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Windows 7: Best way to precisely cut rectangular holes in case sheet metal?

06 Sep 2012   #1
FuturDreamz

Windows 8 Pro (32-bit)
 
 
Best way to precisely cut rectangular holes in case sheet metal?

Sorry no pictures yet.

My computer case has room for three 3.25" drives stacked on top of each other, but only has slots for two (one external and one internal). The slots have holes cut out that allows the drives to protrude out the front of the sheet metal front (but the bottom one is covered by the plastic front. However, there is no hole for a third drive, so that one would end up sitting far enough back to jam into the motherboard.

I currently have two hard drives so I'm not able to use my internal card reader. however, I believe if I cut a hole for a third drive, I'l be able to move one of the hard drives into the space below, and install the card reader in the top bay.

What would be the best tool to use to cut a precise hole without making a mess? preferably something i can buy or rent cheaply.

thanks.


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06 Sep 2012   #2
richnrockville

Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by FuturDreamz View Post
Sorry no pictures yet.

......
What would be the best tool to use to cut a precise hole without making a mess? preferably something i can buy or rent cheaply.

thanks.
Way back when, I used a sheet metal tool called a nibbler which was a small device that had a cutting blade and worked like a pair of plyers that nibbled away at sheet
metal, after you had drilled a hole big enough for it to fit in and start nibbeling.

do a google search on sheet metal nibbler and amazon has pictures of several of them.

Rich
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06 Sep 2012   #3
FuturDreamz

Windows 8 Pro (32-bit)
 
 

A nibble does seen to be the best solution, but so far all I can find are $700 electric versions. I still have a couple of places to check though, and i haven't checked the rental places.
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06 Sep 2012   #4
fseal

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

FRYS.com*|*PHILMORE

You will still need a steady hand and some filing or a bit of hammering to flatten and smooth the edges so they look clean if they are going to be visible.
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06 Sep 2012   #5
billdacat

W7 64 premium
 
 

IMHO...Buy a new case. By the time you hack holes in the case and spread metal filings over the mother-board; your going to need a new PC. Cases are cheep, or even free if recycled.
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06 Sep 2012   #6
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Filings won't be a problem if you remove all the electronics first, then blow out the debris after cutting.

I've used the same kind of nibbler occasionally for years. It works great for straight lines, especially in tight areas. It's also easier fo a first time user to use than a cutoff wheel in a Dremel type tool (although cutoff wheels work well in many situations a nibbler won't). As long as the nibbler is kept perpendicular to the surface being cut, it won't distort it.

If you haven't used any cutting tool before, practice on a piece of scrap metal first before going after your case.
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06 Sep 2012   #7
Dwarf

Windows 8.1 Pro RTM x64
 
 

What about something like this? 2 Hard Disk Expansion Mounting Kit : PC Case Accessories : Maplin Electronics or 3 Hard Disk Expansion Mounting Kit : PC Case Accessories : Maplin Electronics

These are from the UK, I'm sure you'll be able to locate something similar in Canada.
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06 Sep 2012   #8
FuturDreamz

Windows 8 Pro (32-bit)
 
 

Well I wasn't able to find a nibbler anywhere, and all other cutting tools were too expensive. Since the cuts would not be visible, I ended up using a small hacksaw and metal file.
[img]http://s12.**************/v3954epkt/IMG_20120906_00042.jpg[/img]
upload pictures

It worked fine, and the hard drives fit perfectly. The bottom drive is velcroed to resist shocks and prevent it from moving around.
[img]http://s12.**************/5yi4qzq4d/IMG_20120906_00044.jpg[/img]
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I had to install the bottom hard drive upside down otherwise the cables would interfere with the motherboard.
[img]http://s12.**************/e6onpq7el/IMG_20120906_00046.jpg[/img]
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After removing some plastic from the faceplate, it snaps on fine.
[img]http://s12.**************/ixoj7r08t/IMG_20120906_00050.jpg[/img]
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The bottom of the case is kind of scratched and cut, but it's not visible so it's not too much of a problem.
[img]http://s12.**************/hwoaimj99/IMG_20120906_00051.jpg[/img]
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The SDD gets velcroed below the optical drive.
[img]http://s12.**************/ofcjht62l/IMG_20120906_00045.jpg[/img]
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I'm so glad I bought low profile RAM, as it helps a lot.
[img]http://s12.**************/4d7gcx5a5/IMG_20120906_00049.jpg[/img]
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The cables are all over the place, but I have tried to fix them so airflow blockage is reduced and fans are not being hit.
[img]http://s12.**************/wot09yp6l/IMG_20120906_00048.jpg[/img]
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All drives do get recognized (even the USB readers), though I had to fiddle a little to get the SSD recognized
[img]http://s12.**************/sxeu9wm4d/drives.png[/img]
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Afterwards it looks pretty nice and compact.
[img]http://s10.**************/htiv8ng8p/Lethbridge_20120117_00010.jpg[/img]
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09 Sep 2012   #9
boogieboy

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Good Work keep it up!
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 Best way to precisely cut rectangular holes in case sheet metal?




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