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How to cut perfect rectangle in plastic plate?

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  • How to cut perfect rectangle in plastic plate?

    I have a plastic switch plate (about the size of a radio faceplate) that is 1/8" thick that I want to cut an inner rectangular hole in, which will essentially make the plate a frame (maybe a centimeter wide all around).

    My question is what's the best way to do this, with the end result being a rectangular hole with perfectly straight lines/sharp corners? I've been using a thin fine-tooth hacksaw blade, and the cuts aren't straight.
    My install log
    My "selling entire system" thread

  • #2
    If you have access to a bridgeport, you can use an endmill and sharpen the inside corners with a file. It will be a perfect rectangle.

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    • #3
      I bought a Dremmel and it had a router attachment. You can make up a jig to run it against to cut out a perfect Triangle ... oops, circle ... oops , octagon ... Rats, you know what I mean,

      lol
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      • #4
        There is a company that will do Custom fpanels/plates for pretty cheap. I can;t remember the name, but i will look it up for you when I get home late tonight. IIRC, they will laser cut plastic and metals for you, kind of like Emachine shop, only cheaper and only 2D pieces.

        Edit:
        www.frontpanelexpress.com

        Otherwise, a router/dremel w/router attachment would be the way to go. Actually a bridgeport would work as well... You got options..... a hacksaw though, no thanks.
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        • #5
          Wow, what a great link - thanks!
          My install log
          My "selling entire system" thread

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          • #6
            That's a nice link... anyone knows another link for someone who does plastic?! it would be nice...

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            • #7
              www.emachineshop.com does plastic. I thought front panel did plastic as well.
              EPIA M10000, 512 Ram, Opus 90, GPS, XM, 7" Xenarc, Pioneer HU
              Status:
              Installed & Working....
              Custom enclosures
              Newbie Guide

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              • #8
                nice sites

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                • #9
                  Really all you need is a router. Start by making your template out of mdf. Then once you have the shape you want, attach the piece of plexi to the wooden template with double sided tape, and run it around your router. That is how I did the plate on my console.

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                  • #10
                    or, if you're patient, you can use a hacksaw and rough cut it, then fine tune it with a file. That's how I did my aluminum bezel..but depending on the plastic it might be too flimsy to file.......

                    mine as well give it a try though if you already started with a hacksaw.
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                    • #11
                      I cut out a square of MDF that fit snugly inside the frame of my screen, then cut a hole in another piece of MDF with about 5mm clearance all around the sides, masked the sides of the original square of MDF and then sat it inside the 2nd piece, then laid body filler in between the two pieces. I then pressed out the 'square' and used the newly-made frame as my routing guide. It's a perfect fit every time.
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                      • #12
                        When I used to make custom side panels for my computer cases with a dremel.. for acuracy I would cut with the wheel as close to the marked up lines (in your case, the box) as I could all around. Then in your case you can just use some sand paper and sand it down to the line, it should come out pretty straight.

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                        • #13
                          Use a dremel cut off wheel and a piece of hardwood for a straight edge. I had some 1/2 oak plywood left over and since I had cut it on my table saw it has nice straight edges. You clamp the ply next to the cut line and run the dremel wheel against it. Since the flat side of the wheel is against the wood it won't cut, it will just sand it smooth but will still leave a nice straight line.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by slaya786
                            When I used to make custom side panels for my computer cases with a dremel.. for acuracy I would cut with the wheel as close to the marked up lines (in your case, the box) as I could all around. Then in your case you can just use some sand paper and sand it down to the line, it should come out pretty straight.
                            thats how i cut the frame in front of my screen. works great, check out my install (link in sig) if you want to see the end results
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                            • #15
                              Here is my own usb panel done with www.frontpanelexpress.com...
                              It will came up in place of the ash tray...
                              Attached Files
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