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making a 5" hole in a non-removable aluminum panel (question)




 
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Author Topic: making a 5" hole in a non-removable aluminum panel (question)  (Read 58942 times)
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W7TFO
WTF-OVER in 7 land Dennis
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« Reply #25 on: December 12, 2011, 05:41:04 PM »

Maybe buy one of these, and get a couple bits that will hack away at the metal.

Fab a guide (wood, maybe) and stick it to the front with double-sided tape so this thing has something to ride around in.

Even if it just does one job, it is worth the coin....

Use your shopvac for the 'collateral damage'

http://www.sciplus.com/singleItem.cfm?terms=16852&emailid=176&trk_msg=42QRGKS4E79498C2A58G6PJQIK&trk_contact=9IFJEI7JC00BD8S8H4G4E5TS3G&utm_source=Listrak&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=Product+Details&utm_campaign=American+Science+%26+Surplus+-Our+final+holiday+sale+email!

73DG
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KM1H
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« Reply #26 on: December 12, 2011, 09:26:37 PM »

If that was mine Id lay that rig down so your pushing down from the top. A 1/8" aluminum panel is mighty thin but the drill and hole saw held at that level is asking for trouble if you want precision. I dont see any easy way of mounting a hardwood guide either.

Carl
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« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2011, 11:06:04 PM »

The cut out saw in the link looks pretty good. I didn't realize there was a tool like that.

As for laying it down on its back, ouch my back!! with the large iron out it is 1000 lbs. However, after all this good advice, one thing is decided, the RF deck has to come out. That is a royal PITA but it is only about 100 lbs and can be laid on its back.

This got me thinking that with the RF deck on its back, on the bench, the small drill press here might be able to center over the right spot on the front, seeing it is near the bottom of the deck. I would not mind temporarily bolting the press to the work bench for this job. Slow speed on that is about 500-600RPM, a little fast for a 5" hole saw. I also have a Milwaukee 1/2" drill with the side handle that can go really slow. Its got lots of torque. Still thinking about this.

The available bezels will hide any ugliness of the hole.

In the past I used alcohol to drill aluminum, but kerosene was mentioned. Which is best? Neither is a lube, what is the goal in using these liquids?
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Dave K6XYZ
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« Reply #28 on: December 12, 2011, 11:39:14 PM »

For this job you will need Tap Magic.
It really is magic...I was sceptical at first but it really works!
I use it for drilling holes, tapping and anything else that requires work with aluminum.


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KA2DZT
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« Reply #29 on: December 13, 2011, 12:11:36 AM »

Well, have you drilled the hole yet??  I know we've been talking about it for a week.  I could have made five of these 5" holes already.

If I wasn't afraid of rattlesnakes and tumbleweed I would come down to Texas and get it done. Grin

Fred
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« Reply #30 on: December 13, 2011, 01:58:38 AM »

No, I have not yet cut the hole. I work long hours (I call them "half-days") and until about 45 minutes ago was working. When I post here in the evenings, I am actually logged in and working because I work with not only the USA co-workers, but those in France, Italy, Poland, India, and Singapore. So, Saturday and Sunday are for the projects.

Sorry I am not moving very fast but I still must measure the CRT diameter and select the tools based on that. A 5" CRT is not 5 inches in diameter. It is in almost all cases slightly larger and that falls between tool sizes. Many steps and lots of thinking to do a good job, haste makes waste except in field-expedient work.

The holidays are coming and that may be a great help when my colleagues that "provide opportunities for me to excel" will also be away from the lab, customer, and office.

If I did not have to work, I would probably be ready to do it, but the last bit of good advice arrived at 22:39, so why start cutting before all the experience has spoken?

Right now I am looking at 5", 5.25", and 5.5" hole saws, that might be the thing.  - -will measure the CRT maybe Saturday. -certainly not Tuesday (today) yeesh look at the time, time for my 6-7 hours.!

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Need a round tuit for this.
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« Reply #31 on: December 13, 2011, 07:07:19 AM »

Consider a 70% water, 30% Joy soap mixture in a squirt bottle for your drilling/cutting fluid....No solvents, oils, etc and it moves/floats the swarf from an alum cut with a hole saw...keeps the tools cool,easy clean up...cheap too
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KM1H
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« Reply #32 on: December 13, 2011, 07:36:49 AM »

Quote
For this job you will need Tap Magic.
It really is magic...I was sceptical at first but it really works!
I use it for drilling holes, tapping and anything else that requires work with aluminum.

