Fan hole for steel case

By jb444
Jan 17, 2007
  1. I was going to put a 250mm fan in the side of my antec P180 case to get good air flow with little noise, but since I have little experience with cutting cases (a while ago I made a side panel but thats it), I thought I'd practice on the case of my old PC first which needed a case fan anyway.
    I picked up some heavy duty cut of bits for a dremel thingy, but when cutting I ground 3 bits down to nothing and shattered another two and only got about 1/4 of the way round the circle (I then gave up on the dremel and hacksawed and filed it to shape).
    The case looks to be 1mm steel.
    I just wanted to know, will the antec case (layers of aluminium and plastic) be as hard to cut???
    Has anyone found actual saw blades rather than grinding wheels for a dremel (I couldnt)?
    I cant hacksaw and file the antec case as I want the fan hole in the centre of the side panel. I was thinking maybe drill holes every 10mm and just dremel between them?
    ps. dont suggest a jigsaw I spent 20 mins trying to clamp it down so it didnt jump up and down and only managed to slightly reduce the amount of dents the panel ended up with.
  2. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,090

    Just out of curiosity. Was the blade in the jigsaw a metal cutting blade? I have used a jigsaw before with a fine metal cutting blade with good results. The saw also had an adjustable speed motor. I would say that is your best bet! I only used a dremmel to smooth the edges after cutting. The aluminum case will be easier to cut also.
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    1mm steel? Good luck, that is like the body of my truck. Guess you could drill a ton of holes, but you'll want them closer than 1cm apart if you are distroying dremel bits that fast.
  4. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,964   +355

    For cutting holes in sheet metal use a hole saw. If you want, you can drill a pilot hole first. Center punch the sheet metal first to prevent "walking" of the drill bit. Then chuck the hole saw bit into a drill and cut a perfectly round hole. Use an emery cloth or similar to clean up the edges. Hole saw kit example:

    This is just for illustration purposes. You can buy individual hole saws (you must get a mandrel too) at hardware stores. Just be sure it is for metal, not wood only.

    Using a Dremel or hacksaw is pure butchery. :)
  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    mailpup - I've never seen a one that cut 250mm holes. Thats approaching 10 inches.

    Drill a big hole (1 inch or bigger probably) then use metal shears. Take lots of breaks :)
  6. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,090

    That is true. I have NEVER seen one along the 250mm size! And I do a fair amount of woodworking in my ex-wifes Dad's shop.Looks like the example pictured is for wood cutting though.

    Hey...he could always take the case to a machine shop. A good plasma cutter could cut the hole!
  7. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,964   +355

    My bad. I overlooked the size. A hole saw for the corner radii and tin snips (shears) for the straights would be good way to cut a clean line. If you are trying to cut a large circular hole, there are tins snips for cutting curved lines, different ones for right or left curves.

    BTW, the hole saw kit pictured above is a bimetal kit for metal.
  8. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,233   +234

    That's a great idea! We have several auto/truck fabricating shops here. I'm sure just about any machine shop could do this very quickly, and at a nominal cost
  9. jb444

    jb444 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 100

    woooow thanks for the millions of responses...wasnt expecting so much.
    Yes halo71 it was a metal cutting blade but it was a crappy $20 jigsaw with one speed only which probably explains my lack of success.
    I like the idea of drilling holes and cutting between them with tin snips...sounds like the quickest way...Plus im gonna need to sand down the edges anyway so i can just use the strait line ones I already have then Dremel it down to size (is Dremel a verb yet?)
    If I could I would take the panel up to a specialist to laser- or plasma- cut the hole but nearest shop to me is >80km away up in London and is far too much hastle.
    Sorry I havent replied before...wasnt expecting so much response so I thought I'd check back in a few hours...thanks all for your input, never thought of using tin snips to cut the hole before
    Thanks again
  10. jb444

    jb444 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 100

    Lol, butchery is what the case I dremeled required...1mm steel ugly beige painted case ought to be butchered as much as possible
    (Im thinking of sanding it down as plain metal has got to look getter than a beige box)
  11. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,090

    I have seen some cases where they were painted to look like brushed aluminum. I think after painting they take a scotch bright pad to it to make the brushed effect.
  12. HPCE_Larry

    HPCE_Larry TS Rookie Posts: 132

    On an alluminum case even high quality wood drill bits work. On my case I made a grid of a bunch of holes and put a fan on that and it runs fine.
  13. tweakboy

    tweakboy TS Guru Posts: 467

    You might need the kit pictures in the above thread, gl,
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