Call Search
     

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Community
Articles
Forums
News
Reviews
Friends Remembered
Strays
Survey Question

Operating
Contesting
DX Cluster Spots
Propagation

Resources
Calendar
Classifieds
Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement
About eHam.net

   Home   Help Search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Cutting metal enclosures with Dremel tool  (Read 5782 times)
KU4UV
Member

Posts: 376




Ignore
« on: December 21, 2009, 01:28:04 PM »

Hello guys,

I just recently purchased a Dremel cordless rotary tool, model #770.  I mainly purchased this tool to be able to use it for ham radio projects and other tasks around the house.  The problem that I am having involves using the tool to cut into metal enclosures.  I want to be able to cut into metal enclosures, such as those sold by Ten-Tec and other companies, for such things as monting switches, etc.  I tried my using my Dremel tool and #545 diamond cutting wheel the other night on a metal enclosure.  I found that while the cutting wheel would cut, it seemed like it took forever to cut into the metal enclosure, and this was with the diamond cutting wheel spinning at close to 20,000 RPM.  I have heard that the cordless Dremel tools are too weak to really get the job done when it comes to cutting, and that you must use a plug-in type Dremel tool that has more continuous speed and power.  I don't know how true this is, as this is the first Dremel tool I have ever owned.  Can someone that uses a Dremel tool for cutting into metal or Aluminum enclosures offer some tips or advice as to how to go about using the Dremel for cutting into metal?  What type of attachment do you use, and what type of Dremel tool do you have?  Will a cordless Dremel get the job done, or do I need to purchase a corded tool?  Thanks for the help!

73,
Mike KU4UV
Logged
TANAKASAN
Member

Posts: 933




Ignore
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2009, 01:42:45 PM »

Right tool, wrong cutting disk. The diamond disks are great for cutting PCBs but poor on metal. You need to use the hard black fiber disks for aluminum and steel.

WEAR SAFETY GOGGLES !!

The cutting disks WILL shatter at the slightest excuse and when they do the pieces go off in all directions.

Tanakasan
Logged
KE4DRN
Member

Posts: 3734




Ignore
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2009, 08:21:40 PM »

hi Mike,

take a look at the Dremel #561 spiral cutter or
the EZ406 EZ Lock Starter Kit.

73 james
Logged
KU4UV
Member

Posts: 376




Ignore
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2009, 12:47:06 AM »

Thanks guys, I'll give that a try.

73,
Mike KU4UV
Logged
AD5X
Member

Posts: 1437




Ignore
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2009, 06:05:18 AM »

For cutting into aluminum, this is one of the best investments I've made for holes up to 5/16" diameter:  www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=44060

For larger holes I use a step drill: www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=96275

And for odd holes I use a nibbler:  www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=96275

I use my Dremel mostly for cutting pc traces on copper clad boards.

Phil - AD5X
Logged
KM3K
Member

Posts: 324




Ignore
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2009, 07:25:58 PM »

Although I do have the other items mentioned, my first "go-to" for cutting stuff is Dremel's "Heavy Duty cut-off Wheel #420"; some call it a cutting-disk.
As someone has earlier noted, these items are fragile.
So no twisting as you cut or it will break.
The trick is to just let it do the cutting.
It is "therapeutic" to use.
Jerry-KM3K
Logged
KE3WD
Member

Posts: 5689




Ignore
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2009, 06:25:46 AM »

When using the cutoff wheels with AL, don't overlook the inhalation of AL dust.  Use a filtering facemask.
Logged
WB2LCW
Member

Posts: 108


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2009, 05:52:06 PM »

For round holes I use a Drill bit,or a step drill
(Harbor Freight).Up to a point for 5/8,3/4,1 1/8 I use a chassis punch. For holes 5/8 up you can use a Hole saw but it is better to use them in a drill press
with the chassis locked down for a cleaner hole especially if its in a spot that will be in view..
For slots and square holes I use a nibble tool..

The best cutting wheels to use are the fiber reinforced ones!(Buy them on eBay)! I cut steel bars and rusted bolts with them FB! Wear eye protection and a Dust mask!You can cut Plexiglass with the fiber reiforced whells also!

Copper clad board I use a Carbide scoring tool!

The round dremel bits are hard to control if trying to do slots.

I always wanted a Dremel since I was novice in 1962
But I was doing a tile job in 1998 that I ran into trouble with and I bought a dremmel with a spiral carbide cutter to clean up about one hundred feet of grout line that did not turn out right! I don't know
how I managed to do things without one! I now have two!
I have many many accessories ,cutters,circle guides,drill press,router base etc..

73

Mike
Logged
W3JKS
Member

Posts: 201


WWW

Ignore
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2010, 06:44:20 AM »

I recommend placing a shop vac's nozzle close to the cutting operation in progress.  It will help keep your lungs AND your shop clean.  Use special care on heat sinks - some of them use alumina or beryllium, both are band for your lungs.

I have a HEPA vac (also good for cleaning toner out of printers) which is a good investment.  If you can, get one with a prefilter -- they will catch most of the crud and are less expensive than the HEPA filter cartridge.

73s,
john W3JKS/AAT3BF/AAM3EDE/AAA9SL
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!