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Old 31st Oct 2016, 13:31   #1
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Cutting out old PC case cover

Guys, I have this 20 years old PC chassis.
I want to cut out a window in the side of the cover.
This is pretty hard steel case.

What would you suggest to sue to cut out a designed shape in it?
I think dremel will only jump around and use all wheels before I get 1cm of cut
Jigsaw?

Would it be possible to cut it out with CNC? Or laser?

Cover is like old style U shape - goes side+top+side, not just a single panel.

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Old 31st Oct 2016, 14:56   #2
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I'd personally use an angle grinder with a thin cutting disc and then sort the edges with a dremel
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Old 31st Oct 2016, 16:12   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldstar0011 View Post
I'd personally use an angle grinder with a thin cutting disc and then sort the edges with a dremel
dremel with that stone bit?
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Old 31st Oct 2016, 16:35   #4
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Stone and then sander bit, I'd probably do some but hand.

If you go this route, as it's a U shape if you have a worktop it could go over, get scrap would on the worktop and make sure it's really clamped down so it doesn't move at all when using grinder.
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Old 31st Oct 2016, 17:34   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldstar0011 View Post
Stone and then sander bit, I'd probably do some but hand.

If you go this route, as it's a U shape if you have a worktop it could go over, get scrap would on the worktop and make sure it's really clamped down so it doesn't move at all when using grinder.
I know what you mean.

Thing is I don't have a grinder

I'm guessing laser cutting is not an option for this kind of steel?
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Old 31st Oct 2016, 18:12   #6
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They were made to last lol , go old school, drill lots of holes and a shed load a filing , be bloody good exercise.....
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Old 1st Nov 2016, 01:20   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mingingbollock View Post
They were made to last lol , go old school, drill lots of holes and a shed load a filing , be bloody good exercise.....
Yep, that's what was thinking... drilling **** out of it. Then maybe jigsaw.
I already feel the pain...
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Old 1st Nov 2016, 09:38   #8
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Wouldn't the case shake with a jig saw unless you jigsaw through a wooden base, but in turn that'd increase your work.

Angle grinder is a worthy investment Link

Only prefer them due to using it a lot on car work and diy bodywork etc

Defo need to show us your wip
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Old 1st Nov 2016, 17:59   #9
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The advice given thus far is all correct. It just depends on the shape and how complex your cut out is.

For straight or smooth curves shapes use a jigsaw. With those old steal case don't be afraid to change the blades. Clamp the metal down to limit vibration. If necessary frequently adjust your clamps. If clamping is hard to do then consider sandwiching the metal between plywood and cutting through both wood and steel.

For smaller finer details a dremel with cutting wheels (make sure you get one rated for hard metals) or cut off discs.
Finally clean the cuts with a combination of dremel cut off discs, grinding bits (select size and style to suit the shape), and hand files.
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Old 1st Nov 2016, 18:10   #10
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Love the retro floppy drive!

I've always used the Dremel for cutting steel. It's a bit of a bear but it does a good job if you have a steady hand. For intricate curves you can use lots of small holes (as suggested by mingingbollock).

Laser would be great... in the industry they actually cut steel with water jet, which would be even better.
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Old 1st Nov 2016, 19:17   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Coin View Post
The advice given thus far is all correct. It just depends on the shape and how complex your cut out is.

For straight or smooth curves shapes use a jigsaw. With those old steal case don't be afraid to change the blades. Clamp the metal down to limit vibration. If necessary frequently adjust your clamps. If clamping is hard to do then consider sandwiching the metal between plywood and cutting through both wood and steel.

For smaller finer details a dremel with cutting wheels (make sure you get one rated for hard metals) or cut off discs.
Finally clean the cuts with a combination of dremel cut off discs, grinding bits (select size and style to suit the shape), and hand files.
This is how it sounded in my head when I was typing
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Old 2nd Nov 2016, 10:29   #12
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Woohoo!

Thanks guys for all your suggestions.
I will definitely have it all in my project log, so you will be able to see how it goes

Angle grinder - to be honest I'm a bit scared to use this kind of "weapon"
Would worry that it would jump and make a mess or hurt myself
But need to consider it as well as other ways to do this job.

Right now I don't have a plan or design what shape this window will be.
I think it will be more simple one, like rectangle shape or maybe some additional lines.
Nothing too complicated.

So far my jigsaw didn't have problems cutting internal case, which is also steel, but not that hard as a cover.
Shape of the cover doesn't make it easier.
__
| |

I was also thinking of putting it between two flat pieces of wood and then cut it through all 3 layers. This would help me suppress vibrations - getting closer to the edge of the cover could make so big vibes that I could bend the cover etc
I would need to put it on the side with second wall going below... maybe putting it on work bench...

I have Bosch metal cutting bits for my jigsaw. I would spray a lot of WD40 on it before cutting...
Drilling hundreds of holes will definitely help. Especially in the corners. Ideally it would have round corners.

Well, lots of things to think over for me then

This is my new modding project, so will open a log for it as well.

Thank you guys again, I will keep you updated!
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