Poll; Your preferred tool for octal chassis holes

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by magic smoke, May 3, 2018.

  1. magic smoke

    magic smoke Tele-Meister

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    For the last few builds I've found myself fabricating or modifying amp chassis to fit my needs. I'm now looking to invest in some quality tools specifically for making tube socket holes. I started using a step bit for everything up to 3/4" and I've used a few different brands of budget knockout punches, but they have all had shortcomings with durability or ease of use. I use Belton sockets exclusively, so only need the 1.25" punch.
    I'm experiencing a bit of sticker shock after seeing the price of the name brand!

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002JAUIOM/?tag=tdpri-20

    Remember I'm still a DIY builder not a production shop. Now I have to ask, What do you guys use? Anyone have experience with these, and are they worth it? Is there a better option?

    Thanks in advance for your wisdom, experience and opinions!
     
  2. BelairPlayer

    BelairPlayer Tele-Afflicted

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    Greenlee punches are what I use. I don't remember paying that much, but then again, I've owned mine for over fifteen years. They're still in great shape. You know what they say, "buy the best and only cry once."
     
  3. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Afflicted

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    I use two different step drills. I have a really nice one that goes up to 7/8, then I have a cheaper one I got off e-bay to handle the larger size socket holes. I drill everything with the good one then switch to the lesser one for that last little bit. Works great for me. But then again I only use aluminum chassis.
     
  4. Snook

    Snook Tele-Meister

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    Look for this one on ebay or amazon.... may be in the $70 range? Most of mine came from work and probably 30 years ago.... but I agree, the price on the one you posted startled me.... But I'm real cheap and most of mine are probaby an inch or less in diameter. They will last forever though, although you might break a drive bolt once in a while.

    Greenlee 730BB-1-1/4 Standard Round Knockout Punch Unit, 1-1/4-Inch
     
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  5. Bill Moore

    Bill Moore Tele-Afflicted

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  6. arcticbreaze

    arcticbreaze Tele-Meister

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    I have a nested set of green lee style punches made by Sidchrome way back when. they were my dads probably 40-50 years old. Still goin strong, Highlly recomend for nice clean holes.
     
  7. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Tele-Afflicted

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    Yeah, go to ebay with the number of the Greenlee you want. There are a few vendors that sell good used and/or New Old Stock for very reasonable prices. I might suggest that if you don't find one at a good price today, you save it as a search and within a few days one will come up.
    Just My $.02,
    Gene
     
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  8. magic smoke

    magic smoke Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for the great recommendations guys. I am ready to spend some $$$ to get the quality and TDPRI pulled through again to help me avoid paying chump prices. One more question... I have noticed that some of these are "conduit" punches and create a hole larger than marked. How the heck can one tell the difference without having it in hand?
     
  9. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

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    +1 = Greenlee punches.
     
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  10. tubeswell

    tubeswell Friend of Leo's

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    +1 Greenlee chassis punches (I have an assortment, including 1/2" for switch sockets, 5/8" for fuse holder sockets, 11/16" for fender bayonet lamp sockets, 3/4" and 7/8" for assorted novel sockets, 1", 1 & 1/16", 1 & 1/8" for assorted octal sockets)
     
  11. sds1

    sds1 Tele-Afflicted

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    I really wanted some Greenlee chassis punches but we had to pay the mortgage instead.

    This sounds like my setup! Lemme guess, the first bit is Irwin and the second one was like 10 bucks, brass-colored Chinese crap not nearly as effective as the Irwin. :)
     
  12. magic smoke

    magic smoke Tele-Meister

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    While we’re at it, how in the heck do you guys make the IEC socket holes? I used a nibbler and file on my last one and it looks Terrible!
     
  13. magic smoke

    magic smoke Tele-Meister

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    *Update* I was feeling a bit saucy last night and ordered a used set on eBay. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction Bill, and thanks to everyone else for the advice!
     
  14. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Tele-Afflicted

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    They actually make a punch for the IEC sockets, but you don't EVEN wanna see the prices!:eek: I start with drilled holes and square it out with a jig saw and file, sometimes prettier than other times.:rolleyes:
    No Free Lunch Here!
    Gene
     
  15. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Afflicted

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    Pretty darn close indeed
     
  16. jimgchord

    jimgchord Tele-Afflicted

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    Drill holes in the corners and use a Dremel with a cutoff wheel. Just make a rectangular hole, same as you'd do with a power transformer.
     
  17. Bill Moore

    Bill Moore Tele-Afflicted

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    If I need a square hole, I drill, and then use a nibbler. I have an air powered one at work, but the hand operated one's work well on chassis. What I do is scribe a mark first, and then nibble up to that line.
    I lost my machinest a few years ago, but have a friend with a home mill and lathe setup. I needed to enlarge the PT opening in my Bassman project, so I scribed what I wanted, and Jim milled it out for me.
     
  18. Snook

    Snook Tele-Meister

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    A 1-inch chassis punch makes a 1-inch hole.... a 1-inch conduit punch makes a 1-1/8 inch hole.
     
  19. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Greenlee style punches. I just a cheap set from Harbor Freight, as I only need to make a hole rarely. $40. WAY better than drilling!
    As mentioned pay attention to the actual hole size you are buying.
     
  20. sds1

    sds1 Tele-Afflicted

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    Could you look to the exact set you purchased? I looked on the website and at $40 I'm not sure what you picked up. And it's decent quality stuff, you're recommending?
     
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