how to cut holes in case

I want to cut some of the sheet metal at the back of my case so I can add some fans in strategic places. Is there a tool which will allow you to do this cleanly? I have searched general tool shops, but the only thing to cut sheet metal are shears which would make a mess.

Also, would a soldering iron be useful in cutting holes in sheet metal?

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  1. I use a hole saw.

    I start by marking my centre with a punch, drilling out a 5mm hole for a good starter and then use the hole saw. The hole saw has a 10mm centre drill which catches the 5mm hole.

    I use a 3" hole saw which is designed for cutting metal. 3" = 76.2mm, which leaves 3.8mm for smoothing and deburring the edges. This makes a nice hole for an 80mm fan.

    After that simply lay the fan over the hole to line up the screw holes, mark & drill.

    <b><font color=blue>~scribble~</font color=blue></b> :wink:
  2. YOu can use a holesaw, dremmel tool, laser cutter, plasma cuter, jigsaw (with the proper blade, but it does cause wavy edges), or a hole punch.
    The best method is a hole punch. These can be expensive. Basically nothing more than a cup with a tight fitting disk, you drill a smaller hole large enough to slide a bolt through, then tighten the two pieces together. I'm thinking of making one in the machine shop.

    What's the frequency, Kenneth?
  3. You shouldn't use a soldering iron for making holes in sheet metal. It would never work. A soldering iron only gets hot enough to soften metals that have a very low melting point, such as lead.

    :cool: <font color=blue> Blowing things up smells Aweful... </font color=blue>
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