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How to drill 28mm holes in steel


Potostew42
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I have to rebuild my 2 player controller panel its going to be made from 1 1/2 to 2mm thick steel and I'm not sure how to make the 28mm holes for the happ buttons and il eurostick joysticks, if I had a drop down drill with a huge chuck to fit a 28mm drill bit and cooling compound I could try but I don't have any of those so is there another way or do I find a local fitter and turner to do the job as ide like the holes to be spot on in line 

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Home use only?. Just make it out of plywood. You want to make another one , plywood and a wood holesaw. Wood is just so much easier to work with.

If you want it looking similar to original cover the top surface with laminate or use laminated plywood and stick your control panel sticker to that.

On my Taito down the farm I actually clad the control panel wood in black vinyl. Hang on, there is a method to my madness. Taito always had a large amount of plywood in there panels and bolted a 3mm aluminium panel that had the "pattern" painted on it but the lockdowns are mounted to the wood as is the alignment bracket that ensures the panel can't be dragged off the machine. The joysticks and buttons also mount to the wood. Leave out the aluminium top panel  and the thing is marginally weaker but so much easier to build.

I also used vinyl because it gets below zero and can you imagine how cold that aluminium panel would get?

It's on a multigame machine so no one panel artwork would suit anyway.

The proper arcade methods we always used. ( maybe someone mentioned these methods already)

To cut metal panels we used either hole punches....drill about an 8mm hole, put the threaded end through the hole, put the other half of the tool on the bolt and wind on a nut. Hold the nut with a spanner and if your creative, you can make a tool to hold the spanner in a vice so then you just need to concentrate turning the allen head bolt.

I say allen head because I can't tell you the brand of those holepunches but the whole time at Taito and then at AMF, over 10 years, those tools never got changed and we must of done thousands of panels over those years

When we started using the LAI products that are steel panels about 3mm, we continued using those punches although to make the job easier we would put a steel pipe on the allen key.

The other method we used was just a metal holesaw in a drill press about 2mm smaller than required. We found you could be slightly out on your hole location and had about 2mm to correct your hole when you file out the hole, ( very course rat tail file), when you finally get your mylar stuck to the metal.

Once you get the mylar stuck, put two cuts in the mylar in each hole with a stanley knife and stovel your file through that and start filing using the markings on the mylar as to how far to file. If your using a rat tail file, only file down and never back up or the mlar will come up around the hole. Each pass of the rat tail file will take about 1/2 to 1mm of steel off each pass so be careful but it's just so fast. When you get close to the edge according to the mylar, start using the file slower and on a 45 degree angle and bingo, perfect holes exactly the way I got shown in a round about way by a guy at LAI.

I always found the punch method faster but more importantly, you can stick your mylar to the metal and use the mylar markings to your referance points where the holes needs to be.

You try sticking your mylar and use the holesaw method , sometimes you would get away with it but sometimes you destroyed and perfectly good mylar.

If your going to make a few panels exactly the same button layout, (usually one offs I would definately make a templet out of plywood that clamps to the metal one the one location on any panel like hinge mounting or something similar.

That way you just clamp the plywood with the holes pre-drilled and use these holes to line up your holesaw. Templets pay off when you need multiples, not necessarily when one wanting one.

That method I used when we were doing Beastbusters conversions. I think it was Beastbusters, Namco game with three machineguns and a couple of buttons? We got the games as kits and put them in our old clay target cabinets. Every Clay target machine had a nice flat panel at player's height and we did about 15 conversions so making the tempet once and you are saving a lot of time. Industry likes that.

There was also a time when just about every LAI cab, (we bought both LAI dedicted cabs and just LAI shells) A shell was just the laminated plywood box, control panel undrilled, no electrics, no monitor /chassis or game board. Also no coin mech holes in the coin door as we liked NRIs and LAI were using something else at the time. Better to cut to fit rather than work around plus no tube and chassis.

