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Old 03-27-2007, 03:54 PM   #1
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drilling Lexan?

Is it possible to drill holes in Lexan without ruining the window?

I'm just brainstorming here on something.
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Old 03-27-2007, 04:16 PM   #2
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Hmm, I know you can cut through it with an abrasive saw...I don't see why it wouldn't drill. But you can't practice on mine!!
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Old 03-27-2007, 04:17 PM   #3
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I know it's easy to cut with a jig saw... so it's pretty tough stuff.

It may take a special plastics drill bit to keep it from cracking that you can get at Tap Plastics.

Your lucky since there is one in Pleasant Hill, CA. I was just there yesterday and saw them.

If you have a scrape peice just give it a try. Or you can use a flat paddle type drill bit normally for boring large holes in wood. I use those on laminate as well since it cuts the outside of the hole at the same time as the inside and keeps it from cracking.
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Old 03-27-2007, 04:35 PM   #4
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I Had no Problem Drilling Lexan...

but maybe I didn't know I wasn't supposed to be able to do it.

Actually, it behaves nicely if you drill at a slow to moderate speed. At higher speeds, the Lexan melts and gums up the drill bit.
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Old 03-27-2007, 04:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkflamingoes
Is it possible to drill holes in Lexan without ruining the window?

I'm just brainstorming here on something.
Do you want to share the brainstorm? You have my curiosity up...
Dave
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Old 03-27-2007, 05:06 PM   #6
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Drill it, cut it, shear it, bend it, just like a soft piece of aluminum. No special drill bit needed. High speed low pressure.
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Old 03-27-2007, 07:39 PM   #7
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I'd second the moderate speed (depending on hole dia) so you don't melt the plastic. I'd start with a small pilot hole, something you could do with a variable speed Dremel tool. A hole saw works for larger holes. If it's Lexan (brand name for polycarbonate) you should be golden. If it's acrylic then all bets are off. That stuff has a nasty tendancy to crack when you try to drill it. It can be done if you're careful but it's a bit more hit and miss than polycarbonate.

-Bernie
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Old 03-28-2007, 07:15 AM   #8
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You can do just about anything that you want to LEXAN. I built a complete set of hurricane storm windows out of the stuff a couple of years ago. Glad I had them when Wilma hit!!!!!

Anyway, I used a regular drill bit at high speed with very light pressure or the driill will bog down. The holes were very clean and precise!

Cut it with a circular saw and carbide blade. Be careful with the surface though. As strong as the stuff is, it scratches VERY easily!!!
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Old 03-28-2007, 11:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewster

Cut it with a circular saw and carbide blade. Be careful with the surface though. As strong as the stuff is, it scratches VERY easily!!!
There are different types of Lexan.

The Lexan windows, for the 66-68 trailers, that we provide, are coated on both sides. it's called AR-2.

You can scrub it with medium steel wool, and not scratch it.

Of course, that adds to the price, considerably.

Andy
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Old 03-28-2007, 01:37 PM   #10
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Lexan Polycarbonate is very tough but is sensitive to certain chemicals and solvents. This is particularly so if it has been stressed or machined without annealing it. That is why they do not allow you to modify Lexan motorcycle or snowmobile helmets. If you do want to drill a hole in Lexan use a very sharpe drill and move slowly to creat a uniform chip. Drilling a pilot hole followed by another drill is preferred. Anneal the hole afterwards by using a hot air gun they use to strip paint or shink heat shrink tubing. Raise the temperature of the plastic to about 350 F and keep it there for 10 mins. You can verify the sheet has been properly annealed by viewing it with polarized light from one side and polaroid glasses from the other side. Properly annealed material will have no birefringence.(colored rainbows)
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Old 03-28-2007, 03:38 PM   #11
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awesome

If I decide to take on my top-secret mission, I shall do as instructed. I have a heat gun. Thanks all!
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Old 03-28-2007, 04:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwightdi
You can verify the sheet has been properly annealed by viewing it with polarized light from one side and polaroid glasses from the other side. Properly annealed material will have no birefringence.(colored rainbows)
Wow, until I joined this forum I thought everything I really needed to know I'd learned in Kindergarten

Will the 350 deg make the plastic soft enough to smooth out sharp edges and removed any burrs or feathering?

-Bernie
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Old 03-28-2007, 06:15 PM   #13
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I don't know about you guys but we shot my .45 into a sheet of Lexan and all it did was leave a bif dimple and fogged area!
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Old 03-28-2007, 08:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickandsandi
I don't know about you guys but we shot my .45 into a sheet of Lexan and all it did was leave a bif dimple and fogged area!
Try hitting it with a sledge hammer and see what happens (or doesn't)
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