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Old 13th March 2006, 08:12 PM   #1
Glowbug is offline Glowbug  United States
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Default Not really sure where to put this...but...source for chassis cutting/finishing?

Hey all...

Moderators, if this isn't where this question should be, feel free to move it, I wasn't quite sure where to put it.

So I've finalized where I'm getting all my parts from for my DIY 'Humbuster' clone...only problem is, I kind of want this to look professional, and clean. Cutting out holes for AC outlets and such isn't a very easy task, does anyone know who or where I could send my aluminum chassis to be punched or CNC'ed for all the cutouts I need?

I don't really have metalworking tools at my disposal...
The machine does not isolate us from the great problems of nature but plunges us more deeply into them. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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Old 14th March 2006, 12:28 AM   #2
EC8010 is offline EC8010  United Kingdom
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Default Re: Not really sure where to put this...but...source for chassis cutting/finishing?

Originally posted by Glowbug
I don't really have metalworking tools at my disposal...
Then buy some! I started out doing metalwork with a hacksaw and woodwork with the saw on my Swiss army knife (did the cut-out for a Garrard 301 turntable with it). Count tools as part of each project cost.
The loudspeaker: The only commercial Hi-Fi item where a disproportionate part of the budget isn't spent on the box. And the one where it would make a difference...
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Old 15th March 2006, 01:55 PM   #3
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With care, you can do some pretty astonishing stuff with woodworking carbide on non-ferrous metals. I've used my router table and 10" compound miter saw on aluminum extrusions and come up with some really imaginative stuff.

Messy (lots of "tinsel" strewn about, even with good dust removal), noisy (wear GOOD ear protection), hard on expensive bits/blades (but not destructive, and on an order of magnitude cheaper than custom work or buying a cnc machine), and unforgiving (compared to wood. A mistake can destroy your hand or your machine pretty quickly. You really must know your tools well to do this). All said, I'm often amazed at what I can produce this way.
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Old 15th March 2006, 02:17 PM   #4
poobah is offline poobah  United States
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These guys are right!

I design a lot of sheetmetal and have shops build it for me. Were I to take them drawings; they would have to charge me hundreds to make one piece. Most things these days are done with robotic machines... they punch out a part in less than a minute, but it take several hours to program and load the machine. You simply can't build "one" of anything and come out ahead.

Invest in some "step drills"... about $20 apiece... these make nice large holes in sheetmetal.

Invest in a good jigsaw... if you can afford it, buy the top of the line BOSCH... about $180. This is one purchase you will never regret, and the BOSCH is simply the very best (they invented the thing).

Don't get caught up in battery powered tools... it seems to be a fashion these days. Battery tools are weak, expensive, run hot, and have too much plastic to reduce weight (because of the heavy batteries). Battery tools are "construction" tools, NOT "shop" tools...

Bluebeard makes a good point. Use 6061 aluminum and carbide wood tools. I have cut 2 inch plate on a regular table saw! Use wax on the blade. Cover your eyes, of course; BUT ALSO PROTECT YOUR LUNGS. BREATHING ALUMINUM DUST HAS BEEN LINKED WITH ALZHEIMER'S. Nothing is worse than an old, stupid, audiphile!

OR... find a buddy with a machine shop and buy lots of beer!

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Old 15th March 2006, 06:37 PM   #5
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...and check out your local metals recycler if you live near a medium to large city. Scrap aluminum extrusion priced per pound can sometimes provide you with some really cool profiles right from the start.

...and please, god, don't ever let them link beer with Alzheimer's. I've got enough troubles without losing another coping tool.
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