Ive been using that for over 20 years and the standard version for steel for a lot longer. A little goes a long way.
When I have to waste a lot of fluid I use Oatey Dark Thread Cutting Oil and buy by the quart.  It really saves drill bits.
 http://www.oatey.com/Channel/Shared/ProductGroupDetail/95/Dark+Thread+Cutting+Oil.html
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The Slab Bacon
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« Reply #33 on: December 13, 2011, 10:26:21 AM »

In the past I used alcohol to drill aluminum, but kerosene was mentioned. Which is best? Neither is a lube, what is the goal in using these liquids?


Aluminum is soft and really doesn't need a cutting "lubricant". Lubrication is not the issue. The purpose of using a "cutting fluid" (Alumicut, Tap magic, bee's wax, kerosene, etc) is to keep the aluminun cuttings from loading up (sticking to) the cutting tool. Once the tool loads up with cuttings the friction heats the aluminum and it trys to melt itself back together. Giving a crappy cut or breaking the cutting tool.

Once the tool (drill, tap, saw, etc) loads up, it tries to beat it's way through the cut, leaving a pretty nasty edge. I have seen more guys break drills and taps off in aluminum than any other metal. (cutting dry) Because they were bound up with cuttings. I have used Both fluids in the past to free up taps that someone else had bound up in a piece of aluminum.

Even putting a few drops of Alumicut or Tap Magic on a file makes filing a simple job instead of a chore.  Great Schtuff! ! ! ! !
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« Reply #34 on: December 13, 2011, 10:36:52 AM »

If you use Tap Magic, MAKE SURE you get the kind meant for aluminum! The kind for other metals will boil and bubble and turn the aluminum black.

If you can find a nibbling tool that will cut 1/8" thick aluminum, that would be a great way to cut your hole. Maybe a sheet metal fabricator would do that for you.
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« Reply #35 on: December 13, 2011, 11:36:30 AM »

Patrick, they make those hole saws in 1/16" increments!
But they are not stocked by everyone.
An industrial supply Co. tends to have them all...

I would use the slow speed on the drill press and not hand hold, just take very light pressure cuts, pull out when it gets hot, add lube, go back...

make sure there is no shake or give in the set up and that the deck is square and flat to the plane that is the cutting face of the hole saw.

Bingo! Done.

                       _-_-bear

PS. I would NOT use the cutout to hold the face of the tube, UNLESS you put "catepillar" grommet over the edge of the cut aluminum, or some similar rubber to interface to the glass. So I am saying make the hole strategically bigger, or hold the tube from behind... (cradle)


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W7TFO
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« Reply #36 on: December 15, 2011, 02:02:55 AM »

I dug out my big Greenlee set, and the closest to 5" I have is the 5" conduit, leaving a 5-5/8 hole. Smiley

PM me fer th' dope.

73DG
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N0WEK
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« Reply #37 on: December 15, 2011, 04:35:37 PM »

For big holes these work great!...

http://www.tools-plus.com/malco-hc1.html

It still makes lots of chips but does a nice clean job and the price is right!
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K5WLF
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« Reply #38 on: December 15, 2011, 09:32:40 PM »

For big holes these work great!...

http://www.tools-plus.com/malco-hc1.html

It still makes lots of chips but does a nice clean job and the price is right!

What speed do you rotate that device at? Looks like a lot of mass out there swinging in the breeze at 16 oz. Plus 0.054" Al is quite a bit different from 0.125" Al. Have you ever used it for 1/8" Al or are they just being conservative? Looks neat, but I have to admit to having a bit of a reservation given the length and weight.
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N0WEK
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« Reply #39 on: December 15, 2011, 10:12:51 PM »

You hold it by that handle after drilling a centering hole. The adjustable center pin rides in the centering hole and the only part that rotates is the drill bit at the end that's being driven by the power drill. Once it's in the centering hole you drill a starting hole with the bit and then swing it around the centering pin with the special side-cutting drill bit cutting the circle.

