Using punches instead of drilling from panels
I found this on the synth-diy list in october 2010
Jean-Pierre Desrochers <jpdesroc at oricom.ca> to firstname.lastname@example.org date Tue, Oct 5, 2010 at 8:55 AM subject Re: [sdiy] Front Panels for DIY.. using a arbor press for holes
I bought this arbor press in Canada at Busybee Tools: http://www.busybeetools.com/products/ARBOR-PRESS-2-TON.html
They now ship to USA!
A machinist built me some adapters to make the punch usable like the upper part that would accept male punch bits, the lower part that sits at the punch bottom and accepts female punch cylinders, (around $100 for both upper and lower adapters to be made) punch bits that fit with my punch press and have the exact hole's diameters for my needs (males and females) like 3/8" for switchcraft jacks or some types of pots, 5/8" for Alpha pots, 1/4" for toggle switches, and some others for leds and panel retainer holes etc.. The bits pairs cost me around $25 each to build See here: http://membre.oricom.ca/jpdesroc/projects/Modular/MIDI_Interface/Module%20pictures/Bits%20for%20bench%20punching%20press.JPG
You can see the holes sharpness here: http://membre.oricom.ca/jpdesroc/projects/Modular/MIDI_Interface/Module%20pictures/Front%20panel%20PDF%20sticker%20on%20panel.JPG
And yes this is so much more clean and precise than drilled holes.. I'm working with 1/16" thick aluminium here so drilling is not a good idea...