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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > DIY Projects > control box / enclosures - some tips for anyone considering it

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Old 03-16-2010, 06:27 PM   #21
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I am at a loss for words here. as I guess I just don't worry so much as most people. But each to there own. There aint nothing bullet proof. People just need to be careful.

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Old 03-16-2010, 06:39 PM   #22
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Agreed, people need to be careful.... which is exactly what I am doing with this NEMA 4X box.

No matter how careful you are, though, accidents happen. I'm trying to minimize the chances of serious damage or harm from me dropping a spraying hose or something like that.

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Old 03-16-2010, 08:57 PM   #23
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Walker, I hate to mention it, but unless ALL of the devices you're cutting into that box are NEMA 4X, you're total panel will be equal to the lowest rating of any individual device - which is most likely NEMA 1.

But back to making your job easier: Go buy a nice, thin piece of Stainless or even Aluminum sheet in the appropriate size, and cut all your devices into that, and mount them. Then just cut one big hole in the cover of the NEMA box, say leaving just a frame of an inch or so. Mount your finish panel to that frame with self-tapping screws, drill all your holes and use the screws and nuts of your choice. You can put weatherstrip tape on the 1" frame, behind the finish panel. That's what I did.

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Old 03-16-2010, 09:08 PM   #24
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Yes I am aware that cutting holes in it derates it, but if you think about it from a different (less official, more practical) point of view, would you not agree that a nema 4x box with a button on it is more splash resistant than a nema 1 box with a button on it?

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Old 03-16-2010, 09:21 PM   #25
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Good idea about a new front panel, though. It's a backup plan at the very least.

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Old 03-16-2010, 10:10 PM   #26
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You could hot cut it with a torch, hot cut and anvil. It will go a lot faster that way. Or just torch cut it with a 00 tip, or use a plasma cutter. Know anyone with a water jet?

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Old 03-16-2010, 11:24 PM   #27
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Nope. Don't know anybody with any of those things.

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Old 03-16-2010, 11:54 PM   #28
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I just tried to tackle the exact same problem Walker. I found a 16x14x6" hoffman nema 4x for 60$. Had several 22mm holes cut already for my switches which was nice.
I tried to drill a couple 2.125" holes for the twistloc outlets, same as you. Used a bi-metal hole saw on a drill press. It was UGLY. I never made it through before the bit was dead. I gave up on that, and here's a pic of my solution:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/30-amp-dongles-167904/

7/8" holes instead of 2.125" are so much easier.
I also had to drill those holes for the 120v outlets. They are 1 3/8". I used a titanium step drill bit, and it made it, but after the second hole, several steps on the bit were destroyed. It was a rough experience.
Luckily I have a couple of greenlee punches to make water heater element holes (1.25"). These punches work BEAUTIFULLY. They are far and away the best quality choice for making holes. No filing or anything else required. I used the greenlee for the 120v outlets, then stepped up with the step bit to 1 3/8".

No way in hell am I going to even attempt making any square holes.

BTW as far as tools go, those titanium coated bits you see all over ebay SUCK. Yes I did lube it well. I tried the one that steps to 1 3/8". I killed it, then decided spring for an expensive one from home depot to finish the rest of my holes in kegs and stuff. They aren't even titanium coated, but they are so much stronger. I got the one that steps to 7/8" and it was 35$... but worth it IMO.

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Old 03-17-2010, 05:10 AM   #29
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So I did a test run tonight using a section of the inside panel that needs to be cut out eventually and it turns out that these rectangular buttons might not be so bad.

I marked off the shape with dots spaced 1/4" apart (and 1/8" from the edges):


Then I drilled those out with 1/4" holes, which left holes that ended right on the lines and touching each other (the middle of the thing basically fell out as I drilled.)

The shark-fin shaped teeth that were left were easily removed with the dremel cutting disc and grinding stone and I cleaned out the corners with a small file. This picture looks a little ugly, but that's because it is an extreme close up and I did slip through a couple times with the grinder leaving those circular scrapes on the surface):


But, the end result is that the switch went in nicely and looked good (except for the scrapes I made with the grinder which you can see just off the end of the thing):



It took about 20 minutes to do this. I only have a couple of these to install, so I think I can manage it. I'm pretty happy about the whole thing.

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Old 03-17-2010, 03:49 PM   #30
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An 1/8th inch drill bit to cut the corner holes and a jewelers saw would probably make real sharp and pretty cuts. Probably take a long time and a lot of patience though.. That switch mount looks decent Walker. Hope it works out for you now.

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How I brew: Stir plate starters, Extract, Full boil in a Keggle, 10 gallon batches.
Brewing upgrades in progress: temp controlled ferment, stir plate re-work, building mash tun, milling station

Planned House Ales: an Amber, an IPA, a dark IPA, a Mango Ale, a blueberry oatmeal stout, a dry Irish stout, a honey wheat, Apfelwien

What kind of R-Value does your ferm chamber need? - http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/what...hamber-190459/
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