How to Drill PVC Pipe

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Building with PVC, a versatile building material, will require you to drill holes in the PVC tubing, which will allow any fastening materials to pass through easily. Drilling into PVC employs the same types of tools as drilling into wood. Unlike most wood, however, PVC is hollow and can crack if you apply too much pressure. Use a sharp drill bit combined with the right balance and pressure to reduce the chances of cracking the PVC tubing.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Permanent marker
  • Drill
  • Drill bit set
  • Vise
  • Utility knife
  • Use the tape measure to find the specific location on the PVC tubing where you need to drill, and mark it with a permanent marker.

  • Measure the fastener with the tape measure. Choose a drill bit 1/16 inch larger than the diameter of the fastener. For example, a 1/4-inch-diameter bolt would require a 5/16-inch hole.

  • Insert the drill bit into the drill motor. Secure the PVC pipe into the vise. Do not exert excessive pressure on the PVC tubing. Tighten the vise to a degree that prevents the PVC pipe from moving---no further.

  • Center the drill bit over the mark you made on the PVC tubing in Step 1. Hold the drill perpendicular to the PVC tubing, and drill a hole. If the hole needs to pass through both sides of the PVC pipe, hold the drill absolutely straight before you drill through the other side.

  • Remove the burr left on the PVC tubing that surrounds the drilled hole using the utility knife. Place the tip of the knife blade onto the burr. With the knife tilted at a 45 degree angle, gently cut the burr from the surface of the PVC tubing. Scrape the area around the hole after you have removed the burr to smooth out the area.

  • Remove the PVC pipe from the vise and insert the fastener through the tubing.

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