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  #1  
Old 07-18-2019, 10:07 PM
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Default Best way to cut a hole in polymer

I have a panel that is 3mm thick roughly . I want to cut rectangle about 3/8 by 1.5 inch . are there any polymer specialists can share your thoughts .

I have drill .. Vise .. Files .. Basically tools . how can it cut without spending too much , cut being clean .

Thanks
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Old 07-18-2019, 10:19 PM
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If this is a rectangle hole, I would locate then scribe the rectangle with precision, with a carbide tip scribe or even a sharpened nail and a small L-square ruler (and calipers if you need ultra precision), scribe a center line then drill 1/4 or 5/16 holes down the middle of the rectangle staying well inside the lines, then connect them up with a jig saw to make room for a file, then finish the rectangle with a file.

If possible, you could clamp a metal guide along each line during the filing, to keep you from getting outside the line and give you a nice straight cut. Save the corners for last and go slow there, unless you have metal guides along two edges that form a corner (long and short edge).

Practice on a piece of scrap if you can
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Last edited by SkyHawk; 07-18-2019 at 10:32 PM..
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Old 07-18-2019, 10:32 PM
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^ very good idea ! Thank you . I'll give that a go . maybe sand the edges with fine grit ..hopefully itll somewhat looklike factory cut
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Old 07-18-2019, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G38xOC View Post
^ very good idea ! Thank you . I'll give that a go . maybe sand the edges with fine grit ..hopefully itll somewhat looklike factory cut
Yes you can finish the edges with very fine grit even wet sand, and you can even use a polish compound on the edges. Just be careful not to enlarge the hole Also practice that on some scrap so you can experiment and get the look you want.
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Old 07-19-2019, 4:24 AM
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DRill a 1/8" hole at four corners put on block of foam for back up and put straightedge as saw guidea nd saber/jigsaw corner to corner.
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Old 07-19-2019, 6:56 AM
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Will do . I will clam em down and try . thank you all
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Old 07-19-2019, 10:48 AM
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router with collar and a jig
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Old 07-19-2019, 10:49 AM
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I use an oscillating tool, the one from Harbor Freight works just fine when used with a good quality blade. I wish I had bought the variable speed version, but the fixed speed works well if you are careful.
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Old 07-19-2019, 6:22 PM
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You’re asking how to cut a hole in plastic?

No one can help you.
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Old 07-19-2019, 6:26 PM
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oscillating tool. %1000. lots of experience with this.
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Old 07-20-2019, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcstott View Post
You’re asking how to cut a hole in plastic?

No one can help you.

Lol I knew that was coming . I have never attempted to cut plastic this way before . glad I did tho . a lot of good ideas .
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Old 07-20-2019, 10:57 AM
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Or flush bearing router with jig behind.
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Old 07-20-2019, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edgerly779 View Post
Or flush bearing router with jig behind.
Sorta like doing 80% build ? Unfortunately I'll have to go with straight edge and file method . its worthy of pictures , but I'll post results after lol
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Old 07-20-2019, 11:56 AM
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My last post disappeared I offered router and bit and I will make a jig for you I am in sfv. Before computer waterjet and routers that is how we did things. How big is piece of polymer.?
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Old 07-20-2019, 4:09 PM
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I appreciate that ! I did about 70% done . just have to finish the rest . it wasn't too bad really .

update ..

it was fun small project overall . cut isnt like machine cut , but it actually turned out ok . thanks for all your help !

now hardest part to do is just leaving it alone till my action comes in ... not keep d***ing with it lol

Last edited by G38xOC; 07-20-2019 at 6:43 PM..
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Old 07-23-2019, 4:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G38xOC View Post
Lol I knew that was coming . I have never attempted to cut plastic this way before . glad I did tho . a lot of good ideas .
It's plastic, whats the big deal? 3mm thick? you could have cut that with a razor knife.

I know you finished it and it looks good enough but dare I say Dremal.

My first comment was a gentle way of trying to tell you stop thinking about it and just cut it.
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Old 07-23-2019, 4:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcstott View Post
You’re asking how to cut a hole in plastic?

No one can help you.
Lol @ KC
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Old 07-23-2019, 2:35 PM
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Your totally right ! Idk why I thought it was going to crack lol . learn something new everyday
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Old 07-23-2019, 4:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G38xOC View Post
Your totally right ! Idk why I thought it was going to crack lol . learn something new everyday
Polycarbonate can crack, plexiglass does crack, as does PVC
But anything gun or sporting use is going to be nylon, glass reinforced nylon, delrin, polypropylene or Kydex. There are exceptions but those are the majority of plastics you are going to run into in gun and sporting stuff.
None of which are known for being brittle.
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