We were having so much dramas with Kotecs and the other LAI tube chassis combos , we imported our own 25"Toshibas that just had sweeter colours but unlike the LAIs, were 110volts, ( Japanese) only  so everyone fitted needed a stepdown unlike any factory LAI machine. Shame you haven't been able to get the high voltage coils for those Toshiba chassis for years now and they did like to die. We certainly didn't get the 20-25 years out of those 25" toshibas like the older 20 models Taitos had used but still, the colour was so much nicer. $2000 a tube VS $650-800 for LAI tube and chassis. You did get what you pay for.

Because we had all the bare cabs coming in only then did we get steel panels actually made as in holes pre punched. I think we ordered about 100 steel LAI panels made with standard 2 joystick, 14 button but not from LAI, an engineering place.

Funny, our precision cut panels showed the LAI panels weren't exactly the same as in the bolts holes around the edge of the panels LAI used to bolt the panels down often varied unlike our precision cut LAI replica panels. Every now and then we had to remount the Tee nuts in the right location. Who'd of thought aye?

Been pretty crook lately so please don't shot me if I repeated myself or got a bit sidetracked> Didn't even proof read this> I need a bed.

 

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I just used a hole saw like this:

 

https://sydneytools.com.au/product/xtorque-xto18hol-18-pce-professional-grade-engineers-bimetal-hole-saw-set-kit?gclid=Cj0KCQjw7MGJBhD-ARIsAMZ0eevLWzQsUqkECMO24036KkfGkYdmb1F9hbqNvRVdC-cZebnUTuApVYgaAmweEALw_wcB

 

you can buy individual bits from Bunnings. 
 

And a bench drill press.

Use some 3 in 1 oil to lubricate. Some plywood underneath if necessary. Make sure it’s tightly clamped. 


It takes a while but you’ll get a good finish.

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Thanks all I'm tempted to use a hole saw but I don't have a drop press for a drill so I'm going for laser or plasma that OzBlackKnight has offered to do

Davefjedi what is DXF if it's hole layouts from original cabinets I might not be able to use them as my cabinet is a slim woodie that I might have to use custom hole locations to not have my hands bang against the sides

Here's the old one

20210717_150611.jpg

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Autosteve I think you hit the nail on the head I'm going to make my own panel out of wood I will be thinking over the next few days how to do it but for now I'm wondering how to make the panel meet the plexiglass the old metal one had a small lip that sat over the plexiglass near the edge and a wood panel can't do it well it can but it would look like lego so my first idea is to attach a 90 degree L shaped bracket to hold the plexiglass in place and then have the wood panel flush with the L bracket, what do you all think or something better

Autosteve that was an interesting and nice read thanks for the time and effort in typing it I hope you didn't use a mobile to type it like I am atm 

20210903_042501.jpg

20210903_043547.jpg

20210903_042606.jpg

Edited by Potostew42
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Like your cabinet, but those MCA sticks have the big collar and are designed for wood control panels.. 

 

See below Yellow for wood, black for steel

s-l200.jpg

s-l300.jpg

 

 

To your question, I would router the edge of the wood to suit?

Edited by Crafty
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Yeah it's plain weird my joysticks are backtofront, someone said what you said Crafty when I was asking about joysticks I guess mine were used to help with the small amount of hand room 

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12 minutes ago, Crafty said:

Like your cabinet, but those MCA sticks have the big collar and are designed for wood control panels.. 

 

See below Yellow for wood, black for steel

s-l200.jpg

s-l300.jpg

 

 

To your question, I would router the edge of the wood to suit?

Do you mean cut an edge out so it can sit over the plexiglass, if so I thought of that too but it would have to be very thin like 3mm to not look blocky and it would be fairly easy to break the 3mm lip of wood

6 minutes ago, Crafty said:

Well at least if your going to a wood CP now, you have the right sticks already 🙂

Damm it and I just ordered new sticks but it's OK they are il eurosticks I've read they are a bit longer than most

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Yep, I doubt that any damage will occur as that's the top edge of the CP and if you get the angle right then it will be resting comfortably against the glass?

Might take a bit of fiddling but IMO should work?

Maybe I'm thinking of my Lowboys as the glass sits on them without sliding off, and the CP then locks it all together. I'll have to take a photo....

 

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Ok thanks Crafty I'll play around with some trial and errors I will be repositioning the screen a bit and the new CP will be more flat as the old one was at a bit of an angle that was not my cup of tea

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