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Thread: How to cut need holes in metal?

  1. #1
    FLAC
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    How to cut neat holes in metal?

    Anyone got any tips on how to cut neat holes in my custom metal case? I need to make openings for fans.
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  2. #2
    Low Bitrate Vacheron's Avatar
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    I have seen PC specific size holecutters (80/120mm) on PC Modding shop sites, but these were all fairly expensive IIRC.

    You may find that one of the standard holecutter sizes would be suitable though, and cheaper.

    PC Specific: http://www.directron.com/modtools.html

    Generic: http://www.screwfix.com/app/sfd/cat/...1841&id=100220

    Cutting Guide: http://www.caseetc.com/cgi-bin/casee...ml?id=QLk2kDLA

  3. #3
    MySQL Error Scouse Monkey's Avatar
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    If you are cutting in aluminium you can also get fully adjustable holecutters like this:



    http://www.screwfix.com/app/sfd/cat/...24300&ts=40640



    You can get them cheaper but i would get a decent quality one WITH A GUARD as if they break that bit of metal fllies into you.



    Just please be very carefull when you use them and i wouldn't use them on steel - use a proper holecutter for that but buy em from a builders merchant or someone like screwfix. If they don't have quite the right size you can alwasy get a slightly oversived one and then apply a rubber edging to to protect from sharp edges and dampen vibration from fans etc.

  4. #4
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    places like homedepot or Lowe's all sell metal hole saws....whatever you get, be sure you are getting ones designed for metal and not wood. Also, be sure to have some oil on hand...something like air tool oil or sewing machine oil.....you will need to put some on the spot where you want to cut.....it helps A LOT!
    Jan Bennett
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  5. #5
    Raw Wave rando's Avatar
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    Make sure you sandwich your material with pieces of scrap. This will make your entry/exit holes clean without any tearing or fraying.

  6. #6
    FLAC
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    Thanks for all these tips. I'll be seeing if home depot has the metal hole cutters.

    Presumably scrap wood is fine for the sandwich?
    Progress: 80% - Permanent install left.
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  7. #7
    MySQL Error Scouse Monkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arathranar
    Presumably scrap wood is fine for the sandwich?
    Yup, but not as tasty as roast beef and horseradish on rye

    Clamp it close to the holes or it uselss as the sheet metal will away and make sure you keep the hole cutter perpendicular and dont apply too much pressure to the drill - especially as you break through.

  8. #8
    Maximum Bitrate
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    Well here is a pie in the sky comment... about 10 or 15 years ago I saw the coolest tools.... they where metal hole "punches" for lack of a better word. They where a set of varying sizes of two matched chunks of metal with sharp curved cutting edges that faced each other.

    You would drill like a 1/4" to 3/4" hole sthrough the metal (depending on the size punch you where using) and place one of these two piece on each side of the metal... then run a bolt through them and tighten up....

    As the two pieces came together they basically cut the metal (like tin snips do, except real clean and even) anyway they made perfect holes in sheet metal... even pretty thick steel sheet...

    I have searched and searched and have never found them again.

  9. #9
    MySQL Error Scouse Monkey's Avatar
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    Only time i have ever used these is working on sheet aircraft alloy and they are very easy to use (we had a big press) but i would not like to press anything larger than about 40mm in 1mm alloy nevermind steel. They are brilliant on thin sheet but they tend to deform thick material and u suspect a hole saw is gonna be quicker and cheaper and as you say you dont find em around much these days.

    They are very useful for making corner radii and nibbling bits out of sheeting though as the slight rounding of the edge makes the hole a bit more stable and there are no chips like you get from filing or cutting.

  10. #10
    MySQL Error Scouse Monkey's Avatar
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    Link to punches: http://www.axminster.co.uk/product.a...=31953&recno=1

    (note to people in the UK: this site has some good tools, not the cheapest but they carry a very large range - we use them at Uni)

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