Author Topic: cutting holes in systainers  (Read 4173 times)

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Offline zapdafish

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cutting holes in systainers
« on: February 01, 2019, 10:29 AM »

Is there a cheap way of cutting nice looking different sized holes in a systainer that are larger than a drill bit? So far I know I will need 2"  and 3/4" holes. More sizes will be needed once I get further along in the design process. Not something I can test and have it go badly for me so hoping to draw on some of your experiences.

Don't particularly want to buy a bunch of hole saws for this one time thing.

Thanks
CT22, TS55, Kapex, RO150, Domino, RS 2 E

Offline JD2720

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cutting holes in systainers
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2019, 11:04 AM »
The only options I know of are free hand with some type of cutter or hole saws. I would use hole saws.
There are cheep hole saw sets on Amazon & Ebay. The prices are around $15 or less.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2019, 11:10 AM by JD2720 »

Offline mwildt

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cutting holes in systainers
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2019, 10:12 PM »
Maybe a Step drill bit, normally used for sheet metal. If you need to make of the same size check out greenlee punch sets.

Michael

Offline SRSemenza

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cutting holes in systainers
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2019, 12:13 AM »
I like forstner bits for this. I have done up to 1 3/4" for a vac hose. And just a did a 3/4" for a power cord.  Start on one side when the point goes through switch sides. Nice clean cut. Drill slowly and the bit will just cut / scrape away the plastic nicely.

Seth
« Last Edit: February 02, 2019, 12:46 PM by SRSemenza »

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: cutting holes in systainers
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2019, 12:56 PM »
A little more ..........

      The forstners work well on flat , even surface areas. I have not used a hole saw but they may be better on less even surfaces. 

    I have also used a dremel with spiral bit to for non round cut outs. Then clean up with file and sandpaper.

                         


   I used a forstner for the hose opening and a hack saw to make the straight cuts from the top down.

   Dremel for the lower corner opening.

   Dremel for the hole between the top and bottom unit. Didn't spend time making this one as neat / clean.

   There is also an open topped hole (like the hose opening) opposite side of the hose opening for the power cord in 3/4".


Seth
« Last Edit: February 02, 2019, 12:58 PM by SRSemenza »

Offline Samo

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Re: cutting holes in systainers
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2019, 04:39 PM »
@SRSemenza

Hey Seth,

Good info. What is the Systainer project above?  Vac related something.

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: cutting holes in systainers
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2019, 04:58 PM »
@SRSemenza

Hey Seth,

Good info. What is the Systainer project above?  Vac related something.

Converted a regular Systainer to use in place of the top unit for the CT-SYS. Got the idea from someone else on FOG. Closed top , more room for accessories, and MFT work lid.

Seth

Offline tallgrass

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Re: cutting holes in systainers
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2019, 05:07 PM »
The method I use is  to drill the hole or profile of your wishes into a suitable piece of MDF. I then clamp or double stick tape it to the systainer. drill the largest hole you are comfortable with and use a flush cut bit and you template to cut the hole to speck.

Offline Gwerner

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Re: cutting holes in systainers
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2019, 09:29 PM »
I second the forstner bit suggestion. I think it will result in cleaner holes and they can be had pretty cheap at Harbor Freight.

Offline zapdafish

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Re: cutting holes in systainers
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2019, 10:53 AM »
thanks for the tips, I was afraid a router bit might melt plastic or chip out really rough edges but my forstner bit collection should get me close enough to where I can get the final size with a router but and mdf template.
CT22, TS55, Kapex, RO150, Domino, RS 2 E

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: cutting holes in systainers
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2019, 04:19 PM »
thanks for the tips, I was afraid a router bit might melt plastic or chip out really rough edges but my forstner bit collection should get me close enough to where I can get the final size with a router but and mdf template.

Spiral bit in dremel will do a little melting if you dwell. But not bad enough to be a clean up problem.

Seth

Offline tallgrass

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Re: cutting holes in systainers
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2019, 02:50 AM »
you adjust the speed and the depth of cut to get a clean cut. This helps reduce welding.  I would use your forstner bit to get close, then use your router, much like using a trim router to clean up plastic trim.I use my festool trim router for this kind of thing. I also use  a plastic nibbler to get into the ball park. I guess depends on how often you are going to do this, on how far down the rabbit hole you go.  ;D

Offline Mario Turcot

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Re: cutting holes in systainers
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2019, 08:24 AM »
What I would use is something similar to.
Greenlee Punch

Safest way to cut through plastic. Those cutters are used by electricians.

Luckily you know an electrician near you  [wink]
Mario

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: cutting holes in systainers
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2019, 07:46 PM »
you adjust the speed and the depth of cut to get a clean cut. This helps reduce welding.  I would use your forstner bit to get close, then use your router, much like using a trim router to clean up plastic trim.I use my festool trim router for this kind of thing. I also use  a plastic nibbler to get into the ball park. I guess depends on how often you are going to do this, on how far down the rabbit hole you go.  ;D

The forstner bit will do it with out any routing unless an odd size is needed. I think it is far more likely to get messed up using a router even for clean up or fine tuning to the size.

The other problem you get with a router  (even a small trim base) is flat surface to run it on.


Seth

Offline zapdafish

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Re: cutting holes in systainers
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2019, 03:14 PM »
greenlee punch is a tad expensive. My parents have a dremel I can borrow so I'll prob go that route, use a forstner first then use a dremel. I'll cut the 2" hole first as a 1" hole to get used to it then widen it to 2"   [big grin]
CT22, TS55, Kapex, RO150, Domino, RS 2 E

Offline Chris161190

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Re: cutting holes in systainers
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2019, 02:35 PM »
I’ve routed systainers, no problems, slower speed, sharp cutters, their fine. Did it using mdf templates with a bearing guided cutter, sometimes have to get creative with how the template is held in position but no more than usual!

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: cutting holes in systainers
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2019, 06:49 PM »
greenlee punch is a tad expensive. My parents have a dremel I can borrow so I'll prob go that route, use a forstner first then use a dremel. I'll cut the 2" hole first as a 1" hole to get used to it then widen it to 2"   [big grin]

Personally I think you would be better off just using a 2" forstner. Unless it is an uneven location.

Seth

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: cutting holes in systainers
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2019, 07:46 PM »
If the surface is suitable for a Forstner bit I’d use that. If it’s more complicated I’d use a top bearing pattern bit in a small router, guided by scrap of wood with a suitable hole for the bearing to follow. Rough cut smaller than final with most anything bigger than the router bit.

Online Cheese

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Re: cutting holes in systainers
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2019, 08:54 PM »
I wouldn’t use the Greenlee, it will probably crack the Systainer. Greenlee’s need to be used on ductile materials, hence metals. The Greenlee may work on thin HDPE...but that’s another discussion.

Offline DavidWK

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Re: cutting holes in systainers
« Reply #19 on: February 27, 2019, 11:27 AM »
Typically, when cutting brittle plastic with a drill bit, one would use a 150 degree point, not an 82 or 135 degree.  This works well in acrylic, whereas the 135 degree (or smaller) has the point protrude before the full diameter, and cracks the plastic.  I keep a small set of 150 degree (Tormek sharpened) on hand specifically for plastic use.  Some forstner bits (typically wave) seem to work ok, also.

For the PVC plastics in systainers, I also suggest warm temperatures.  They tend to get more brittle in cold.