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need to cut some sluts.. er i mean slots

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jeremy!

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need to cut some sluts.. er i mean slots

PostTue Feb 28, 2012 8:05 am

howdy folks. im in the middle of building some fog light brackets out of aluminum. the plan is to have adjustment slots in the brackets for tweaking the beam projection after install. trouble is, i only have a drill and an angle grinder. is it possible to cleanly cut out slot holes with these two tools or would it be best to add something else to the collection.
[see tim, there was a reason why i was looking at milling machines!]

oh! and the slot has to be inside the metal, so i can just drill down the length!
like this
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zsm

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Re: need to cut some sluts.. er i mean slots

PostTue Feb 28, 2012 8:56 am

I'd try this. Clamp a dremel to a table saw at the part that goes over the blade, lower or remove the circular saw blade. After drilling the two holes, run the bracket up and down on a wooden runner you slide along the grooves in the surface of the table saw to cut the two slits for the grooves. If you are good with a dremel you should not need that table saw at all.
Well, you know what they say, "The candle that burns exponentially more durably, burns several decades after it was lit and for a completely different reason." - BlackIce_GTS
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jeremy!

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Re: need to cut some sluts.. er i mean slots

PostTue Feb 28, 2012 10:37 am

and what if there is no table saw or dremel?
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Alff

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Re: need to cut some sluts.. er i mean slots

PostTue Feb 28, 2012 10:57 am

How thick is the aluminium? It's possible you could just abrade away slots using an angle grinder. Personally, I'd invest in a Dremel - mine have paid for themselves several times over. Use a cutting wheel to slice the slot sides, a drill to do the ends and a stone in the Dremel to chamfer the edges of the slot.
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jeremy!

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Re: need to cut some sluts.. er i mean slots

PostTue Feb 28, 2012 11:19 am

Alff wrote:How thick is the aluminium?

4 to 5 mm

i have been eyeing up a dremel for some time now, i guess its time to go for it
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zsm

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Re: need to cut some sluts.. er i mean slots

PostTue Feb 28, 2012 12:06 pm

Get a dremel, they are great, better than iphone great! Anyway, mine came with a kit that had the stones that Alff mentioned (you'll want the cone shaped or round tipped ones for this), but no cutting discs or shafts for the discs. I got another package that had something like two shafts and four canisters of two thicknesses of cutting discs.
Well, you know what they say, "The candle that burns exponentially more durably, burns several decades after it was lit and for a completely different reason." - BlackIce_GTS
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jeremy!

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Re: need to cut some sluts.. er i mean slots

PostTue Feb 28, 2012 12:25 pm

damn you guys convincing me to buy tools!
i was holding out for a pencil grinder, but that requires me to get my air compressor running...
project project hell.
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Mad_Science

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Re: need to cut some sluts.. er i mean slots

PostTue Feb 28, 2012 12:27 pm

1) Dremel = like $40. Get that and one or more metal-cutting cutter thingies like these.
(Nevermind, Dremel's website search feature sucks, but the point is they make ones that look like mill cutters)
Measure, mark and drill a series of holes, then work through with the cutter in multiple passes, only taking ~1/8" at a time. (One pass if your bracket is only 1/8" thick). Use cutting oil, or just motor oil to keep things cool and happy.

2) Buy a ready-made bracket from McMaster Carr or the like. I know aluminum is spiffy, but a steel bracket won't really weigh any more, will be easier to work with, and will probably be available in the configuration you want.
"If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. If like gives you crap, don't make a beverage out of it."
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jeep_jeff

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Re: need to cut some sluts.. er i mean slots

PostTue Feb 28, 2012 12:32 pm

How wide are the slots? You might be able to drill the ends out, use a cut-off disc to rough out the slot and finish it with a grinding disc and a file. Personally, for 4-5mm aluminum, I'd drill the ends and use a plasma cutter with a plywood straight-edge.
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jeremy!

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Re: need to cut some sluts.. er i mean slots

PostTue Feb 28, 2012 12:40 pm

jeep_jeff wrote:How wide are the slots? You might be able to drill the ends out, use a cut-off disc to rough out the slot and finish it with a grinding disc and a file. Personally, for 4-5mm aluminum, I'd drill the ends and use a plasma cutter with a plywood straight-edge.


dono yet. but they have to be the size of the screw that goes into the fog light. id say no bigger than 5mm.
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pj134

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Re: need to cut some sluts.. er i mean slots

PostTue Feb 28, 2012 12:46 pm

I'd have to side with the dremmel side of this discussion. I would be remiss if I didn't suggest that you avoid drinking half a bottle of tequila and attempting to use a dremmel to cut the heat sink off of your xbox's motherboard, err, I mean, cut a slot out of your bumper as your fine motor skills might be a tad impaired and you might end up taking a divot out of said motherboard, err, bumper.
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GlassOnion9

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Re: need to cut some sluts.. er i mean slots

PostTue Feb 28, 2012 1:13 pm

jeep_jeff wrote:Personally, for 4-5mm aluminum, I'd drill the ends and use a plasma cutter with a plywood straight-edge.


No dremel? No problem, just use your plasma cutter.

Seriously, though, a plasma cutter is DEFINITELY the way to go with 4mm Al. I did some custom computer cases for friends and after spending hours cutting tiny details with a dremel, I got access to a plasma cutter. Took about 1/10th the time.
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