Author Topic: How to Make a Nice Looking DIY Panel  (Read 4403 times)

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Offline Bryan

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How to Make a Nice Looking DIY Panel
« on: April 09, 2014, 12:56:39 am »
On todays Hack-A-Day. A project and tutorial well done. :)

http://jumperone.com/2013/01/how-to-make-diy-front-panel/
-=Bryan=-
 

Tac Eht Xilef

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Re: How to Make a Nice Looking DIY Panel
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2014, 01:17:04 am »
Am I the only one who cringes when they see people hand-drilling holes like that? Even when they're centre-punched and only drilling plastic?

Buy a cheap hand-drill press, folks! Makes things so much easier...
 

Offline GiskardReventlov

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Re: How to Make a Nice Looking DIY Panel
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2014, 01:27:40 am »
I think mikeselectricstuff had the nicest DIY panel. He had the PCB maker make it from black PCB.  It's in one of his videos. Makes a lot of sense to me. I think those limeys would say it's dead simple. I might say it's like falling of a log.
 

Offline liquibyte

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Re: How to Make a Nice Looking DIY Panel
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2014, 01:31:55 am »
Am I the only one who cringes when they see people hand-drilling holes like that? Even when they're centre-punched and only drilling plastic?

Buy a cheap hand-drill press, folks! Makes things so much easier...
I kind of take offense at this.  I can hand drill a hole, make it square with files and be more accurate than a punch.  I take pride in this, it's called craftsmanship.  It's actually becoming kind of a lost art.
 

Tac Eht Xilef

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Re: How to Make a Nice Looking DIY Panel
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2014, 02:44:09 am »
I can hand drill a hole, make it square with files and be more accurate than a punch.  I take pride in this, it's called craftsmanship.  It's actually becoming kind of a lost art.

So can I. Growing up in what was basically a small engineering workshop, and spending 14 years* working for a company which - despite their many other faults - cared deeply about doing a quality job, will do that to you.

(The other week my father noticed me draw-filing and sanding the edge of a small aluminium panel I was making for the back of a radio. Even he poked fun at me - but in the end it was perfectly square and sub-0.05mm accurate; better than the punched plastic one it replaced...  ;))


But I also know how easy it is for the tool or job to run away and either chew up the job, bend the tool, or bite you, and that it's also much easier to drill a clean and perfectly perpendicular hole with an unbent bit in a drill press.

FWIW, I wasn't talking about the square hole (which he at least says was done deliberately to show how well his technique can cover mistakes), but the round ones he shows being drilled for the LEDs. If you don't get them perfectly perpendicular you end up with the centre spot looking ever-so-slightly off-centre, or with an uneven halo around it, which just looks crap - doubly so, since his artwork has circles around them which draw the eye and provide a reference point for noticing any little irregularity.

Yes, I do care that much...

So, to answer my own question: apparently, "yes".

(* Not so much the 8 years after that, when they decided the key to good customer service was over-micro-managing time rather than doing the job quickly and accurately...)
 

Offline calexanian

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Re: How to Make a Nice Looking DIY Panel
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2014, 05:16:28 am »
I used to do this for our prototypes. I would laminate a photo paper print then turn it into a sticker with glue tape. I would make a punch out of steel rod for the holed and use a piece of 1/2" plywood, place the laminated piece on it, and punch the holes with a hammer. They looked great. I even got a 4X4 sheet of polycarbonate textured overlay material from the company that makes our nameplates and decals if the customer wanted the exact look and feel of the finished product. Gotta hand it to 3M. I have been working off that sheet for 15 years and it still sticks like a mofo when I pull the backing off on another piece.
Charles Alexanian
Alex-Tronix Control Systems
 

Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: How to Make a Nice Looking DIY Panel
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2014, 11:06:33 am »
It's extremely difficult to start life.. one features of nature.. physical laws are mathematical theory of great beauty... You may wonder Why? our knowledge shows that nature is so constructed. We simply have to accept it. One could describe the situation by saying that... (Paul Dirac)
 

Offline george graves

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Re: How to Make a Nice Looking DIY Panel
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2014, 11:53:11 am »
I'm surprised no one has started a "front panel" competitor to what is currently out there - the same kind of cheap service as for PCB's.

Offer front panels in 3 or 4 thicknesses.  1, 2 or 3 colors.  Your choice of Al or plastic(abs?)




Offline CaptnYellowShirt

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Re: How to Make a Nice Looking DIY Panel
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2014, 05:32:00 pm »
Am I the only one who cringes when they see people hand-drilling holes like that? Even when they're centre-punched and only drilling plastic?

Buy a cheap hand-drill press, folks! Makes things so much easier...
I kind of take offense at this.  I can hand drill a hole, make it square with files and be more accurate than a punch.  I take pride in this, it's called craftsmanship.  It's actually becoming kind of a lost art.


 

Offline Mechatrommer

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Re: How to Make a Nice Looking DIY Panel
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2014, 06:05:16 pm »
I kind of take offense at this.  I can hand drill a hole, make it square with files and be more accurate than a punch.  I take pride in this, it's called craftsmanship.  It's actually becoming kind of a lost art.
craftmanship right! until you do it a thousands time 365 days a year. btw who want to look at my crafty handmade jig for my cloned dremel? hohoho.
It's extremely difficult to start life.. one features of nature.. physical laws are mathematical theory of great beauty... You may wonder Why? our knowledge shows that nature is so constructed. We simply have to accept it. One could describe the situation by saying that... (Paul Dirac)
 

Offline liquibyte

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Re: How to Make a Nice Looking DIY Panel
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2014, 09:41:06 pm »
I kind of take offense at this.  I can hand drill a hole, make it square with files and be more accurate than a punch.  I take pride in this, it's called craftsmanship.  It's actually becoming kind of a lost art.
craftmanship right! until you do it a thousands time 365 days a year. btw who want to look at my crafty handmade jig for my cloned dremel? hohoho.
If you do it thousands of times, you're probably going to be doing it for money and hence have a shop to help.  Though I didn't say it, I was speaking in terms of personal projects and having a full blown shop for such things might be nice but is hardly a requirement.  Indeed, it makes me cringe when someone can't use basic hand tools to good effect and ends up with hackish looking cutouts or holes.  I prefer aluminum for just this sort of thing.  It takes longer to cut or drill but the results are inevitably better looking and you can check your progress with a dial caliper to get things looking even better than someone that does this thousands of times and doesn't care because it's not their product.  Taking pride in ones work used to be the norm.
 

Offline David Hess

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Re: How to Make a Nice Looking DIY Panel
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2014, 10:27:35 pm »
For one off products I print the front panel design out on Mylar transparency film reversed an then apply it reversed using spray adhesive.  With the Mylar on the outside, the printing is well protected.
 


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