I haven't used it on 1/8 inch alum. but there is no reason that it won't. I'd just go slow. There is a guide clip that rides under the edge of the cut that may have to be spaced out by a couple of small washers or just removed (two small screws). Spare bits are about $9.00 and you only wear on the part of the bit that is cutting sideways; when it gets dull in that area you just move it up or down a little bit in the holder.

If I can find time tomorrow I'll give it a try on a piece of 1/8 scrap. I've used it mainly to cut round holes in sheet steel duct work for round take-offs.
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K5WLF
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« Reply #40 on: December 15, 2011, 10:20:42 PM »

My bad, Greg. I was looking at it backwards -- thinking flycutter -- silly me. Makes perfect sense and all reservations withdrawn. I may have to get one if your test on 0.125" Al proves out. Forgive my temporary (I hope) idiocy.

ldb
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« Reply #41 on: December 15, 2011, 10:22:38 PM »

Got the PM!
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N0WEK
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« Reply #42 on: December 16, 2011, 12:53:19 AM »

My bad, Greg. I was looking at it backwards -- thinking flycutter -- silly me. Makes perfect sense and all reservations withdrawn. I may have to get one if your test on 0.125" Al proves out. Forgive my temporary (I hope) idiocy.

ldb

Well, it's not real intuitive at first glance.

The guides I was talking about are really only spacers to keep the tool level and spaced properly; they won't need adjustment. I think this thing will do up to 1/4 inch aluminum if you move slowly. With regular ductwork I can cut a 6 inch circle in about 30 seconds.

I'll give it a shot tomorrow; with pictures.
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N0WEK
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« Reply #43 on: December 16, 2011, 02:21:55 PM »

My bad, Greg. I was looking at it backwards -- thinking flycutter -- silly me. Makes perfect sense and all reservations withdrawn. I may have to get one if your test on 0.125" Al proves out. Forgive my temporary (I hope) idiocy.

ldb

Well, it's not real intuitive at first glance.

The guides I was talking about are really only spacers to keep the tool level and spaced properly; they won't need adjustment. I think this thing will do up to 1/4 inch aluminum if you move slowly. With regular ductwork I can cut a 6 inch circle in about 30 seconds.

I'll give it a shot tomorrow; with pictures.

This hole was cut in .080" alum in 4 minutes, including the pilot hole and a couple of stops for pictures.













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N0WEK
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« Reply #44 on: December 16, 2011, 03:58:20 PM »

This 2 1/8" meter hole was cut in 90 seconds, including the pilot hole. That little tab at the end of the cut can be filed or you can just stop most of the way around and clamp a piece of wood on both sides to keep the center piece in place.

2 1/8" is the smallest hole it'll make. It'll cut holes up to 12"...



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w3jn
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« Reply #45 on: December 17, 2011, 12:08:57 AM »

For fifty smackers that thing is the way to go!
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« Reply #46 on: December 17, 2011, 01:51:10 AM »

Looks like that jig does a really good job.  I thinking that a end mill can be use in the same manner.  End mills are designed to cut on their side.  I may make a jig set to cut 2-1/8 meter holes using an end mill.  I have a panel that needs four 2-1/8 meter holes.

Fred
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w3jn
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« Reply #47 on: December 17, 2011, 02:23:41 AM »

A 5 minute job if you have EZ-TRAK on your Bridgeport, Fred.  Of course, the setup, clamping, etc will probably take 3X that  Grin
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« Reply #48 on: December 17, 2011, 09:11:51 AM »

If anybody is interested in Greenlee 700 series Radio chassis punches, have a look on page 48 of the December 2011 Electric Radio. It's in the want ad section and a Michigan ARC is selling 5 sets. A total (by my count) of 45 punches. Round punches of every size as well as square, rectangle, keyed and double D. Each of the sets are priced between $50 and $70. About the price of one punch purchased new. Most are new in original boxes. The used ones are like new says the club representative. Looks to be an estate and the club is a 501(c)3.
Contact oldbugger@copper.net or 269-382-5401

I have no connection with this sale.
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KM1H
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« Reply #49 on: December 17, 2011, 02:13:48 PM »

I still want to see the results with a .125 or .250" panel
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