Cutting Holes in Extruded Acrylic Tube?


Old 05-25-15, 12:33 PM
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Cutting Holes in Extruded Acrylic Tube?

I need to cut some extruded acrylic tubing for an upcoming project. The tubing is 2" OD and 1 3/4" ID. I have included some pictures on how the cuts need to be. I was thinking about using a high tooth blade on a band saw at a low rpm or using a hole saw bit on the drill press. Which would be the best method to use?

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Old 05-25-15, 12:57 PM
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I don't have an answer for you but you might want to check out the videos at Tap Plastics.
Old 05-25-15, 04:21 PM
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It's overkill for acrylic tubing but precision cuts in tubing like that have to be made in aircraft and race car frames. There are fixtures and tools available for making the intersecting round cuts into tubing. While the tools meant for steel might be overkill for your needs it will give you an idea how it's done. In most cases it involves a hole saw and some way of holding your material in the proper position so it doesn't move while cutting the intersecting hole.
Old 05-25-15, 05:27 PM
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I'm thinking forstner bits which make dynamite holes in wood, perfect circles and straight tracking. A jig to hole the stock straight and a drill press. They have a small pilot point to help center.
Search Results for 1 3/4" forstner bit at The Home Depot
Old 05-25-15, 05:59 PM
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Thanks for the great suggestions everyone! I unfortunately cannot use a forstner bit as I need to keep the outer material after cutting. I think I will clamp this down to a drill press and cut it using a hole saw.
Old 05-25-15, 06:18 PM
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Even drilling a hole in acrylic is at risk for chipping. My thoughts are the hole saw you ended up with, but drilling a pilot hole to guide the center bit. But once it cuts through the wall it will be cutting inside out in two locations and outside in on the other two. Just guessing but one direction or the other is bound to be a problem. But worth trying if you have space material.

Once the hole is cut you may want to smooth over the remaining edge. The plastic outfit I worked with used a torch to flash the edges and give it s smooth look and feel.

Old 05-25-15, 06:40 PM
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Thanks for the tips. I was gonna do some light wet sanding with 800 grit paper and now maybe flame polish. I will confirm back with results in maybe 3 weeks.

One of these tube notchers would be very handy in this situation lol

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