How do you cut a hole on metal chassis?
Nov 15, 2008 at 7:55 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 17

Navyblue

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This seems to be pretty elementary.

How do you cut non circular holes on metal sheets, such as for IEC entry or a Neutrik locking jack? Dremel? I guess any sort of hand saw would be quite a nightmare.

I don't have have a Dremel, can I use those fancy Dremel cutting wheel on a hand drill?

How about large circular hole? Is it doable with hand tools?
 
Nov 15, 2008 at 8:10 PM Post #3 of 17

MisterX

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Navyblue /img/forum/go_quote.gif
This seems to be pretty elementary.

How do you cut non circular holes on metal sheets, such as for IEC entry or a Neutrik locking jack? Dremel? I guess any sort of hand saw would be quite a nightmare.



Here are some tips:

Electronic Construction Tutorial Part 3 - Enclosures


Quote:

Originally Posted by Navyblue /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I don't have have a Dremel, can I use those fancy Dremel cutting wheel on a hand drill?


How fast does you drill spin?

http://mdm.boschwebservices.com/MDMC.../r02719v22.jpg

Quote:

Originally Posted by Navyblue /img/forum/go_quote.gif
How about large circular hole? Is it doable with hand tools?



Yes.
 
Nov 16, 2008 at 6:24 AM Post #6 of 17

fishski13

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i like grit rod blades:Carbide Grit Rod Saws. they cut in any direction, and are easy to re-align if you get off course. they fit in any standard hacksaw, and require fairly small pilot holes. a good set of files are also mandatory.

D-holes still suck!!! i now only use IEC inlets that are square.

my next DIY tool purchase will be a couple of nice Greenlee hole punches. stepped bits are fine up to a 1/2" diameter.
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 4:43 PM Post #7 of 17

Navyblue

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MisterX /img/forum/go_quote.gif
How fast does you drill spin?


The manual says 800 rpm, oops.
biggrin.gif
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 7:27 PM Post #8 of 17

Coreyk78

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Quote:

Originally Posted by fishski13 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
i like grit rod blades:Carbide Grit Rod Saws. they cut in any direction, and are easy to re-align if you get off course. they fit in any standard hacksaw, and require fairly small pilot holes. a good set of files are also mandatory.

D-holes still suck!!! i now only use IEC inlets that are square.

my next DIY tool purchase will be a couple of nice Greenlee hole punches. stepped bits are fine up to a 1/2" diameter.



Thanks for that link, that will probably work nicely to cut the hole for an IEC socket on the 1/4" aluminum flat bar I'm using for my scratch built amp chassis I'm working on right now.
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 8:30 PM Post #9 of 17

n_maher

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Navyblue /img/forum/go_quote.gif
How about large circular hole? Is it doable with hand tools?


Depends on your definition of "large" and how round you want the hole to be. You can always file or saw a large semi-round hole but they don't often look good without lots of practice and time.

Otherwise, if using a hand-held drill I wouldn't attempt anything much larger than 1". That's as big as I've gone with my drill and it was sketchy. With my drill press I'm comfortably done 2-1/2" holes for large capacitors.
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 9:23 PM Post #10 of 17

Uncle Erik

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Greenlee makes a few square chassis punches and other odd shapes. I bought a lot of punches on eBay a few years ago that included a couple square ones.

I've had luck using a jigsaw to cut square holes. The trick is to use a t-square (or similar) as a fence. Get a couple of C clamps and clamp the square to the piece. Put it about 1/8" off the cut line (depending on how wide the blade guide is on your saw), drill a hole to start in, then use the square to guide the saw along. Be sure to really crank down on the clamps, because the saw can vibrate them loose.

Use a metal-specific fine blade on your saw and go slow and steady. You can get pretty clean results, but clean up with files and then sand it smooth. It takes some time, but you can get professional results.
 
Nov 17, 2008 at 9:39 PM Post #11 of 17

n_maher

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Uncle Erik /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Greenlee makes a few square chassis punches and other odd shapes. I bought a lot of punches on eBay a few years ago that included a couple square ones


Oh, good call bringing up the punches. While they're pretty expensive they do cut fab time way down. I love my punch that's the perfect size for Neutrik D-sized housings.
 
Nov 18, 2008 at 2:23 AM Post #12 of 17

Navyblue

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I am thinking of carving a hole for an IEC entry point at the rear and a rocker or push button switch in front.

Initially I was thinking of going lazy: stick a cable in the rear and use a toggle switch at the front panel. But the toggle switch would look quite out of place in my rather modern looking hifi stack.
biggrin.gif


If I could find a round push button or rocker switch with the right size the stepper bit looks like it would do the trick.

As for the IEC entry at the back, I might be able to cut a notch off the edge with a hacksaw, we'll see how ugly it gets.
biggrin.gif
Else I guess I'll be drilling some holes and file my way through.
 
Nov 18, 2008 at 9:30 PM Post #13 of 17

TT600R

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Well,I must be one lucky dude.
We have a CNC driven lasercutter for sheet metal at work.
Suitable for the most bizar forms
bigsmile_face.gif

Still used the good ol' file when making my new frontpanel though.
 
Nov 18, 2008 at 11:44 PM Post #14 of 17

fishski13

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Coreyk78 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Thanks for that link, that will probably work nicely to cut the hole for an IEC socket on the 1/4" aluminum flat bar I'm using for my scratch built amp chassis I'm working on right now.


hey we're neighbors. i picked up the grit rod from my local Menards.
 

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