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Thread: Cutting a hole in a lens board?

  1. #21
    Roger Thoms's Avatar
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    Re: Cutting a hole in a lens board?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    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.
    My problem is I don’t trust any of these companies, it’s often hard to tell where thing actually come from. I do have some Whiteside bits and have been happy with them. Never used them on aluminum.

    As far as cutting a hole in a aluminum lens board there’s always the lo-tech method of using a jewels saw and half round file or sanding drums on a drill motor. Bottom line is that there are many different ways to do it.

    Roger

  2. #22
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Cutting a hole in a lens board?

    I eventually found it easier to use a carbide-tipped holesaw on the drill press simply because so few sizes of a set diameter are needed to cover all the common shutters. You have to test them for actual diameter - they're not precision devices. And they don't leave the cleanest edges; but that's easily cleaned up any number of methods. I also had the ability to purchase all these kinds of things at substantial discount, or even to acquire them as free samples. I seldom use a jeweler's saw, but do have one. In terms of files, the most versatile one I own is a Formica file, also sold for plexiglas and ski edges, great for soft materials like aluminum or brass because it doesn't clog up. But it's flat, so something else is needed for the hole. Just silicon carbide emery cloth wrapped on a stick works fine for that; but since I need an excuse for having purchased a bunch of sanding drums, I tend to use that method instead.

  3. #23
    (Shrek)
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    Re: Cutting a hole in a lens board?

    Dremel rotary tool with appropriate bit, and the Dremel circle cutting attachment. With some practice, I now regularly cut holes in wood accurate enough to screw lenses into the wood directly if I don't have the flange.

  4. #24

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    Re: Cutting a hole in a lens board?

    Boring head on a mill works best, so ask any machinist...

    Steve K

  5. #25

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    Re: Cutting a hole in a lens board?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jody_S View Post
    Dremel rotary tool with appropriate bit, and the Dremel circle cutting attachment. With some practice, I now regularly cut holes in wood accurate enough to screw lenses into the wood directly if I don't have the flange.
    Only for wood or maybe plastic, but not for metal...

    I have a circle cutting guide for a router, and if set up correctly, makes really nice holes in wood!!!

    Steve K

  6. #26

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    Re: Cutting a hole in a lens board?

    undersized hole saw, then a good bastard file will take you right to your finish line.

  7. #27
    (Shrek)
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    Re: Cutting a hole in a lens board?

    Quote Originally Posted by LabRat View Post
    Only for wood or maybe plastic, but not for metal...

    I have a circle cutting guide for a router, and if set up correctly, makes really nice holes in wood!!!

    Steve K
    I've done aluminum boards with a sharp bit, have to be careful not to load the bit with chips though.

  8. #28
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Cutting a hole in a lens board?

    Gosh. Why not use a horse rasp if that is all you've got. Why not a spiked ball from a medieval battlefield? I guess all kinds of things could work. But some methods are far more efficient than others, and safer.

  9. #29
    Gary Beasley's Avatar
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    Re: Cutting a hole in a lens board?

    Another good tool for cutting the aluminum is a scroll saw. The blades are very fine, you start the cut by drilling a hole inside the marked circle and feeding the blade through. Once mounted cut following the circle pattern which can be marked directly on the metal with a scribe or printed on paper and sprayglued to the metal. Cut just inside the pattern and clean up the cut with a half round file or drum sander.

  10. #30

    Join Date
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    Re: Cutting a hole in a lens board?

    How thick is the aluminum plate that you're using for lens boards? Are you anodizing or painting them?

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