Cutting openings into brass sheet

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sbaxter
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Cutting openings into brass sheet

Post by sbaxter » Tue Mar 01, 2016 2:21 pm

I have some fairly thin brass sheet (not paper thin, but pretty thin nonetheless -- maybe .010 to .020 at most). I want to cut openings in the stuff without warping the sheet overall. The openings wouldn't be smaller than what a 16th-inch drill bit would make, and most would be much larger. What's the best method for doing this that will keep the sheet nice and flat?

Qapla'

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DaveVan
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Post by DaveVan » Tue Mar 01, 2016 2:32 pm

Check out a sheet metal nibbler. Not sure they are small enough but check.
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kenlilly106
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Post by kenlilly106 » Tue Mar 01, 2016 6:29 pm

Punch it out

It may flange the hole a little but that can be hammered out.

Or you can drill the hole out, clamp the sheet between two sacrificial holders, drill through all three at once. The holders will help to keep the material from climbing up the bit.

Ken

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Kylwell
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Post by Kylwell » Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:24 pm

Abolish Alliteration

Andrew Gorman
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Post by Andrew Gorman » Wed Mar 02, 2016 1:10 am

I haven't done it myself, but photo etch seems to be the ticket.

sbaxter
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Post by sbaxter » Fri Mar 04, 2016 12:59 pm

kenlilly106 wrote:Or you can drill the hole out, clamp the sheet between two sacrificial holders, drill through all three at once. The holders will help to keep the material from climbing up the bit.
This is essentially the idea I had myself. It is likely the one I'll try first, as I have more than one sheet of appropriate size.

I want to create a piece to represent the exposed mechanical trench on the ventral centerline of a Delta-7 Aethersprite (Episode II Jedi Starfighter, in other words). As far as I can determine, there are no images from the film or any other reliable source giving a clue as to the appearance of this area. In fact, what passes for the best reference is the sticker supplied with the Hasbro toy (and possibly the exposed area on the rear of the ship). I am actually working on converting and improving said toy, so there is room to create something there. I thought it would be more interesting if I built the impression of outer and inner levels of greeblies, but I would want the outer layer fairly thin, hence my desire to use brass rather than styrene.

Qapla'

SSB
“The entire concept of pessimism crumbles the moment one human being puts aside thoughts of self and reaches out to another to minister to her suffering. The experience of either person can neither be denied nor adequately explained by a negative philosophy.”
― Michael J. Nelson, Mike Nelson's Mind over Matters

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Mr. Badwrench
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Post by Mr. Badwrench » Sat Apr 02, 2016 8:06 pm

You can start as Ken Lilly suggests, clam it between two pieces of sacrificial plastic, (old CD cases would work fine), and drill thru. Start out too small, then open the holes up with needle files. This will cut away any dimpling along the edges, and allow you to refine the position and shape of the openings as you go.
I speak of the pompatous of plastic.

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Post by Mark Yungblut » Mon Apr 04, 2016 12:50 pm

When I worked at the model shop for Kenner, and we had to do detail cut work on thin brass or aluminum, we used spray mount and mounted it to a piece of scrap styrene. We then used a jeweler's saw with the superfine blades to do the cut works. The secret to using a saw like that is to keep it as perpendicular to the cut surface as possible. More importantly make sure to only cut on the down stroke. So move the blade back a millimeter or so before pushing the saw up. This can help avoid the pinching that can happen of you use a back and forth motion with the blade. Also take your time which will make it WAY easier to get a straight cut.

Cheers,

Mark
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