Making a small rectangular hole in 3/16" steel

I have this compressor

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and this hourmeter

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I would like to make a rectangular opening in the mounting base for the motor and pump, so that the hour meter would be facing the same direction as the pressure gauge, and look nicely, like it was mounted by the manufacturer. I would prefer that to making some stupid little enclosure for this meter or mounting it in odd places.

For this, I would need to make about 3/4" by 1/5" (that's a guess) opening in the mouting base, which looks to be like it is 3/16" mild steel.

The question is, can this be done sensibly with, say, a jigsaw and bimetal blades.

Another question is, can such a meter take some vibration. It is not bad, as such, and I suppose that these Stewart-Warner hourmeters are made to withstand some vibration.

i
Reply to
Ignoramus27829
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Thanks. I will do pretty much that.

i
Reply to
Ignoramus27829

If you don't have a sabre saw, or the hole is small, awkward shaped etc., you could try this. Mark out the cut-out using a scriber. Then take a small twist drill (1/8" should be good) and use a drill press to make a series of holes which almost touch. The outer edges of the drilled holes should be a small distance (maybe 1/32") inside the scribed cut-out. Now take a punch and hammer, grip the plate in a vice and pound the cut-out until it drops out. If you did it right the cut-out comes free without distorting the surrounding metal. Then just use an appropriate shape and size of file to clean up. This approach is hard work, but perhaps not quite as hard as you would imagine. With care and patience it can give a neat result. The more careful and patient you are the neater the hole you get. Make sure you don't make the hole too big by filing carelessly and then trying to correct the screwed up shape of the hole. I've used this approach several times and it works well for me.

Best wishes,

Chris

Reply to
Christopher Tidy

Thanks Christopher. I do have a sabre saw, a little similar to this:

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The hole will be rectangular, about 3/4" by 1.5-2" or so. Kind of small. I will just drill some pilot openings and then use the saw.

i
Reply to
Ignoramus14487

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