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Thread: Drilling into vinyl--advice?

  1. #1
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    Question Drilling into vinyl--advice?

    Any tips/tricks for drilling into vinyl?

    I'm making a custom electronic Atomic Man and need to drill a 1/16th-inch hole in the head for the eye-bulb.

    Normally I'd buy a small bit and use my dremel on low, is this the best approach?

    I know the vinyl is fairly soft and I have to be careful not to melt it.
    WANTED: Dick Grayson SI trousers; gray AJ Mustang horse; POTA Fortress signal-flasher--top mirrored portion or mirror sticker; POTA Forbidden Zone prison doors, walls, bar; minty Wolfman tights; mint Black Knight sword; minty Launcelot boots; Lion Rock (pale) Dracula & Mummy heads; Lion Rock Franky squared boots; Wayne Foundation blue furniture; Flash Gordon/Ming (10") unbroken holsters; CHiPs gloved arms; POTA T2 tan body; CTVT/vintage Friar Tuck robes, BBP TZ Burgess Meredith glasses.

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    I'd use a drill instead the dremel tends to not turn the bits straight, it shimmies a little. I think I have the same idea you do.
    You must try to generate happiness within yourself. If you aren't happy in one place, chances are you won't be happy anyplace. -Ernie Banks

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    Thanks, I can try a drill too.
    WANTED: Dick Grayson SI trousers; gray AJ Mustang horse; POTA Fortress signal-flasher--top mirrored portion or mirror sticker; POTA Forbidden Zone prison doors, walls, bar; minty Wolfman tights; mint Black Knight sword; minty Launcelot boots; Lion Rock (pale) Dracula & Mummy heads; Lion Rock Franky squared boots; Wayne Foundation blue furniture; Flash Gordon/Ming (10") unbroken holsters; CHiPs gloved arms; POTA T2 tan body; CTVT/vintage Friar Tuck robes, BBP TZ Burgess Meredith glasses.

  4. #4
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    and start small and work your way up to the final size
    You must try to generate happiness within yourself. If you aren't happy in one place, chances are you won't be happy anyplace. -Ernie Banks

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    Try a pin vise.

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    ^Those look excellent.
    WANTED: Dick Grayson SI trousers; gray AJ Mustang horse; POTA Fortress signal-flasher--top mirrored portion or mirror sticker; POTA Forbidden Zone prison doors, walls, bar; minty Wolfman tights; mint Black Knight sword; minty Launcelot boots; Lion Rock (pale) Dracula & Mummy heads; Lion Rock Franky squared boots; Wayne Foundation blue furniture; Flash Gordon/Ming (10") unbroken holsters; CHiPs gloved arms; POTA T2 tan body; CTVT/vintage Friar Tuck robes, BBP TZ Burgess Meredith glasses.

  7. #7
    if it was me...
    i know my limits with drill motors and dremils, each has their perks and quirks.

    A drill press and vice is probably the best route - but not everyone has that type of equipment.

    A drill motor with a drill bit sticking out 2-3 inches is cumbersome, heavy, and hard to keep accurate.
    A dremil is small, light, but as mentioned can be a bit wobbly if the chuck is worn out.

    I have a pretty steady hand, can squeeze pretty hard with my other hand, good eye sight up close - I would use Dremil in this case.
    I would do a tiny pilot hole first.
    Setting the Dremil up - shove that drill bit in as far as it will go. I'd only want half inch to one inch sticking out of the chuck. This greatly reduces the waller and increases precision.

    When stepping up the drill bit in size, depending on sharpness, be ready for the vinyl to do weird stuff. As soon as that drill bit breaks through the inside, it is pretty likely the vinyl will not cut, and it will pull the Dremil inwards, smack dabb into the face. You might scar the eye socket if not careful.

    Course, I am making this sounds far more scary than it will probably be, but you know I have a lot of experience doing this ;-)

  8. #8
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    Wouldn't a drill leave a jagged edge. What about a mini hole punch set. I bought a hole punch set for fabrics at Micheal's or Pat Catan's. The set came with different diameter punches you could strike with a hammer and they cut a clean hole.
    IMG_0173.jpg
    As you can see you get many different diameters of punches. And if can stick a dowel inside the head it would give you a good backing to work with. Since Vinyl is soft you might be able to press the punch into it and get the hole you need.
    Hope this helps.
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  9. #9
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    What kind of head are you using? If it's vinyl, then you need to heat it up so it cuts like butter. Carve the area then clean it out. If you drill when it's hard, noelani's right that it's going to jump.

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    GI Joe-type head. Pilot hole is a given. I have a nice hole punch set and normally, that would be my go-to--but I'd be punching from the external painted eye into nothing and I was hoping to avoid making some kind of internal "anvil."

    All this discussion is very helpful!!

    Chad, you note a lot of my fears, so I was thinking of the good suggestion for a pin vise. I have a tiny screwdriver set that works similarly and I find them indispensable.
    WANTED: Dick Grayson SI trousers; gray AJ Mustang horse; POTA Fortress signal-flasher--top mirrored portion or mirror sticker; POTA Forbidden Zone prison doors, walls, bar; minty Wolfman tights; mint Black Knight sword; minty Launcelot boots; Lion Rock (pale) Dracula & Mummy heads; Lion Rock Franky squared boots; Wayne Foundation blue furniture; Flash Gordon/Ming (10") unbroken holsters; CHiPs gloved arms; POTA T2 tan body; CTVT/vintage Friar Tuck robes, BBP TZ Burgess Meredith glasses.

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