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Old 22nd July 2007, 12:22 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Suffolk ,England
Default Cutting holes in aluminium enclosures

Hi there

i know its a basic question for many amp builders, but im having a problem finding an FAQ, on cutting an Amp chassis, for, example, the iec scocket housing, and various other small apertures for the tidiest job in a DIY chassis.

Any guidance would be much appreciated. im very new to this

thankyou very much
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Old 22nd July 2007, 01:50 AM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Canandaigua, NY USA
For round holes, I use an adjustable single arm circle cutter. Back the chassis up with wood and use clamps to hold it to the drill press table. Use slow speed. Don't do this with a hand drill. The basic manual method for all sorts of square and round holes is the nibbler. You drill a small hole (1/4 to 3/8 inch) and insert the tool, then squeeze the handle to remove a series of small bites in whatever direction you need to go. Somewhat tedious and you have to finish with a file, but it gets the job done without distorting the metal. The connoisseur of sheet metal work will own a variety of carefully chosen files. He will believe the files chosen by anyone else brand them as incompetent fools. I'd suggest four and six inch single cut mill files, and a variety of pillar files having no teeth on the sides- you use these to square up holes. OTOH, as the previous statement suggests, others will want something entirely different.
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Old 22nd July 2007, 05:54 AM   #3
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Townsville, Australia
Non-round holes are the devil, I hate having to do those......but I outline the hole I need, and drill a series of small holes a bit inside the outline (i.e. room for error), then you can more or less push that middle section out, grab your files and get busy!

Thankfully I haven't had to make too make holes because it sure can take some time.
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Old 22nd July 2007, 06:11 AM   #4
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a fretsaw does fine in aluminium
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Old 22nd July 2007, 07:45 AM   #5
tvi is offline tvi  Australia
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Moonee Ponds, Vic, Australia
These come in various shapes and sizes, very handy but can be expensive, UK brands to look for are Q-Max and Deltron.

I picked up the greenlee IEC sized punch for about US$40 delivered to Aust a few months ago

The small part of ignorance that we arrange and classify we give the name of knowledge.
Ambrose Bierce
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