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How to cut need holes in metal?

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  • How to cut need 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.
    Progress: 80% - Permanent install left.
    Motion LS800 Tablet PC and dock.
    Vista, Bu-535 GPS, RoadRunner, MPT2006.

  • #2
    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
    Project F.T.P.C.

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    • #3
      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.

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      • #4
        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
        FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

        Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

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        • #5
          Make sure you sandwich your material with pieces of scrap. This will make your entry/exit holes clean without any tearing or fraying.
          2004 4runner

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          • #6
            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.
            Motion LS800 Tablet PC and dock.
            Vista, Bu-535 GPS, RoadRunner, MPT2006.

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            • #7
              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.

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              • #8
                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.

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                • #9
                  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.

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                  • #10
                    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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                    • #11
                      I have used a dremel-tool for my metal-cutting and hole creation .

                      kinda like the one here... http://www.dremel.com/html/home_fr.html

                      Depending on the size of the hole needed, I would drill a hole (with drill or dremel) and then use dremel to shape the size in metal. If you go this route, be sure to use the bits/tips/grinders designed for working with metal. The wood ones will work, but you'll go thru them really fast ... if you go this route, wearing a pair of protective lenses to cover your eyes while cutting metal at 35,000 RPM is a very good idea too!

                      slang

                      ========================================
                      - CarPC install complete.
                      - CarPC software: CENTRAFUSE
                      - Planning/working on in-dash for lilliput monitor
                      ========================================

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dug1967
                        Well here is a pie in the sky comment... about 10 or 15 years ago I saw the coolest tools
                        I have searched and searched and have never found them again.
                        This the one?
                        Engineer 895 chasis punch 16-30mm
                        Its sold by electric/electronics firms for knocking out holes for dials and switches.
                        Attached Files
                        EPIA MII: 512m Ram: LinITX 8" Touch Screen: Carnetix P1290 PSU: 802b PCMCIA Wireless card: Slot DVD Player: Touchpad: Wireless Keyboard: BU303 GPS Mouse:
                        Win 2000: RoadRunner Front End: Michelin Mapstore GPS: Netstumbler:

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                        • #13
                          That's pretty neat. Not big enough for my fans but tempting anyway. How much does it cost?
                          Progress: 80% - Permanent install left.
                          Motion LS800 Tablet PC and dock.
                          Vista, Bu-535 GPS, RoadRunner, MPT2006.

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                          • #14
                            to save you money, how about just cutting a complete square/circular hole(forget neatness/precision, just making it a little smaller then ur intended size) then cover the hole with a plastic/metal fan grille (of larger dimension) from like(jameco.com)
                            Hole cutters are expensive, for the little task you want to accomplish.

                            Actually you can get pretty neat shapes/holes with the dremel tool and the side cutter/saw bit.
                            MY CAR PROFILE (@HONDA SHOWOFF)

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                            • #15
                              can't remember had them about 12 years.
                              assuming you are in the UK?

                              http://www.rapidelectronics.co.uk/rk...4566&XPAGENO=1
                              EPIA MII: 512m Ram: LinITX 8" Touch Screen: Carnetix P1290 PSU: 802b PCMCIA Wireless card: Slot DVD Player: Touchpad: Wireless Keyboard: BU303 GPS Mouse:
                              Win 2000: RoadRunner Front End: Michelin Mapstore GPS: Netstumbler:

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