What is the best way to get the holes/LCD cut outs neat?

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Jswale, Aug 11, 2015.

  1. Jswale

    Thread Starter Member

    Jun 30, 2015
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    What is the best way to get the holes/LCD cut outs neat?
     
  2. djsfantasi

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 11, 2010
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    Neatly.

    Holes in what? brick wall? 3/4" steel? 0.060 polystyrene?
    How big is this hole? 190mm x 75mm? 11.5" x 5.25"? 1.27cmx2.52cm?
    What tools do you have? Drill? grinder?, nibbler? circular saw?

    Additional information will result in a better answer.
     
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  3. Papabravo

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    Feb 24, 2006
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    Custom tool and die.
     
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  4. MikeML

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    Oct 2, 2009
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    Milling machine. What? You don't have one?
     
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  5. jpanhalt

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    Who cuts holes any more? Just print the faceplate with the hole already in it.

    John
     
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  6. #12

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    Nov 30, 2010
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    My printer won't do aluminum boxes, so I start with a drill, work with a saw, get close with a nibbler, and finish it up with files. Your mileage may vary.
     
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  7. dl324

    Distinguished Member

    Mar 30, 2015
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    +1 for metal punches, drill, saw, nibbler, ...

    For rectangular openings, I use #12's method. For circular openings, I use a punch if I have the correct size. For holes between my punch sizes, I use a tapered file, step drill bit, and/or tapered reamer.
     
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  8. alfacliff

    Well-Known Member

    Dec 13, 2013
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    there is a neat hole punch available at hrobor freight, has several size dies and works like pliers. cuts pc board type material easily, and metal up to certain sizes. for larger size holes, a set of greeenlee chasis punches works, or a step drill.
     
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  9. Kermit2

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    Feb 5, 2010
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    Old school is a drill followed with a hacksaw and finished with a hand file then sandpaper. Sandwiching between two properly sized pieces of wood aids in holding the work still.
     
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  10. #12

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    I didn't even think about round holes because they are too easy. I have a butt load of drills from 0.03 inches to 1&1/8th and then into grit edged hole saws.
     
  11. mcgyvr

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    Oct 15, 2009
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    With the proper tool for the job based on information not provided in your question..
     
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  12. ErnieM

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    Apr 24, 2011
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    My way is to cut a sloppy hole just large enough to fit the display then cover the edges with a bezel.

    Found some really good ones a few years back for a 20x4 display, bought some for my stock boxes. Still have EM and glad I do as I lost the guy who makes and sells them.
     
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  13. Jswale

    Thread Starter Member

    Jun 30, 2015
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    There was no additional information because I commented on a post that had all the information in the OP.

    It is a standard ABS small box that I want to cut out a hole for a 16X2 LCD and a few button holes.

    I have a drill, hack saw, sand paper....I would be willing to contact vendors for custom made enclosures etc if anyone has reliable ones in the UK.
     
  14. nerdegutta

    Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
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    I'd make a template of cardboard or paper, and ductape it to the ABS. When everything is lined up perfect, I'd use the drill, on a very low RPM, and drill the holes. The reason for low RPM is that ABS will melt, and that is not cool on the end product. The same goes for the hack saw. Try to do it as slow as possible.

    Please show some pictures. :)

    Edit: fix grammar...
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015
  15. jpanhalt

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    Jan 18, 2008
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    A coping saw:
    upload_2015-8-12_5-43-3.png


    and files will work better than a hack saw and sandpaper. If you are in to power tools, the "equivalent" of a coping saw is called a scroll saw. Carbide bonded to metal sheets (aka Perma-Grit, http://www.permagrit.com/index.php?cPath=65), which are available at most hobby stores in the US, are in between files and loose sandpaper. I mount a piece to a flat board. Part of getting a nice edge when filing/sanding is technique. It is usually best stroke in just one direction rather than scrub back and forth.

    Finally, ABS is soft enough to be cut with a #11 blade or box cutter. I print my design, like nerdgutta suggested, fix the paper to the item using a spray adhesive, then center punch or use the blade to outline the areas. You may want to be a little smaller (0.01 to 0.02") and then remove the final amount for a finished edge.

    John
     
  16. mcgyvr

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    Oct 15, 2009
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    Is this 1 off or multiple units that you need?
    Is physical placement of LCD to buttons already complete?
    There are enclosures with LCD cutouts already..

    try polycase first
    okw also
     
  17. Jswale

    Thread Starter Member

    Jun 30, 2015
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    I have not made up the unit yet but a relatively small ABS box with an LCD (1602) cut out already implemented would be easiest if they are readily available off the shelf?

    It would be a MAX of 3 units.
     
  18. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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    You will just have to search around to pick a size/style that works for you..
    polycase as I recommended above will do milled cutouts with no mins.. no idea on pricing.
    or just pick up a dremel and use a steady hand.. or any of the methods above..
     
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