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transcendent 20th March 2019 08:50 PM

Faceplate drilling advice

I have a 10mm thick aluminium faceplate for my preamp. I am struggling to find information on how to properly mount volume, switch, headphone and power switch controls to the frontplate. I would be OK without flushing the front for volume and input switch controls. The problem is that I cannot tighten them to 10mm faceplate as it is too thick to screw them on. I can only afford 3mm thickness to attach it to the plate properly.
Should I counterbore from the outside of the plate to allow nut to go through and tighten the whole thing? I'd need to get ~16mm for larger part of the hole. What tools do you use normally?

transcendent 21st March 2019 04:50 PM

Anyone? :)

phase 21st March 2019 09:46 PM

Use a mill.

AVWERK 21st March 2019 10:34 PM

You can counterbore the backside to any depth you need if I am understanding your need correctly.
A drill press with mill style bits can get you there, but a mill is the more expensive and best way
Now in a pinch you could epoxy your controls to the backside If you cannot get a nut on your controls


randytsuch 21st March 2019 10:50 PM

3mm seems pretty thin.

I thought most switches would give quite a bit more than that.

End mill that David suggested seems like a good idea.

I may buy one for my drill press lol


grimberg 21st March 2019 11:02 PM

You could also try this one in your drill press. It is adjustable.

Amana Tool 20206 Carbide Tipped Adjustable 27/32-1 D x 5/8 Cut Depth x 1/4-13/32 Inch SHK Counterbore Bit

evanc 21st March 2019 11:17 PM

A Forstner bit will cut aluminum. You need to drill a small pilot hole then make a spotface in the back of the panel. A small drill press is nice but a hand drill can work. Be sure to secure the work piece well.

forstner Bits -

rayma 22nd March 2019 12:52 AM


Originally Posted by transcendent (
how to properly mount volume, switch, headphone and power switch controls to the frontplate.

IF you have a sub-panel on your chassis, the face plate could stand off it with spacers.
The controls would then mount on the sub-panel. If some of the shafts of the controls
aren't long enough, shaft extenders could be used.
2/3/4/5/6/7/8mm Aluminum Flexible Shaft Coupling Rigid Coupler Motor Connector | eBay

Otherwise, you could still mount the controls on the sub-panel, and use holes in the
face plate that are large enough to clear the bushings and mounting hardware.
Then attach the face plate directly on the sub-panel. This assumes the knobs are
large enough to cover the clearance holes in the face plate.

phase 22nd March 2019 02:30 AM

You may be able to just drill a hole, and use something like this to pass through the panel and pick up the threads on some of the parts anyways. Should be able to find a power switch that will fit a 10mm panel.


transcendent 22nd March 2019 11:24 AM

Thank you all for your suggestions.

I have hand drill at home though I am thinking on getting the drill press as it simplifies most of the drilling a lot.

Anyways, since rayma mentioned sub-panel and I don't have one, I was thinking on drilling regular hole to fit the control stick through and on the inside have a small plate (sub-panel) to attach the switch and volume controls. I was also surprised to have only 3mm, I have following rotary switch and stepped attenuator:

Lorlin ck1035


DACT Type 21 Stepped Attenuator

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