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Hints, Tips and Solutions (Do NOT post requests for help here) If you have any useful general hints and tips for vintage technology repair and restoration, please share them here. PLEASE DO NOT POST REQUESTS FOR HELP HERE!

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Old 26th Jan 2016, 8:03 pm   #1
merlinmaxwell
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Default Marking out panels

Just had some aluminium cut and some folded for a PSU chassis (very good job from a small firm 200 yards away for a mere tenner, they wheren't happy with their first go so I got two for the price).

Not wanting to scratch the front while marking out the switch etc. positions, what do I cover it in? The answer was emulsion paint (from a tester bottle bought by SHMBO). Once dry marked out with a fountain pen (no pressure required), drill holes and then soak overnight.

Job done.
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Old 27th Jan 2016, 2:19 am   #2
joebog1
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Default Re: Marking out panels

I use cheap self adhesive plastic film AKA book covers.
Its available in about 100 different colours, but clear or white works best.
You might know it as "stick on veneer" thats used on cheap cornflake constructed speaker boxes.

Stick it on, draw your measurements/holes/cuts, then drill and cut as required, when you have finished peel it off!! Costs about 10 bucks for 5 metres X 300 mm.

Joe
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Old 27th Jan 2016, 8:49 am   #3
jonmiller
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Default Re: Marking out panels

I just use masking tape.

Jonathan
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Old 27th Jan 2016, 9:57 am   #4
mark pirate
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Default Re: Marking out panels

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I just use masking tape.
Ditto, I just mark the tape with a fine permanent marker, or in the case of round Holes a simle compass with a pencil fitted.

Mark
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Old 27th Jan 2016, 10:07 am   #5
Goldie99
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Default Re: Marking out panels

Once marked out, don't forget to use a centre punch to mark the holes before drilling - avoids the drill slipping as you start drilling.
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Old 27th Jan 2016, 10:43 am   #6
Aerodyne
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Default Re: Marking out panels

Another method is to mark out directly - no intermediate tape or paper - using a fine tip felt pen. Wash off with soapy water (soluble ink pen) or isopropyl alcohol/turps/meths (permanent markers)
It has always worked for me, though I too use masking tape on occasion.
Tony
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Old 27th Jan 2016, 1:37 pm   #7
ms660
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Default Re: Marking out panels

For accurate marking out for drilling or cutting I've always used a marking knife, same for accurate woodworking such as fitting door hinges etc, pencils/pens aren't accurate markers in my experience, dividers are good too for accuracy for some marking jobs.

When I used to do exhibition stand work for the motor/air shows we used that see through blue clingy stuff that could be applied then peeled off afterwards.

Lawrence.
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Old 27th Jan 2016, 5:28 pm   #8
merlinmaxwell
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Default Re: Marking out panels

I have found one advantage of the paint, when you drill through it it doesn't tear and stays on when using cutting oil.
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Old 29th Jan 2016, 10:59 am   #9
Aerodyne
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Default Re: Marking out panels

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For accurate marking out for drilling or cutting I've always used a marking knife,
A marking knife? For metal? Surely a scriber...
pens are fine when the overriding aim is NOT to permanently mark the metal. which was the main thrust of the topic.
Personally I find the use of a good sharp centre punch ensures accuracy of hole location.
Tony
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Old 29th Jan 2016, 11:57 am   #10
Diabolical Artificer
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Default Re: Marking out panels

You can get something called engineers or marking blue which you paint on for marking out, though emulsion or tape does the job. Lawrence is right, a scriber or marking knife is the way to go for bang on accuracy. Have given up on pens, had too many holes in the wrong place. Using a sharp drill and pre drilling for bigger holes helps too. Oh and good light.

In the end it's the care you take on a job, time and patience are the key. Which is why a lot of my projects could be better as I'm usually in too much of a rush. Am getting better as I get older, though I'm still inclined to do five impossible things before breakfast.

Andy.
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Old 29th Jan 2016, 5:33 pm   #11
ms660
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Default Re: Marking out panels

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Originally Posted by Aerodyne View Post
A marking knife? For metal? Surely a scriber...
pens are fine when the overriding aim is NOT to permanently mark the metal. which was the main thrust of the topic.
Personally I find the use of a good sharp centre punch ensures accuracy of hole location.
Yes, sharp metal whatever, in absence I've used decent plasterboard screws, they're sharp for sure.

Lawrence.
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Old 29th Jan 2016, 6:33 pm   #12
merlinmaxwell
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Default Re: Marking out panels

Yes all the other methods work but leave scratches on the panel, the paint even protects from swarf when drilling. Said panel now in soak.
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Old 26th Feb 2016, 2:19 pm   #13
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Default Re: Marking out panels

One method I've used for black panels is to stick a piece of paper on with prit stick. Do all the marking out on that, much easier to see and mark exactly, then punch the positions through it, remove it, and the marks are there. Or just place the paper up to the panel, press to the corners to get the corner positions (I often don't get cutting exactly square) and again, mark out on the paper then place back on and punch through.
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Old 26th Feb 2016, 6:45 pm   #14
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Default Re: Marking out panels

I just tend to use a soft pencil as it easily rubs / polishes out on metal or plastic. I only tend to use more accurate tools when required.
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Old 26th Feb 2016, 8:28 pm   #15
G6Tanuki
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Default Re: Marking out panels

I've used an old ball-point pen! The Tungsten ball will cause a very slight slight 'dent' in the surface of aluminium if you use enough pressure when marking spots or ruling lines. You can then centre-punch where you want actual holes.

The tungsten-ball rulemarks can - after drilling/punching - either be sanded-away with Wet&Dry production paper, or will disappear under a misting of acid-etch primer.

The same works on Perspex: one of my better front panels was built using Perspex - I sanded the rear-face to a matt finish using Wet&Dry then used 'reverse text' Letraset [can you still get that?] on the rear face for the labelling. Edge-lit with a few ultraviolet LEDs it looked rather good!
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