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How do you make panel door cutouts?

36 posts in this topic

For cut outs that are square I like to use a 4 1/2" grinder with a cutoff wheel. For round, since we won't fork out the cash for a 30.5 mm knockout slug, I used a Morse Master Cobalt Bi-Metal Hole Saw (1 3/16" or 30 mm) with lots of cutting oil. With that hole saw, not counting setup, it took about 30-40 seconds to drill a hole. The part that sucks is making the notch for an Allen Bradley 800T switch, button, etc. Break out the Dremmel tool and a flat file.

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Greenlee makes a great notching tool. I used to break the tabs off of pushbuttons until I got this tool.

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for our stainless steel fabrications we typically drill a 1/4" hole 9/16" from the center of the pushbutton location. when the 30.5 mm hole is knocked out, it leaves a nice half moon shape for the notch. we have had trouble with breaking the greenlee notchers on stainless. we also have found that pencil is like kryptonite to stainless. you can't scrub off the marks very well. I've been told by a chemist friend of mine that the carbon in the graphite likes to bond with the stainless, making it nigh impossible to remove. we've found that "sharpies" are the best for us for stainless.

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Robh, If you are in the Portland area I know a shop with a water jet machine that cuts panels. It will put a beautiful cut in those SS doors.

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I'm a couple hours South of Portland. Go Beavs. We have had some aluminum cut with water jet and it is so nice looking.

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I use a Roper Whitney punch. It's really fast and really clean.

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I use a nibbler that works perfect for HMI cutouts. It is 110Vac and works like a paper whole punch, and it will cut thru anything. First you have to drill an access hole but after that the nibbler will take care of it and it will not scratch the panel like a jigsaw can.

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Posted (edited)

On 2006-12-21 at 0:13 AM, TWControls said:

Used to have a very nice set of electric nippers but right now have reverted back to some masking tape, a jigsaw, and a file. Works just as well, clean, smooth, but not quite as fast and I just don't have the cool tools anymore

Its good to make the cut from the inside of the door to prevent scratches on the paint outside.

Edited by MegakriLL

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On 30/12/2006 at 2:58 AM, TWControls said:

I just use a fine tooth metal cutting blade. Tried the diamond tip but they seem to just be a waste of money

Yep, I agree.  Four holes in each corner widened using a step drill to the size that I want (about 12mm).  2" duct tape (not masking tape)  along all four sides to the outer edge of the step holes giving me the cut line.  Then just cut along four straight lines and the centre piece drops away.

The trick for me though comes before this.  I always have a panel template engraving manufactured.  They are not expensive typically only £40.00 UK price.  I use Pantograph Services (http://www.pantograph.co.uk/).  They work from a dimensioned PDF (see attached example).  As an extra this gives you text engraving around your buttons and indicators.  it is well worth doing.

With the panel engraving as a template you mark out the position of the cutout easily getting perfect HMI line up with your buttons and indicators.   Drill your four holes, widen them, add the duct tape, get cutting.  A Bosche hacksaw blade in a mains powered jig saw works for me.

I pull the 22.5mm holes through with a circular hole puller, driven with a 1/2" impact driver.  Works well up to and including 1.0 x 0.8m door panel sizes.

Not sure if it would handle stainless though.  Never tried.

J552-PanelTemplate.pdf

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Boss just bought a Hitachi Nibbler, will post results later.

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Posted (edited)

Plasma cutter. If you have multiples of the same hole size or repeated projects, make a plywood or scrap metal template of the cutout with the proper margins for the tip radius. Place the template where you want the hole and just run the plasma cutter tip around the perimeter. If you’ve never used one, you will never go back to saws or abrasion cutters. Rent one first to try it.

 

Industrial Panel PC Manufacture at http://www.szjawest.cn/

Edited by Allen123

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