Pannels, buying/cutting

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Broadwave
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Post by Broadwave » Fri Apr 06, 2018 2:32 am

FPE can also make your panels complete with a digital print. It's not cheap, but the results are pretty good.

But I will definitely be checking out Julian's services :yay:

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c0ntr4d1ct10n
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Re: Pannels, buying/cutting

Post by c0ntr4d1ct10n » Sat Jun 06, 2020 2:20 am

Anyone know if pvc is easier to cut and drill than acrylic? I found some panels of clear pvc less than half the price of acrylic (I normally hand saw and drill acrylic). Google keeps replacing my pvc search term with polycarbonate, which is not the same thing.

TuskSE
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Re: Pannels, buying/cutting

Post by TuskSE » Sat Jun 06, 2020 4:49 am

Another option for making holes in aluminium is to use a metal punch, like this:
https://www.sealey.co.uk/product/563718 ... h-set-14pc

( You probably would want to use a center punch to locate the holes properly first )

I've also used a hand-powered hand-drill (i.e. one with a hand crank) to make holes in alumium panels. It's not too difficult (aluminium is softer than you think), but it's not very clean or accurate.


Edit: also, for those in UK or Europe, this place will laser-cut rectangles of aluminium (i.e. panel blanks) for what seems like a very good price:
https://www.lasermaster.co.uk/

I've not actually tried them yet. I don't mind paying extra for blanks from Doepfer / Gie-tec, given that they have the slots for mounting screws taken care of.

KSS
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Re: Pannels, buying/cutting

Post by KSS » Sat Jun 06, 2020 11:25 pm

PVC is definitely more easily drilled and cut than acrylic. However it's also less stiff, and more prome to breakdown in sunlight. Acrylic's Achilles heel is its tendency to craze and to crack over time due to poor edge quality of holes and shapes.

Polycarbonate is also easier to drill and cut than acrylic. Both it and pvc are less brittle than acrylic.

Laser cutting of polycarb and pvc is, or can be dangerous. Chlorine from the PVC and water-steam from polycarb.

KSS
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Re: Pannels, buying/cutting

Post by KSS » Sat Jun 06, 2020 11:33 pm

TuskSE wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 4:49 am
Another option for making holes in aluminium is to use a metal punch,
Agree in concept. But that linked punch is WAY overpriced. The same metal punch is sold by Harbor Freight for significantly less money. One of these plus a couple step drills and nearly all panel 'drilling' is handled

pro tip: Lubricate the punch with a drop of wd-40 or light machine oil. Per hole. Vastly improves punch life and hole quality.
I don't mind paying extra for blanks from Doepfer / Gie-tec, given that they have the slots for mounting screws taken care of.
Slots are over-rated. Just use the 1/8" 3mm punch. If you really need slots, a chainsaw file is the right size and only takes a few strokes after punching the round hole. At first there's a tendency to angle sidways as the slot is cut, but a little practice makes that go away fast.

TuskSE
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Re: Pannels, buying/cutting

Post by TuskSE » Sun Jun 07, 2020 8:29 am

KSS wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 11:33 pm
TuskSE wrote:
Sat Jun 06, 2020 4:49 am
Another option for making holes in aluminium is to use a metal punch,
Agree in concept. But that linked punch is WAY overpriced. The same metal punch is sold by Harbor Freight for significantly less money. One of these plus a couple step drills and nearly all panel 'drilling' is handled

pro tip: Lubricate the punch with a drop of wd-40 or light machine oil. Per hole. Vastly improves punch life and hole quality.
I don't mind paying extra for blanks from Doepfer / Gie-tec, given that they have the slots for mounting screws taken care of.
Slots are over-rated. Just use the 1/8" 3mm punch. If you really need slots, a chainsaw file is the right size and only takes a few strokes after punching the round hole. At first there's a tendency to angle sidways as the slot is cut, but a little practice makes that go away fast.
Thank you for the tips!

transistorresistor
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Re: Pannels, buying/cutting

Post by transistorresistor » Sun Jun 21, 2020 3:12 pm

If you have plans to stay in the game, endorse learning the front panel express software because for a few bucks they will yield absolutley professional looking results. There is big fun drilling your own panels, but its a challenge to get the finished product looking finished. FPE is expensive but the modules you make will look as nice as the commercial products you buy. One trick I used to do alot was just sanding the aluminum, marking it w a marker and then use a clear coat to keep the marker from running off but eventually youll wear this off if its a heavy use panel.

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Grumble
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Re: Pannels, buying/cutting

Post by Grumble » Sun Jun 21, 2020 4:10 pm

E0E6F7A6-C933-442B-A55B-B1298F56E57F.jpeg
Recently I started printing my panels with my 3D printer
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