lagoausente

Small well-finished holes for a front panel
« on: September 04, 2008, 02:08:09 PM »
Hello, sometimme ago I have finished a Supergreen preamp, and built in in a case. I now want to change the case for a nice clear anodized one, and would like to get a good looking.
  I´m planning to get a par-metal 20 series case, and would like to mount the knobs and jacks like in some comercial devices, I mean placing them behind the front panel, and so not using washers. Something like this: http://www.gracedesign.com/gallery/901.htm

    I can make the knob holes with the 24mm punch, and the jack ones with a 12mm one, but the problem is to make 6mm ones for push buttons or switches because I don´t find punch of that diameter.
 I have my doubts I could get a decent finish with a drill, so, anyone of you have experience with this? what´s the best option to get a round small 5 or 6mm hole?  an special drill?  any type of punch?
  Any ideas would be apreciated.
  Thanks for advanced.
Absent lake.


owel


sahib

Small well-finished holes for a front panel
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2008, 04:31:18 PM »
How about a drill bit? 6mm is comfortably managable.

If you have a pedestal drill  you can also use plunge mill even for larger holes such as 24mm. This will be much easier and cleaner than a hole  punch or a drill bit and will not distort the material.

lagoausente

Small well-finished holes for a front panel
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2008, 06:33:05 PM »
Quote from: "owel"
CNC router for any size hole, any size shape.


 "cnc router" on google shows me tutorials of how to build one myself,  do you refer to an specific company?

 
Quote
How about a drill bit? 6mm is comfortably managable.

If you have a pedestal drill you can also use plunge mill even for larger holes such as 24mm. This will be much easier and cleaner than a hole punch or a drill bit and will not distort the material.


   What type of drill bit do you think I should look for?   I have no pedestral right now.  Maybe I whould consider the CNC service if it´s affordable.

   For curious, anybody knows something about those DIY CNC machines?  There seems some "kits" on the web.   :shock:
Absent lake.

EZ81

Small well-finished holes for a front panel
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2008, 06:49:41 PM »
Machinists should stop reading this now. :twisted:
These things produce very clean holes, even in a cordless drill:

When new and sharp, wood drill bits work great in sheet aluminum, too:


IME, without a "real" drill press, almost every other tool produces cleaner holes than a standard drill bit in aluminum.

lagoausente

Small well-finished holes for a front panel
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2008, 07:07:43 PM »
Quote from: "EZ81"
Machinists should stop reading this now. :twisted:
These things produce very clean holes, even in a cordless drill:

When new and sharp, wood drill bits work great in sheet aluminum, too:


IME, without a "real" drill press, almost every other tool produces cleaner holes than a standard drill bit in aluminum.


   How can I distinguish those from standard drill bits?   Can you give me a refence, type, brand or something?
Absent lake.

Sleeper

Small well-finished holes for a front panel
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2008, 07:53:57 PM »
look at the tip.
in the states it's called a brad point.

Jidis

Small well-finished holes for a front panel
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2008, 06:20:23 PM »
Lagoausente-

I've never tried anything beyond plastic with one, but if the brad points will cut aluminum, a Forstner bit might too. Those are usually available in larger diameters and have a center point thing like the brad points to keep them from wandering. They do stopped holes well too, if you needed to do a circular recess with a knob in it or something. I've got one for European cabinet hinges that was something like 31mm. If you foresee doing more than that one panel, I'd really look into getting a cheap benchtop press. Mine is a Delta 8" or something and they show up used for really low. The speeds only get into a few thousand rpms but I do all my PCB holes with it and it keeps me from breaking too many bits.

I stuck a couple pictures on here if they come through. Bottom thing here is the Forstner. Top is a countersink bit that puts some cool looking edges on existing holes (like in that phone amp picture you linked). I like the way that looks around LEDs.

Good luck on it!  --> and again, look into the Forstner thing on aluminum beforehand if you ever try it. If nobody's ever done it, don't mess with it. :green:


sonicmook56

Small well-finished holes for a front panel
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2008, 05:37:49 AM »
I've had good luck using a center punch and any old jobber bit I have laying around the shop stuck in a cordless drill.

You can get fancy with If you go to the hardware store, try looking for a bit that's 135degree tip, split point.  These are self centering and tend not to "skate" across your nicely finished panel.

