Best way to make very large hole in cabinet

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MrAl
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Re: Best way to make very large hole in cabinet

Post by MrAl » Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:18 am

Hi there,


That certainly is an interesting idea, but really i was hoping to be able to do this myself.
That way if i want to do another one i can just do it the same way too.

I wonder what they would charge for making one big 120mm or 250mm hole...
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Re: Best way to make very large hole in cabinet

Post by Robert Reed » Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:16 am

MrAl
Having had some minor machine shop work in recent years, I was blown away by their prices. A lot of that has to do with set up time and precision. Since your work does not require precision
(on a machine shop level), I would look at what some of the smaller body shops would charge, after all sheet metal work is their stock and trade.

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Re: Best way to make very large hole in cabinet

Post by MrAl » Fri Jan 15, 2010 10:13 am

Hi Robert,


That's an interesting idea too, although i do like doing things myself a lot of times :smile:
It would be really really nice to be able to find a fast and reasonable way to do this at home.

Ever try those electric nibbling tools? That's the kind that acts like a nibbler but it plugs in
and nibbles as you go. I wonder how well this would work?
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Re: Best way to make very large hole in cabinet

Post by Bear » Fri Jan 15, 2010 3:40 pm

Mr. Al...Do you have a router with a circle cutting attachment??

Dennis

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Re: Best way to make very large hole in cabinet

Post by Robert Reed » Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:52 pm

No I only have the slow manual type. But body shops all use these daily. If you want to roll your own, Harbor freight had them at dirt cheap prices, don't know if thats still the case.
Also if your case is ferrous metal, it will dull even the carbide bits. Of course you could use it and save it just for these types of projects. Too scary for me though.

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Re: Best way to make very large hole in cabinet

Post by MrAl » Sat Jan 16, 2010 5:26 am

Hi again,


Bear:
No i dont, but i read that they dont work that well for thin metal anyway, have you tried this?

Robert:
Oh yeah, i guess that would dull too fast anyway huh? They make them for thick steel too but
they are super expensive, not something i am willing to buy just to make cabinet holes :smile:
Yes, most cabinets are 1mm steel (18 gauge) or thinner, but they are steel. I dont have
to cut sheet metal too often so maybe the blade would last a bit longer than usual.
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Re: Best way to make very large hole in cabinet

Post by Robert Reed » Sat Jan 16, 2010 8:23 am

MrAl
"They make them for thick steel "
Don't confuse milling machine bits with router bits here. Many milling machine bits are actually made of HSS or carbide. However the mill speed is much slower than router speeds (200 RPM vs. 10,000 rpm), and sometimes water cooled.If you are really hell bent on doing it your self, I think the jig saw with a very fine tooth metal cutting blade would work the best - IF you have adequate support and access of clearance.

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Re: Best way to make very large hole in cabinet

Post by reloadron » Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:48 am

I have to agree with Robert that using a saber saw, jig saw or whatever is likely the best way to go. A hole saw with a 3" diameter would work fine for an 80mm fan but as you get into a 120mm or larger fan the hole saws are expensive. Three inch and under are pretty cheap but when you start getting around 4.250 inch they run about $30 which isn't practical for making a hole or two. Tape over and mask the area and then cut. Just cut slow using patience. Then finish with some filing or emery to clean the cut up a little. That is how I would do it anyway.

Ron

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Re: Best way to make very large hole in cabinet

Post by MrAl » Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:53 pm

Hi again,


Robert:
I was talking about the power nibble tools :smile:

Ron:
Yes that might work the best. Im still mulling this all over and at the same time trying
to figure out the best place to position the fan. The first one was going to be for the
hard drives, but there is a thick panel in the way (the hard drives bolt into). Im not
sure where i am going to put it yet either. I tired it in the front but that would require
cutting out the front of the case, not sure if i want to do that either yet.
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Re: Best way to make very large hole in cabinet

Post by reloadron » Sat Jan 16, 2010 3:05 pm

MrAl

Generally most cases have open grill ventilation forward of the HDDs in front of the case. Many even allow for the addition of a fan forward of the hard drives. I assume that isn't the case with your case configuration. I just cleaned the filters on the wife's system and though there is a provision for fans forward of her hard drives I never installed any. I didn't install any because when I pop her front open to get to her filters they collect quite a bit of dust (dog hair). There is very good airflow of outside ambient air over her HDDs (all four of them).

Her case has a 120mm fan on the top exhausting and a 120mm fan on the rear exhausting. Additionally her PSU draws air from in the case and using a 120mm fan exhaust it out the rear. With all that exhausting there is constant good airflow in the front of the case over the HDDs.

You should have airflow over the drives in front of your case based on how much air you are exhausting. There are also the HDD cooling units covered earlier in the thread that you may want to consider.

Ron

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Re: Best way to make very large hole in cabinet

Post by MrAl » Sat Jan 16, 2010 3:17 pm

Ron,

I'd have to cut the plastic, which would be fairly easy really, but then drill out the metal panel
as it is made for an 80mm fan. I guess i could do that, but do you think it would be worth
cutting up my nice front plastic panel? I'd have to cut out the reset switch and probably mount it
somewhere else, and maybe the two LED lights too. Think it is worth doing all this?
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Re: Best way to make very large hole in cabinet

Post by reloadron » Sat Jan 16, 2010 3:39 pm

Hi Ya MrAl

Nope, I don't think it is worth doing all that. My gist was that if you have open grill in the front of the drives allowing air in over the drives that with good exhaust the drives should have plenty of airflow over them. A system with good exhaust will be drawing air in the front. That ambient air should flow over the hard drives. That is my thinking anyway.

Ron

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Re: Best way to make very large hole in cabinet

Post by Janitor Tzap » Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:56 am

Hey there MrAl,

How about instead of making one large hole.
What about a bunch of smaller holes in a circular pattern the size of the Fan?

Simply work out the hole pattern template first with a drawing program.
Then print out the pattern template.
Then tape the template pattern over the area of the case you want to place the fan.
Place some wood under the area your going to drill.
Then carefully drill out the holes.
Remove the template pattern.
Take a metal file and remove any metal burr's.
Then mount your fan. :grin:
{Just remember to include the holes for mounting the fan.} :wink:


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Re: Best way to make very large hole in cabinet

Post by MrAl » Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:46 am

Hi Janitor,


Yes maybe, but that's an awfully huge number of holes to have to drill :smile:
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Re: Best way to make very large hole in cabinet

Post by Janitor Tzap » Sun Jan 17, 2010 1:30 pm

Hehe...Haha...

I don't know if you did that yourself,
or you have a CAD program work that out.

Those holes look like 1/8 inch.
Try 1/2 inch holes instead.
That would probably work out better. :wink:


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