Making holes in lexan/plastic - Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums

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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-07-2017, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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Making holes in lexan/plastic

I am replacing the windscreen on my sidecar. I have the replacement, now I need to make holes to attach it to the car itself.
Any advice on how to make these holes?
Drill them?
Use a "hot poker" to melt the holes?

Thanks

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-07-2017, 07:19 PM
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Hey Chewie,

There are special drill bits for poly or you could use a really dull standard twist bit. I've also heard of using a drill bit run in reverse. Make sure when you do drill that you have a firm backstop to minimize spalling when the bit comes out the back side. Oh, and definitely test your drill method on a piece of scrap POLLY before going after the real deal!

Some other tips:
- use a drill press if you can
- masking tape the area to keep the bit from "walking"
- a bit made for drilling metal is better than one for wood
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-07-2017, 07:59 PM
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After the holes are drilled,chamfer the holes,you don’t want sharp edges on the holes,it will crack out.
By all means step drill the hole.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-07-2017, 10:23 PM
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I would think a brad point bit would be best.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-07-2017, 10:32 PM
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Or a Brad Pitt point...
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-07-2017, 10:37 PM
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I used a hardwood brad point bit for the windshields of stock cars. I only had to drill 3/16" though. (Beware that some are left handed) No problem at all. Just be a little patient and don't force it.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-08-2017, 07:21 AM
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A step bit is probably the easiest. Starts out with a small hole and gets progressively larger. Slices rather than drills.
Start out with an 1/8 drill bit then the step bit. Also produces a slight chamfer.

step bit.jpg
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-08-2017, 07:46 AM
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The problem with drilling these materials is not their hardness. Any metalwork drill bit will work. The problem is when you punch through the material (when the drill bit comes out the other side), your drill will want to twist in your hand. If the drill twists even a little, the plastic WILL crack.
So you want to either go VERY slow with very little hand force on the drill as the bit is about to exit or have a backing block of wood firmly against the hole. Pilot holes not really necessary.
Also, you do want to drill the hole slightly oversized. This is so that as the material expands and contracts with temperature, it won't seize up against the bolt resulting in a crack.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-08-2017, 06:17 PM
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It has been my experience that when drilling plastics, a step drill bit will produce a round hole. A standard drill bit will produce an elongated or oval hole. No, I have not used it on windshield material, but the process should still hold. As stated earlier, try a scrap piece if you can.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-08-2017, 06:21 PM
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If you're using LEXAN don't have to worry about cracking, it will never crack.
Acrilic is the one that may crack and sure it will do!.
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