mnpctech

    mnpctech bit-tech sponsor

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  13. mnpctech

    mnpctech bit-tech sponsor

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    I used the SPUR bits in this video guide for drilling plastic PC bezel

     

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