What tools do you need for enclosures and cases?
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1UP

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If starting from absolute scratch, what essential tools does one need to be able to handle most casing work (e.g. faceplates, holes, etc)?

Also, what do people do for lettering/decals/legends?
 
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I've been able to get by on -
Hand drill - slow rpm one is the best I’ve found over high speed ones

Drill bits in as many sizes as you need or want, holesaws are also great for large holes like neutric connectors and have no problem hacking into aluminum faceplates

Hacksaw - best for heatsink and pcb cutting and whatever else

Small hand files - round and triangle ones, great for shaping out non-circle holes and with a lot of care can get god results on hard things like usb connectors and such

A center punch and hammer is essential I guess as well

My father is a carpenter/builder so I got access to all the woodworking tools I could ever need, he doesn’t do much in the way of metalwork so the list above has worked well from all the ‘junk’ out in the shed for all the casework I’ve ever needed
 
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skyskraper

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also a mini rotary power tool (ala dremel) is pretty damn handy too. i just have a cheap one and it's limited but still gets the job done!
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by skyskraper
also a mini rotary power tool (ala dremel) is pretty damn handy too.


I second this recommendation. With the proper accessories, case work is quite simple. It might take time to cut holes through aluminum or other metals, buy you won't need expensive tools to do cutting, routing, drilling, etc.
 
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headchange4u

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I find an aluminum nibbler is pretty handy to have for cutting square or odd shaped holes in the end panels.
 
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grasshpr

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Quote:

Originally Posted by headchange4u
I find an aluminum nibbler is pretty handy to have for cutting square or odd shaped holes in the end panels.


What kindof thicknesses can nibbler's punch into? Ones I've seen can't cut very thick. Any recommendations?
 
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skyskraper

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my (now defunct due to rotary tool being much better) nibbler had no problem with 3mm AL, its just a normal cheap nibbler.
 
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headchange4u

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Quote:

Originally Posted by skyskraper
my (now defunct due to rotary tool being much better) nibbler had no problem with 3mm AL, its just a normal cheap nibbler.



Same here.

My cheap nibbler went through Hammond end panels very well. I woill use a Dremel with a rotory bit to get a rough cut. You can get pretty close with a dremel. Then I use the nibbler to finish out the hole.
 
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A Unibit is also very useful.
 
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A philips head.
Also be carefull with the dremell, I've happily used one in the past. But on case work the dremell always seems to do more harm than good. This is Ok on a mint tin, but a pain on a $15-20 dollar hammond case.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by The Monkey
A Unibit is also very useful.


Heh, not just useful in my opinion by a 'must-have'. Saves so much time and does a much better job in thin material. If I had to only get one (I have 3) I'd get the #1 bit that tapers from 1/8 to 1/2 in 16 or so steps (32nds of an inch). I simply cannot count the number of times I've used this bit.

I use a set of small metal files, a couple larger metal files, Dremel tool, auto-punch, metal combination square, cordless drill, utility knife, exacto knife, hole saws... phew - I think that's about it.

Nate
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by n_maher
Heh, not just useful in my opinion by a 'must-have'. Saves so much time and does a much better job in thin material. If I had to only get one (I have 3) I'd get the #1 bit that tapers from 1/8 to 1/2 in 16 or so steps (32nds of an inch). I simply cannot count the number of times I've used this bit.


Nate



I have the #1 and I agree it is the one to get.
 
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ben.phelps

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the only one that i really use is a dremel tool, and i usually use a viceto hold everything still.
it works just fine, but all i have really done are mint tins.
 
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