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Thread: Cutting a hole in a lens board?

  1. #11
    pendennis's Avatar
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    Re: Cutting a hole in a lens board?

    I use a 1 5/8" metallic hole saw on my drill press. I already had jigs made up for various board sizes. I center punch the lens board, then start the pilot hole, and use 3-in-1 oil to lube the cut.

    The hole is just a bit undersized, so I use a portable sanding drum on a drill to enlarge and smooth the edges of the hole, test fitting every second pass.

    Works right every time.
    Best,
    Dennis

  2. #12
    Les
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    Re: Cutting a hole in a lens board?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    No, no, no, Les ... That's a bit for Formica, and you risk the carbide tip flying off like a bullet at router RPM speeds. I've seen it happen. Take it from someone who handled one of the largest Bosch dealerships in the country for over three decades, and by far the biggest dealer of Freud in the entire country. Bosch now owns Freud. A correct alum. bit has a different type of carbide, a negative rather than positive rake angle of carbide entry, and costs about four times as much. If it were ordinary soft alum. plate, you might get away with it; but for sake of general discussion, most official blank lensboards are diecast, and much harder. For the record, I own and use all these kinds of bits, so understand the distinction quite well.
    I guess we just disagree, Drew. The bit that I showed was meant as an example. Although Freud and Bosch are great cutters, however I have more respect for Porter Cable, Paso Robles and even Amana. There was a place in Fla that made really good ones, that starts with "C", though the outfit may have been sold ? Whiteside has always been consistently good.

    Anyway, I'm talking from experience and doing various projects....and I'm not into selling bits or machinery.

    Les

  3. #13
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Cutting a hole in a lens board?

    It's not about brand preferences, Les. You miss the point entirely. It's about basic safety . Wood bits and Formica bits are not engineered for aluminum!!!! They're carbide-tipped; and I've seen those tips fly off and get embedded in a wooden post clear across a room just like a bullet. Bits intended for non-ferrous metal are micro-grained SOLID carbide with a completely different kind of rake angle. I do not believe any of the brands you mention actually make those, but all buy and relabel them from two specialty mfg. Porter Cable never made bits, just labeled them. Whiteside is a cheapo import. Amana has a huge selection, but a rather poor fill rate to dealers; a web search might work. Please don't offer reckless advice on a subject like this. I've seen some awful injuries over the years. And if it's diecast, it shouldn't be routed at all.

  4. #14
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Cutting a hole in a lens board?

    I use a solid carbide, micro-grained, curved-edge pattern bit. Actually, I've used most of the methods mentioned, and, with care, they all work fine.
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing you don't already know

  5. #15
    Roger Thoms's Avatar
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    Re: Cutting a hole in a lens board?

    Drew, are you sure about Whiteside, I thought they where US made.

    Roger

  6. #16
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Cutting a hole in a lens board?

    I should have double-checked that one, Roger. I've been retired for almost 3 yrs, and am a bit out of the loop now. It's a bit complicated because many of these companies buy certain things from one another, and also offer more than one line of quality. But what I really wanted to say is that an easy way to smooth the hole is with a simple sanding drum in the drill press.

  7. #17
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Cutting a hole in a lens board?

    Yeah, Roger; I might have got my foot in my mouth on that Whiteside comment. They remind me of Nordic out here - make some things, yet distribute quite a few specialty things from other sources. Some of the bits were patented under other names at one time in NC, so they might have bought the rights. And some items look distinctly Euro mfg. I had other sources for many of the same things. Omsrud out here is also a similar marketing model, but are themselves the primary maker of long spiral cutters. Most solid carbide rtr bits in this country are made by Velepec in NY. Freud Industrial (Italy) has about 20 times as much as the division most people are familiar with. But I'd sure like to know the source of Festool's rtr bits - the carbide quality is amazing. Their drill bits etc are made by Fitch, Austria, and super-durable.

  8. #18

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    Re: Cutting a hole in a lens board?

    Reading through this thread makes me realise how lucky I am using wood not metal to make my lens boards. With wood you can cut a hole out in minutes using nothing more than a sharp knife.

    Alan

  9. #19
    Ron (Netherlands)'s Avatar
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    Re: Cutting a hole in a lens board?

    Depends on the size of the hole. For smaller holes I prefer a hole saw - have quite some different sizes for that. For the bigger ones a saw cutter.....
    I have hole saws for metal and some that only cut into wood.
    Last edited by Ron (Netherlands); 6-Oct-2019 at 06:44.
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  10. #20

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    Re: Cutting a hole in a lens board?

    Quote Originally Posted by aclark View Post
    Reading through this thread makes me realise how lucky I am using wood not metal to make my lens boards. With wood you can cut a hole out in minutes using nothing more than a sharp knife.

    Alan
    Depends I guess. I'm never comfortable working with wood, always get tripped up by the grain. That's why I prefer metal to wood.
    Expert in non-working solutions.

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