It's always a good idea to drill from the back of the panel if possible to avoid damage to your panel.  Finish up the hole with a countersink like Jidis for a nice looking panel hole.

lagoausente

Small well-finished holes for a front panel
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2008, 12:55:22 PM »
Hello again,  thanks a lot for the tips.  I have not reply before because I was waiting for the par-metal email reply.  I received just one reply but they didn´t answer me anymore.  Seemed not very good suppor with me,  :roll:
  Haveyou any reference of this company, or should I checke another site?
 I´m thinking of emailing them again, but I would like any advice.
Absent lake.


Ptownkid

Small well-finished holes for a front panel
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2008, 01:12:21 PM »
There's really no reason why you can't make a clean hole in aluminum with a drill or drill press.

Take your time, possibly consider using some kind of cutting fluid and if you get a little burring around the edge, use a round file or a deburring tool.

owel

Small well-finished holes for a front panel
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2008, 03:26:19 PM »
lago, I purchased my DIY CNC machine from some guy on eBay that builds and sells them.  I don't have time to learn how to build one, so I just opted for a quick, easy solution. :)

nice thing about a CNC, you can do all this unattended, and with consistent quality.



Rear panels above end up on units like this...


I have not tried engraving text yet using my newer bits designed for engraving. Will attempt to do that sometime in the next few days.

I use a 1/8" mill flat end to do the above rear panels.

Here are other stuff I milled with my CNC.







nrgrecording

Small well-finished holes for a front panel
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2008, 06:03:20 PM »
Hey Owel! You're doing cutouts on steel panels on your alu-cnc?
Frank Röllen. www.energyrecording.de [FORUM · DIY WEBSITE · STUDIO]°°°° www.frontpanels.de [Engraved Frontpanels]°°°°

lagoausente

Small well-finished holes for a front panel
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2008, 06:21:46 PM »
:shock:   woow!  Looks very nice, how much $$ are was that CNC on ebay aprox?

      I have one doubt regarding to the anodize process.  If I buy a clear anodized front panel, and I make the edges on the holes, how will be that edge surface aspect?  Should need that the anodizing process be "after" making the edges to affect them and so have a constant aspect?  :?:
Absent lake.

Ptownkid

Small well-finished holes for a front panel
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2008, 09:01:55 PM »
Quote from: "nrgrecording"
Hey Owel! You're doing cutouts on steel panels on your alu-cnc?


I was thinking the same thing........

owel

Small well-finished holes for a front panel
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2008, 10:25:18 PM »
Quote from: "nrgrecording"
Hey Owel! You're doing cutouts on steel panels on your alu-cnc?


They're not steel.

They're 0.06" thick aluminum alloy (5052-H32).

lagoausente

Small well-finished holes for a front panel
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2008, 08:10:37 PM »
If I understood ok, anodizing is a chemichal process,  I suppose it only affects the surface, isn´t?  If you make an edge around a hole, you´ll have a diferent color there, or not?   :roll:
Absent lake.

nickt

Small well-finished holes for a front panel
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2008, 08:16:08 PM »
Quote from: "owel"
lago, I purchased my DIY CNC machine from some guy on eBay that builds and sells them.  I don't have time to learn how to build one, so I just opted for a quick, easy solution. :)

nice thing about a CNC, you can do all this unattended, and with consistent quality.

Any chance of a picture of the CNC machine - pretty please  :green:

jdbakker

Small well-finished holes for a front panel
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2008, 08:26:49 PM »
Quote from: "nickt"
Any chance of a picture of the CNC machine - pretty please  :green:

http://www.groupdiy.com/index.php?topic=26561&highlight=cnc

JD 'long live the Search function' B.

Scodiddly

Small well-finished holes for a front panel
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2008, 10:18:56 PM »
Quote from: "lagoausente"
Hello again,  thanks a lot for the tips.  I have not reply before because I was waiting for the par-metal email reply.  I received just one reply but they didn´t answer me anymore.  Seemed not very good suppor with me,  :roll:
  Haveyou any reference of this company, or should I checke another site?
 I´m thinking of emailing them again, but I would like any advice.


Par-Metal doesn't seem very quick on email.  Calling them on the telephone is usually very fast.


 

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