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Drilling, Screwing and Tapping Perspex

Drilling, Screwing and Tapping Perspex - Kitronik University

This Kitronik University course is part of the working with materials course, and covers aspects of drilling, tapping and screwing Perspex.

 

Drilling Perspex

Conventional twist drills for use with wood are also suitable for use with Perspex, and hole saws may be used for larger holes greater than 12mm in diameter.

A small pilot hole should be drilled first to locate the drill, and where possible the work should be supported by a backstop made from either scrap Perspex or wood to prevent splintering of the exit hole. A drill press works well as it ensures good alignment and controlled pressure.

The use of coolants is recommended for any deep drilling, and swarf should be removed at regular intervals.

Screwing and tapping Perspex

Perspex can be tapped for threaded screws. Standard taps and dies may be used for cutting screw threads into Perspex. The use of lubricants is essential.

tapping_perspex_870

If an item is only being assembled once then self tapping screws may be used at your own risk.

Wherever possible, coarse threads are preferred as they are less liable to damage.

If frequently dismantling, threaded metal inserts would be recommended.

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2 thoughts on “Drilling, Screwing and Tapping Perspex”

  • You wrote:

    Drilling Perspex
    Conventional twist drills for use with wood are also suitable for use with Perspex, and hole saws may be used for larger holes greater than 12mm in diameter.

    A small pilot hole should be drilled first to locate the drill, and where possible the work should be supported by a backstop made from either scrap Perspex or wood to prevent splintering of the exit hole. A drill press works well as it ensures good alignment and controlled pressure.

    The use of coolants is recommended for any deep drilling, and swarf should be removed at regular intervals.

    Screwing and tapping Perspex
    Perspex can be tapped for threaded screws. Standard taps and dies may be used for cutting screw threads into Perspex. The use of lubricants is essential.

    May I ask what coolant and what lubricant you recommend for (how) deep drilling and what size holes to pre-drill creating M4 and M6?

    Thanks and best regards,

    Herman van den Dungen

    Reply
    • Hi Herman, thanks for getting in touch. When drilling Perspex, or any acrylic, it is important to note that once the material reaches approx. 80 degrees C the Perspex will begin to soften and this is to be avoided. You can use a number of things as a coolant, the coolant will also act as a lubricant. Suitable coolants include; water and water/air mists, soluble oils and compressed air. Soluble oils must be oil-in-water emulsions and must not contain solvents which may cause stress cracking. Another point to make is that care should be taken with how fast you feed the drill bit into the material, low feed rates are preferable due to the brittleness of Perspex. Here at Kitronik we usually work either with 3mm or 5mm thicknesses and we typically don't use a coolant, if we were working with materials over 5mm or if we needed the result to be guaranteed perfect then we would employ the use of a coolant. If pre drilling then the size of the hole would need to be big enough to accommodate the tip of the final drill bit to be used. I hope this helps.

      Reply
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