Re: What do you guys use to drill holes in plastic and Resin?

Andy Sperandeo <asperandeo@...>

Hi Doug,

I use two tools, both powered. Most often I use a Dremel Moto tool with a foot-operated speed control, as I explained in "Building resin freight car kits" in the February "Model Railroader." The smallest Dremel chuck will take no. 80 bits (I keep an special one that I don't use it for any larger sizes), and the foot control lets me run it at slow enough speeds not to melt resin or plastic. The motor tool turns the bit much more steadily than I can turn a pin vise by hand, so despite the size and weight of the tool it's much easier on tiny drills. Dremel doesn't make its foot-pedal control any more, but other manufacturers have similar items.

The other tool is a Micro Lux miniature drill press, sold by MicroMark. It has a Jacobs chuck that can hold no. 80 bits, but it's easier to use carbide bits that have a 1/8" shank - it's just less trouble to get these securely centered in the chuck. I buy carbide bits in number drill sizes online from Drill Bit City,, and I thank Jack Burgess for tipping me off to them.

You can get a better, higher-precision drill press than the Micro Lux - see - but for a higher price. We have a Cameron in the MR workshop and it's a great machine, but building resin and plastic freight cars isn't that demanding, and the cheaper tool I have at home is more than adequate. We use a dial-type speed control with MR's Cameron press, and I have one at home too for the Micro Lux.

Not that I don't use pin vises too, but for drilling many holes at the same time I prefer the power tools.

So long,


Andy Sperandeo
Executive Editor
Model Railroader magazine
262-796-8776, ext. 461
FAX 262-796-1142

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