Drilling ventilation holes

astraldisaster

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 5, 2011
Messages
311
Okay, so I have attempted this numerous times over the past few months, and still cannot seem to get a good result. The holes are never nice and clean, the way I've seen in others' photos -- instead, I always get some shredded up, sharp plastic pieces sticking out in the direction of my drilling. These usually end up on the inside, since it's hard to drill outward when the container is very small (the drill obviously won't fit inside). These sharp pieces are potentially dangerous to soft T bellies, so I then have to spend a while breaking them off and smoothing the holes manually when I'm done drilling. It's time-consuming, and the end result (while functional) is just not pretty. In addition, I seem to have a hard time preventing the drill from hitting the side of the container once it breaks through, so I get unattractive rings on the plastic from the impact.

What am I doing wrong? I already went to the hardware store and asked them for the best drill bit to use on acrylic, and they recommended me one designed for glass. It didn't really help. As you can probably surmise, I'm not a tool-savvy person (in fact, I'm sort of embarrassingly retarded when it comes to these things). Any advice on how to get better results would be much appreciated.
 

Kathy

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 4, 2009
Messages
852
Soldering iron, works every time - just melts it away. :)
 

Raven9464

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 3, 2011
Messages
66
Thanks for the tip ! I am just now drilling holes and making a big mess LOL Wish I had know this earlier ! This drill is going back in the garage and I'm off to the store to find one of those irons!
 

babypiggy

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 26, 2008
Messages
132
when u are melting plastic make sure u do it outside

LOL the fumes u make u a bit :barf: or {D


if u still want to use a drill make sure your torque is low... probably a 3-4
and do not put pressure while u are drilling the plastic.. which will cause those sharp bits on the inside.

also make sure your drill bit is not dull

;)
 

Le Wasp

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Oct 25, 2007
Messages
243
I never liked melting holes very much; I ended up with lips of melted plastic around the holes. Instead, I use a very sharp drill bit and apply a little pressure. When the hole is almost drilled through, decrease the pressure a lot so it doesn't crack through. I'm not sure what kind of drill bit it is, since I got it at a yard sale.
 

synic

Arachnosquire
Joined
Mar 17, 2011
Messages
69
I'll tell you how I do it, though you've seen my enclosures, so I don't know if that's what you're after. I still end up with plastic on the inside sometimes.

Don't press on while you're drilling, just let the weight of the drill do it. This will keep you from breaking through too fast. It'll also keep you from cracking any super thin plastic. This way, you're melting through it too, not as much drilling.
 

captmarga

Arachnobaron
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
339
Mini dremel tool with a tiny bit, with a fan blowing across to help keep cool. I drill all mine this way, but I have found that the small shoeboxes from Container store are already drilled, and help keep humidity high for slings.

Marga
 

Ecstasy

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
May 18, 2010
Messages
264
Just a FYI when you drill holes, if you get a pair of like the 8" tongs or something, all I do after I drill is use the tongs to pull the pieces of plastic that remain left over. Soldering iron works but I hate the smell of burning plastic.
 

madamoisele

Arachnosquire
Joined
Oct 28, 2010
Messages
141
I use a regular drill bit and cordless drill on plastic enclosures - but on acrylic of any thickness, I use a drill press. Go slow, and clean the bit between holes as needed.
 

jt39565

Arachnoknight
Joined
Aug 28, 2010
Messages
179
I second what "babypiggy" said. I also sometimes use tape on the plastic to drill thru and it helps. I will also say I've never had a T get injured from any of the plastic that remains from drilling, in fact one of my OBT's has used it as an anchor when webbing.
 

Aschamne

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
May 23, 2007
Messages
400
The key to getting a nice hole is to have another piece of material behind the piece you are drilling. With this method once you have drilled through your piece the drill bit is still drilling into another piece so it does not allow for excess to be left on the outside of the hole.

Art
 

mcluskyisms

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Apr 16, 2009
Messages
843
When drilling holes in plastic it is best to have the areas where you intend to drill covered with masking tape stuck on it and already marked out. As for the drilling, as mentioned if you press to hard you will split the plastic no doubt. Its always best to use a new drill bit and let the drill do the work for you. As for the shards of plastic ending up on the inside you will find once the holes drilled through, you can push and pull the drill bit in back again a few times while the drills still running and that usually discards of them.
 

Ictinike

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 30, 2009
Messages
460
Mini dremel tool with a tiny bit, with a fan blowing across to help keep cool. I drill all mine this way, but I have found that the small shoeboxes from Container store are already drilled, and help keep humidity high for slings.

Marga
+1 I use Dremel and a bit as well I work up a template first on paper and then tape it to the cube/container. This way they are always aligned and proper and the paper cuts down on scratching it/etc.
 

Unravel

Arachnosquire
Joined
Nov 27, 2010
Messages
140
if only dremels were cheap or applicable in daily household stuff (with anything a drill can't do)
 

moose35

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
May 14, 2005
Messages
1,351
A step bit(unibit) is your best friend for drilling plastic.



moose
 

webbedone

Arachnobaron
Joined
Aug 27, 2010
Messages
410
if only dremels were cheap or applicable in daily household stuff (with anything a drill can't do)
i cant think of anything i havent done with a dremel, cut down my own arrows, plumbing and wood work, ceramic tiles, not to mention putting holes in t enclosures. Wait, wait, i havent done my teeth with a dremel yet maybe i will try it next time instead of paying 600 bucks to the dentist.
 

astraldisaster

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 5, 2011
Messages
311
Wow, thanks guys! A lot of really good suggestions here. I'll try getting a new, small step bit and adding some duct tape when I drill. If I'm still not getting good results, I'll consider investing in a dremel or soldering iron. I assume the latter yields far better results than regular hole-melting? I experimented with a hot nail on some sling vials, and it turned out pretty bad. In addition to having gross melted ridges, the edges of the holes were all blackened (from something in the metal of the nail, I presume).

I found these great containers, and I'd really like to not mess them up. Of course, installing vents like these would be even better, so maybe I should look into figuring out how to do that.
 
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