Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Electric Brewing > cutting holes in metal control box panel
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:20 PM   #1
kellzey
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Default cutting holes in metal control box panel

So what are you all doing to cut your holes accurately and cleanly?

Hole saws, Greenlee punches, and jigsaws?

I'm thinking the 1/16 DIN panels with the side notches will be the hardest to get right.

Any advice?
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:27 PM   #2
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greenlee punch > hole saw > dremmel >jig saw

my advice: measure 3 or 4 times before you cut. make paper templates to help with layout. take your time and stare at it for hours. then shuffle everything around. then stare summore. then cut to the insides of all your measurements so you have room to slowly work the square holes larger till the DIN fits. you can always go bigger, way harder to go smaller.
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:29 PM   #3
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I just finished cutting all my holes. For the pump and element outlets I used Lenox bi-metal hole saws. For my PID's and heat sink I used a jig saw. I also have three 1" round switches that I used a unibit to drill.
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:38 PM   #4
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Drill + step-bit for round holes, dremel + cutoff wheel for square holes.
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:39 PM   #5
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Thanks.

I've contacted a waterjet cutting place in town that can take a CAD file and cut with high pressure water very accurately. Said it would cost about $50-$75. I figure between buying all of the punches and bits and blades, would be worth it to get clean accurate holes.

Will see what they say.
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Old 08-05-2011, 09:11 PM   #6
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Cool idea. Definitely worth it if they'll do it.
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Old 08-05-2011, 11:16 PM   #7
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I've seen waterjet cutters in action. It's enough to blow your mind. When I went they were cutting 1/4" SS plate using a very complex pattern. The whole thing had me standing in awe. I would have never believed it - but - I saw it.
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Old 08-06-2011, 01:00 AM   #8
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as long as you do your "last build" first, that sounds like a good deal. the tooling, if you dont already own, will easily go higher than that. Does leave you the Keg/kettle to contend with of course.
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Old 08-06-2011, 01:36 AM   #9
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You better watch out, if I've learned anything from American Chopper it's that once you start using a water jet cutter you start looking for things that can be cut that way.
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Old 08-06-2011, 02:48 AM   #10
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There is a cutting tool called "RotaCut" made by a company named Hougen. If you are thinking about buying hole cutting tools it may be worth your time to check them out on the web. They are available at Fastenal stores and on the web. They make cutting very clean holes very easy. They can be used for control panels and brewing vessels. They do not require a pilot hole.

I was able to borrow a set of Rotacut cutters and I have access to a wide selection of Greenlee punches. If I ever need to buy tools for making round holes, I will definitely be taking a closer look at the Rotacut selection.

For square holes I use a jigsaw and a mill bastard file. Cut slightly inside your layout marks then file the opening to fit. As slakwhere pointed out, you can easily make a hole larger but making a hole smaller can be quite a challenge.
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