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Old 30th August 2013, 09:32 AM   #21
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Or buy my boxes finished from China and save my self all the hassle . I have a smaller cabinet i order for test. 17x29x6cm for 50$ incl shipping.

I do have a 6" guillotine in my shop. But it bend the plate so much I find it useless for other than bolt clipping, - where I rather use hand saw or Dremel for cleaner cut.

hmmm.. maybe I can try the guillotine to just trim the edges. Never thought about that. That might actually work out OK. I invested in the guillotine long time ago for the purpose cutting sheet metal. But was so disappointed by my result that its just stayed there collecting dust. I'll give it a try this weekend and let you know.
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Old 1st September 2013, 04:03 AM   #22
dangus is offline dangus  Canada
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A plasma cutter would make quick work of sheet steel. But, I'd try the circular saw (Skilsaw) with an abrasive cutting disc. If the Skilsaw wears out, it's easy to find another one at a garage sale or thrift store for under $10.

Since a router can make very straight and precise cuts in wood, I've been tempted to try using a carbide bit on metal. The main fear is of metal fragments getting into the motor, and used routers are much less common than saws. An electric die grinder typically has a long shaft so the motor is safely away from the business end, but I'd have to make a router base to hold it perpendicular. For small jobs on aluminum, a Dremel with a router base might be OK.

Finally, one other idea occurred to me: trim the sheet edgewise. Make a rough cut with the jigsaw or abrasive wheel, then clamp the sheet to the side of a stray speaker cabinet or whatever. Raise the router slightly above the surface (1/4" MDF?) and use the bottom of the cutter to trim the metal. I used the same method to trim box sides and dowel plugs before I got a flush cutting bit. It should make clamping the sheet metal much easier, since clamps won't get in the way of the router.
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Old 1st September 2013, 03:10 PM   #23
Jsixis is offline Jsixis  United States
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The problem with the jig saw is your pushing too hard. Slow and easy, you may need to twist your saw a small amount to off set the way it wants to drift.
I prefer a thin line of oil to keep the blade cool and to slow down some of the flying chunks of metal.

The best way as suggested earlier would be a shear at a sheet metal shop.

They make electric shears that cut up to 14 gauge steel, 2 negatives is 1/4" waste and a tendency to curl thinner metals (the shears cut fiberglass too). Do not cut any welds with these unless you like changing blades.
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Old 1st September 2013, 04:43 PM   #24
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For steel I use my jig saw and fine metal cutting blades from Germany. Most of the steel I use, however, is scrap from some piece of electronics equipment being repurposed.

We're fortunate that the US has a very active marketplace in used machinery -- I have a deep throated metal shear on my list. I think that shears put a lot of stress on Fiberglas however -- fine pcb traces can get damaged.
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Old 2nd September 2013, 03:05 AM   #25
Jsixis is offline Jsixis  United States
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I was referring to electric hand shears like these
18 Gauge Electric Sheet Metal Shears | Electric Metal-Cutting Shears ? Eastwood
That is what they use to cut fiberglass panels you see in restrooms.
I use these
Shop Wiss 3-1/4-in Carbon Steel Snips at Lowes.com

I see no reason to cut PCB boards with traces.
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Old 2nd September 2013, 06:21 AM   #26
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Lots of nice tools out there as I can see. Steel plate at hand is 1.6mm (14 gauge) and are fighting me. Haven't had time to test the guillotine thought.
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Old 2nd September 2013, 09:38 AM   #27
AndrewT is online now AndrewT  Scotland
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14awg is close, ~1.628mm
14swg is ~2.032mm
16swg is ~1.626mm
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regards Andrew T.
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Old 2nd September 2013, 02:00 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsixis View Post
I see no reason to cut PCB boards with traces.
Many PCBs are "panelized" for economy, then divided
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Old 2nd September 2013, 02:40 PM   #29
Jsixis is offline Jsixis  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackinnj View Post
Many PCBs are "panelized" for economy, then divided
OK now I understand, for that I would probably use my dremel mounted in its "drill press" holder.
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Old 2nd September 2013, 06:42 PM   #30
rsavas is offline rsavas  Canada
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Your problem is battery powered tools for steel. Get a AC power jig saw and try it out. Clamp down the steel, so much easier. With a good/new blade made for steel, small teeth, it will be like cutting though butter.
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