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Thread: Ways to Make Slots in Sheet Metal or Plastic

  1. #21
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalenth View Post
    ah... I just wish I had a shop. I end up in a lawn chair working on top of my dogs kennel on the apartment balcony. saving for a garage with a house attached!
    Yeah, that's what I've said for years: what I really need is a three-car garage with attached bedroom. Well, I'm domesticated enough now that I need a good kitchen and indoor plumbing.

    When I got out of the Army, I thought the best possible life would be to tow a travel trailer up into the mountains around Denver and just be a hermit. But I think it wouldn't have taken long to need a shed for a work area and a generator to power the tools.

    As it was, I went back to school and just sort of fell into the real world. It wasn't long before my tool collecting started, and my Dad has passed on many of his tools and some of his Dad's, so there's quite a collection, now.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
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  2. #22
    Variable Bitrate
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    thekl0wn's Avatar
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    Though the safety manual specifically warns against it, I've often used a circular saw for straight sections in many materials. But keep in mind, that everything involved with the way you have to handle the saw is just begging to loose a finger.
    Play with it, 'til it's broke.

  3. #23
    FLAC WuNgUn's Avatar
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    Don't you have a CNC mill? Or a waterjet?
    j/k
    Check you local plastics shop. I've had some acrylic machined for my PC and amp...turned out perfectly! I drew up the layout using AutoCAD, and they can import the drawing straight into the cutting machine.

    The blue plastic protective film makes the cuts look 'furry', but they are perfectly smooth.








  4. #24
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WuNgUn View Post
    Don't you have a CNC mill? Or a waterjet?
    j/k
    Check you local plastics shop. I've had some acrylic machined for my PC and amp...turned out perfectly! I drew up the layout using AutoCAD, and they can import the drawing straight into the cutting machine.
    Or, for relatively small bucks, you can use a router and make whatever you want. If you have a router, the investment is in the routing table, which holds the work steady as you move it across the bit, and keeps your lines straight.

    Router tables are available at Home Depot ($69) and Lowe's ($63) and hardware stores. Here's one at Jack's Tool Shed for $60, and here's one on eBay for $60.

    If you don't have a router, you could get a table with 1.75hp router at Harbor Freight for $110.

    Routing plastic takes some practice, so practice on scrap. Plastics fabricators are a great source of scrap, and they often sell it cheap. They may even have "scrap" that'll be fine for your project.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  5. #25
    FLAC WuNgUn's Avatar
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    It cost me $100 to do both pieces...and I'll likely never need to do this kinda work again.
    I'd LOVE to see someone route a perfect 4" circle thru acrylic, let a lone 4 of 'em! I s'pose you can find a template/guide...

  6. #26
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WuNgUn View Post
    It cost me $100 to do both pieces...and I'll likely never need to do this kinda work again.
    I absolutely agree -- if this is the only time you're going to need this, you did well. That piece you had done does look very nice. I'd love to see it installed.

    I treat most of this stuff as a learning experience; if I'm not going to do it myself, I want to be there while they do it so I can see the process.

    I also treat jobs like this as an opportunity to get tools. If the cost of the tool is only a little more than the cost of the getting it fabricated, and I can wind up with a product that's pretty close in quality to the commercial one, then I probably will want to buy the tool and get the experience and knowledge as well. I've gotten some pretty interesting toys -- um, I mean tools -- that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by WuNgUn View Post
    I'd LOVE to see someone route a perfect 4" circle thru acrylic, let a lone 4 of 'em! I s'pose you can find a template/guide...
    I agree, that's a challenge. I think the tool to use would be a router bit with the roller on the end, as is used in trimming laminate. We'd need to make a circular wood guide to run that against. And I suspect we might want to use a rheostat to control the rotational speed of the bit. Seems to me the acrylic wants lower speeds, but we could look that up.

    The scrap is for all the testing; once I figure out how to do it, I'll jump on the keeper stock.

    Time is a factor, too. There's no way I could do all that in the time the shop did. I have to chalk all the shop time up to education and the love of being in the shop making stuff.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

  7. #27
    Variable Bitrate dMand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WuNgUn View Post
    Don't you have a CNC mill? Or a waterjet?
    j/k
    Check you local plastics shop. I've had some acrylic machined for my PC and amp...turned out perfectly! I drew up the layout using AutoCAD, and they can import the drawing straight into the cutting machine.

    The blue plastic protective film makes the cuts look 'furry', but they are perfectly smooth.







    dude, you watercooled your pc in the car? that is effin awesome!

  8. #28
    FLAC WuNgUn's Avatar
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    lol...thanks

  9. #29
    Sheepdog rdholtz's Avatar
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    There's an excellent example of using slots for adjustment here in Post #276 of blk02si's thread called Complete bolt in Screen/CPU/HD/PS - indash. He uses a CNC machine, so his slots -- and his parts -- are perfectly formed. Although we have to work harder to get clean, straight slots, those of us using lesser equipment can still use slots to advantage.

    By the way, blk02si's thread, currently at 49 pages and nearly 250,000 views, is the most-read thread in Fabrication. There's a lot of good information there.
    .
    If just enough is really good, then too much ought to be perfect.

    2006 Scion xB with in-dash Atom & Lilliput 889GL -- Worklog at http://www.mp3car.com/vbulletin/work...res-links.html
    .

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