Best way to drill the VS Plexi panels without cracking them

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worldoftone
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Best way to drill the VS Plexi panels without cracking them

Post by worldoftone » Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:21 am

I have a pair of panels I just ordered. Years ago these were pre-drilled and you just stuck them on the chassis and fiddled with minor fitting.

Not being currently drilled out, what type/size of bit or other tool do you recommend to cut out the holes without possible damage to the panel? I don't want to have to experiment if I don't have to . . . :mrgreen:

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Re: Best way to drill the VS Plexi panels without cracking t

Post by JimiJames » Mon Mar 10, 2014 12:43 am

If you could step up the bit (64th) in your index, you could use it in "reverse" which has just enough cut to open the diameter without the bit accidentally grabbing the Plexi and chewing it up...
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worldoftone
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Re: Best way to drill the VS Plexi panels without cracking t

Post by worldoftone » Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:29 am

Good idea. Hadn't thought about that!

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Re: Best way to drill the VS Plexi panels without cracking t

Post by ValveStorm » Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:13 am

When MetroAmp solds kits, they used to drill the panels to fit the chassis. After the kits stopped, you could still get the panels, but they were undrilled. We have been sorta been following that paradigm. When folks order panels without the chassis, we don't drill them. We can't be sure if they are going to use the panels on some other chassis, etc.

I usually do the following when drilling:
1) drill a 1/8" hole thru the center of each of the drill targets.
2) Mount the panel temporarily on the chassis (keep the bottom edge align with the chassis at all times!)
3) Use a stepping drill bit (or a series of larger bits to widen the holes)
4) For the fronts, drill the presence and volume(2) pot holes first, just wide enough to mount some pots snuggly in the holes.
5) Once the panel is secured in this way, drill the rest of the holes to size.
6) Some thing for the backs, except start with a speaker jack and a fuse holder.
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Re: Best way to drill the VS Plexi panels without cracking t

Post by worldoftone » Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:08 am

Awesome and thanks. I figured they weren't drilled for exactly that reason. I have a step bit which I have used for odd chassis holes.

I just didn't want to reinvent the wheel.

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Re: Best way to drill the VS Plexi panels without cracking t

Post by NY Chief » Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:54 pm

I might suggest starting the hole small (3/16" ?) stepping it up but just under final diameter then using a tapered reamer to get a nice finish and sized exact the chassis hole. This way you don't have to be super accurate on your initial center.
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Re: Best way to drill the VS Plexi panels without cracking t

Post by VelvetGeorge » Wed Jun 25, 2014 7:53 pm

My panels come to me undrilled. I mount them to the chassis with industrial two-sided tape then use a step bit.

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Re: Best way to drill the VS Plexi panels without cracking t

Post by worldoftone » Sat Oct 18, 2014 1:19 am

I like the reamer idea. Used the step bit and it worked fine.
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Should have it done by next week hopefully now that I'm not being so lazy :thumbsup:

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Re: Best way to drill the VS Plexi panels without cracking t

Post by worldoftone » Sat Oct 18, 2014 1:22 am

Oh yeah, I free-handed all the drilling too. Turned out just about perfect with minor fiddling after mounting. I clamped the panel down when drilling out the ohm-selector however.

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