Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Member PastorPaul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    St. James, Missouri, USA.
    Posts
    7,319

    Drilling Holes In Plastic

    This isn't really a woodworking issue, but is shop related.

    I have volunteered to help the local HeadStart in a project where the children get to make bird feeders out of 2 liter soda bottles. When I drill the holes for the seed to empty into the tray, the plastic melts and leaves a smaller hole than I need. I'm concerned that if I try to go much larger, the hole may end up too large instead.

    Any suggestions on how to drill holes in plastic without the melting? Or is there a way other than drilling?

    Pastor Paul
    http://webpages.charter.net/chalosi/usaC.gif http://webpages.charter.net/chalosi/usaC.gif

    "If they don't have woodworking in heaven, I ain't going!!!"

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Bradford, Vermont, MerryCanna.
    Posts
    18,751

    RE: Drilling Holes In Plastic

    Two thoughts - fill the bottle with water, drop it in the freezer overnight, and drill away. The ice will keep the plastic from melting, and you can drill right into it without hurting anything.

    Second - use the slowest reasonable drilling speed.

    The bird feeder I made for the house just uses the uncapped opening to dump the sunflower seeds into the tray. I cut the bottom out to refill the bottle, suspended the bottle upside-down, and hung a centerdrilled plastic dinner plate over it to keep the rain out.

    -- Tim --

    Home
    is where
    the TOOLS are.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    SoCal.
    Posts
    1,366

    RE: Drilling Holes In Plastic

    PP,
    how about getting the kids to drill the holes with an old fashioned hand drill/brace. I think they'll get a bigger kick by actually doing it themselves and learning. The slower speed will also keep temps down.

    Just two pennies in the fountain,
    Anthony

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    North Stamford, Connecticut, USA.
    Posts
    4,890

    RE: Drilling Holes In Plastic

    Wow ... freeze it full of water...neat idea...also stops the drill deforming the weaker blow moulded side section where the Polycarbonate will shatter if the drill catches on the spiral.
    I like the idea of kids using the "egg beater drill...Combine the two and it gets my vote for a woodworking "oscar".

    Limey

  5. #5
    Member PastorPaul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    St. James, Missouri, USA.
    Posts
    7,319

    RE: Drilling Holes In Plastic

    The problem is that state regs apparently don't allow children of HeadStart age to use tools with any kind of sharp edge, etc.

    They are also limited on the time they have for 20 children to make their feeders. It is basically an assembly job for the children and show them how to make a funnel with paper and a paper clip, so they can fill their bird feeder.

    Pastor Paul
    http://webpages.charter.net/chalosi/usaC.gif http://webpages.charter.net/chalosi/usaC.gif

    "If they don't have woodworking in heaven, I ain't going!!!"

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Oceanside, California, USA.
    Posts
    580

    RE: Drilling Holes In Plastic

    For holes in that thin of plastic, I'd be tempted to use a piece of copper pipe about the size you need, heat it up with a propane torch and melt your way thru! Plus, if you ream it around a little you'll "roll" an edge so it won't be sharp for the little fingers. Make sure you do it outside, grab the pipe with vise grips or something, wear gloves, and make sure the kids don't see ya do it! :7

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    Arvada, Colorado, USA.
    Posts
    420

    RE: Drilling Holes In Plastic

    If you have a unibit I would use it. A unibit is a stepped drill bit most commonly used by electrians. They work perfectly in thin metals and plastics.

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Wichita Falls, Texas, USA.
    Posts
    84

    RE: Drilling Holes In Plastic

    Freezing water in the bottle? Now thats a sharp idea!!!! Good one. The heated copper is the way I woulda done it too but that freezing idea is just too smart!!!

  9. #9
    dicklaxt
    Guest

    RE: Drilling Holes In Plastic

    Hey PP,,,,,,,,,,they sell bits specifically for drilling plastic, they have a much steeper profile I want to say 57 degrees(I don't know why that number comes to mind). I have used them quite successfully in the past, even ground some of my own but thats a PITA

    dick

  10. #10
    Member PastorPaul's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Location
    St. James, Missouri, USA.
    Posts
    7,319

    RE: Drilling Holes In Plastic

    Thanks, Dick. I may check into that when we're near the big box store on the way home from church tomorrow.

    Pastor Paul
    http://webpages.charter.net/chalosi/usaC.gif http://webpages.charter.net/chalosi/usaC.gif

    "If they don't have woodworking in heaven, I ain't going!!!"

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •