Drilling Phenolic

How do you drill clean holes in linen-filled phenolic?
I'll admit that I haven't tried it yet, but I'm thinking that if I use a
regular twist drill it'll be chip city.
It's 1/8" thick flat material, I'm planning on some 3/32" holes and some
1/4" holes.
Reply to
Tim Wescott
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Clamp it between 2 pcs of wood and drill thru the sandwich. This works a charm for plastics, fiberglass, leather, thin metal sheets, etc. Art
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Small-ish pilot, then an endmill? Whatever method, do from both sides? Or sandwich each pc between wood, or sandwich a stack, well-clamped.
High-ish rpm might help, 3K+.
Reply to
Existential Angst
You've got thin material that will ride up the drill unless clamped securely and backed up with sacrificial material. Might be okay with maximum spindle RPM (8000+ isn't too fast with carbide), particularly if you drill a smallish pilot hole first.
Best regards, Spehro Pefhany
Reply to
Spehro Pefhany
It's been a few decades, but it actually machines quite well. As the inexpensive, non-magnetic, reasonably strong insulating material of choice I used a LOT of in in various plasma-physics related work. Sharp tools - and carbide is a good idea, as it makes most softer tools dull quickly (but they will be fine if you're only doing a few holes and they are sharp to begin with.)
1/8" is a bit on the thin side.
If you do have problems with drills, try end-cutting endmills, solid carbide, - if you don't have a mill, in a plunge router clamped to the work (get 1/4" shank endmills so you can find a router collet to fit.)
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