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How to cut a square in a blank panel with minimal tools?
How to cut a square in a blank panel with minimal tools?
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Old 4th July 2018, 01:20 AM   #51
friendly1uk is offline friendly1uk  United Kingdom
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How to cut a square in a blank panel with minimal tools?
Good call about fixed cords. If your kit is just going to sit there, then a plug&socket arrangement can be an unwanted complication. I have seen many get warm with just 3 amps running through them. Plus they add depth to the equipment, even using 90 degree plugs. Sometimes the only time the arrangement is useful, it for storage and transport. You need to ask yourself, should I compromise my connection for ease of transportation or swapping components about.


A guy in Japan had his own pylons installed to bring in clean power from the local generating company. I don't think he would choose iec's over wired in flex.



High end gear will have iec sockets in the interest of further expenditure. How else would you sell them a £1000 iec lead, or tell them not to return the amp, but instead make themselves happy with pseudo conversations about such leads and mains filters. Until their brain thinks it must sound better. Because it cost enough.



Back on topic, it's a pity nobody has stamped out some bezels. Just from thin plate. As a decorative measure. So you can whop it out with a chisel, with the only goal to get the tabs located without the hot glue. Any over sizing that left a gap, would just hide under this plate, that's already cut to take an iec.


I guess if you do balls it and go too big, then you could make such a plate from thin black plastic and scissors. Just to cover any gaps. Not offer mechanical support.
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Old 23rd July 2018, 02:59 AM   #52
lgreen is offline lgreen  United States
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Default Black plastic

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Originally Posted by friendly1uk View Post
I guess if you do balls it and go too big, then you could make such a plate from thin black plastic and scissors. Just to cover any gaps. Not offer mechanical support.
Agreed- if you have extra openings, or the opening turns out to be too large you can cut up some black plastic or acrylic (ebay for cheap) and put it in there.
Here is an example of some type of black plastic (can not recall what it is exactly).
I used this on the back of an amp made from an old Sansui receiver chassis.
It is sufficiently thick and strong to hold connectors itself.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Someone mentioned sending the panel to Front Panel Express (frontpanelexpress.com).
I tried this decades ago and at that time they would only work on aluminum panels-
turns out I sent in a steel panel and they would not touch it, so they duplicated it in aluminum.
Its a good company but a little overkill for this application....just my opinion.
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Last edited by lgreen; 23rd July 2018 at 03:16 AM.
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Old 23rd July 2018, 05:11 AM   #53
spaceistheplace is offline spaceistheplace
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How to cut a square in a blank panel with minimal tools?
Default How to cut a square in a blank panel with minimal tools?

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Originally Posted by scottjoplin View Post
What's the betting he still hasn't done it?
My test effort was so bad I didnít attempt it on the actual unit. Came out with some gaps and rather slanted. But i did get better. It just didnít look as clean as I wanted it to. The time from setting it up everything to putting it all away probably took me an hour and the results were rather embarrassing. I tried to go slow and trace it nicely on painters tape and it was just subpar. But hey, thatís diy and Iíll get better. But for now i think Iíll stick with round holes only.

Since the case was very cramped as it was, I decided on a small separate case for psu which came with an IEC cutout from China for $20 shipped.

Most of other options all required tools costing more than that. The recommended file was 3x that. But, I do now have one heck of an expensive file though to play with in the future.

Sometimes itís best not to overcomplicate every step of the process.

As an added bonus itíll keep the transformer out of the line stage.

It was the cheapest and cleanest solution by any metric for me over all the other options provided.

Since Iím waiting on some other parts anyhow I donít mind a little delay.

I will use the time I bought to get better with the drill and file for next time.

Honestly for those not mechanically inclined doing this sort of thing can be much more headache than itís worth, even though others do it with ease and canít understand the fuss.

Regarding captive cords the last time I did that I caused a short from clamping down the cord cap. I canít stand those things. I threw the remainder in the trash. Removable cords make life easy sometimes. Itís not always some diabolical snake oil plot.
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Last edited by spaceistheplace; 23rd July 2018 at 05:18 AM.
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Old 23rd July 2018, 05:18 AM   #54
spaceistheplace is offline spaceistheplace
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How to cut a square in a blank panel with minimal tools?
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Originally Posted by russc View Post
Be careful with that torch on a diecast enclosure, you might end up with no enclosure!


Be careful with that axe, Eugene!
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Old 23rd July 2018, 05:31 AM   #55
spaceistheplace is offline spaceistheplace
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How to cut a square in a blank panel with minimal tools?
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Originally Posted by audiopro View Post
If you want professional results, bite the bullet and send the panel to Front Panel Express. There is an option in there software for customer supplied material.
A nibbler won't work, and filing can be messy unless you're good at it.


This was the most sensible answer. For the non-mechanically inclined, itís asking for an unfortunate afternoon to try your hand at nibblers or a drill and a file. Would wind up costing me more and even though I could use it indefinitely, for this time around for a project Iím putting a lot of time and effort into just doesnít seem worth it to have a so-so result.

A whole new PSU chassis, including everything I need for the umbilical cost less than the Front Panel Express backplate.

So, my suggestion to someone arriving here looking for wise words:

Donít bother unless your skills are already up to the task or price is a serious issue and you donít mind a result thatís rough around the edges (literally).

Instead get a separate PSU chassis with IEC cutout and youíre back to round holes for everything else!

Or cough up the $$ to front panel express.

Whichever suits your fancy.

(I took liberty to fix your typo in the quote.)
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