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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 6th June 2018, 05:04 PM   #1
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?

Just discovered a chassis I bought quite a while back came with an IEC plug but the back panel has no cutout. A bit too much time has passed to contact the Chinese seller and the particular model doesnít seem to be available any longer.

Donít have access to water jet or CNC equipment, can someone enlighten me on the best method to cut a square for an IEC socket in a blank panel?

I have a drill and metal files and so on, but clean, professional looking results is not my strong suit.

How can I do this without making a mangled parallelogram?

IMG_7172.JPG
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Old 6th June 2018, 05:11 PM   #2
benb is offline benb  United States
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I haven't done it, but I just read about someone using a Dremel with a cutoff wheel to do just this.
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Old 6th June 2018, 05:12 PM   #3
friendly1uk is offline friendly1uk  United Kingdom
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How to cut a square in a blank panel with minimal tools?
This is a nightmare for many people. You can buy a stamp, but it's silly money. There are iec sockets designed for round holes, which can be a lot easier to mount. Your immediate fix is to drill, saw, and file. Making sure you saw the hole too small, and have a lot of filing to do. A gap would be terrible. The flange on some of these is under 2mm, so there is little room for accidents.
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Old 6th June 2018, 05:22 PM   #4
jackinnj is offline jackinnj  United States
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How to cut a square in a blank panel with minimal tools?
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Originally Posted by spaceistheplace View Post
How can I do this without making a mangled parallelogram?
Nibbler tool -- about $7 -- I think you can find it at Parts Express etc.

You can also do it by drilling a series of small holes within the outline of the IEC socket, put the panel on a piece of wood and knock it out with a punch -- then file. The IEC power connectors I have used have 6 sides so you won't find a Greenlee punch for less than a few hundred dollars.
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Old 6th June 2018, 05:32 PM   #5
NealJ is offline NealJ  United Kingdom
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I've just done it with my build. I drilled four 6mm holes in the corners - enough to get a blade in - and then sawed through with a jigsaw and filed to fit. If you haven't got a jigsaw, a junior hacksaw would do it.
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Old 6th June 2018, 06:18 PM   #6
454Casull is offline 454Casull  Canada
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If you take your time with a decent file after pre-drilling the profile, you should be fine. Especially if it’s aluminum that you’re cutting.
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Old 6th June 2018, 06:32 PM   #7
russc is offline russc  England
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Router?
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Old 6th June 2018, 06:48 PM   #8
friendly1uk is offline friendly1uk  United Kingdom
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How to cut a square in a blank panel with minimal tools?
I once had a few to do. So I first fitted one though a plastic panel that was easy to shape with a sharp knife. No filing. Once that was snug, I used it as a template. Drawing onto my actual panels, with a high accuracy. Then I chopped out, removing my drawn on line but nothing more. After which they needed the slightest tickle with the file to fit perfectly.



Often having something to draw round makes a huge difference.



If you balls it up, you can get an iec recess panel for peanuts. You can use it to make a washer. Not a washer with a round hole, but one with an iec shaped hole. You just screw it to some wood, so the drill bit in your hole saw has something to center in. It could be a good catch, if it did go wrong
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Old 6th June 2018, 06:56 PM   #9
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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How to cut a square in a blank panel with minimal tools?
For thick aluminum like that, not sure. For wood or thin metal I draw a template and printed it onto sticky label paper. I stick that to the panel, drill one hole then use a spiral bit on the router to get close to the lines. After that, it's filing. Just be sure to cut within the lines!

Here is what I use. The line on the base helps me to square the cutout to the panel.
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File Type: png IEC plug cutout.png (6.3 KB, 498 views)
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Old 6th June 2018, 07:12 PM   #10
lgreen is offline lgreen  United States
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Default File

Drill a big hole or a bunch of small holes around the cutout as suggested above. Use a round file and square file and it will take less time than you think- even if you have no skill (I don't have any artistic ability at all) it should come out really good.

How to cut a square in a blank panel with minimal tools?


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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Last edited by lgreen; 6th June 2018 at 07:21 PM.
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