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 Post subject: How do you cut off stamped grills?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2003 6:43 pm 
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I want to cut off some really restrictive stamped grills but don't want to take everything else out and use some power tool. Is there any scissor like tool that can cut off the grills without creating metal filings?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2003 7:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2002 2:44 pm
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Location: Escondido, CA
best bet is the nibbling tool... i did it on mine without too much fuss...

http://www.radioshack.com/searchsku.asp?find=64-823


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2003 7:18 pm 
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I use tinsnips that I bought for ~ £2 at he local hardware store. They're prob the closest you'll find to metal scissors, although require a bit of force on thick metal cases like mine.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2003 5:05 am 
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Tin snips all the way for me. Takes a small amount of finess, works great. Nibbler is ok alternative though.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2003 6:11 am 
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Location: Boston, MA
Cover everything you want to protect with several layers of syran wrap. Shave. Carefully throw out syran wrap. Hold motherboard upside-down, and blow with compressed air.

Has worked several times for me, though I wouldn't do it to someone else's computer.

Any hardware store will sell horizontal pliers / snips / shears sufficient to cut sheetmetal. Just ask. I'd still cover thing in syran wrap, though.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2003 9:46 am 
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Seishino, I wonder how many will go to their bathroom, shave, go back to the computer, and wonder why the grill is still there! (g)
Okay, okay, maybe not too many...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2003 8:02 pm 
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Location: United States, Mobile, AL
you can also try wire snips, im not sure what they are called? tin snips tend to turn sideways when you cut something but wiresnips tend to work pretty good once you have a hole big enough to actually get them in there.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2003 6:49 am 
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Location: Boston, MA
Just got my hands on a Radio Shack Nibbler. I'm cutting a grill right now with a nibbler and with a pair of diagonal pliers, and the difference is pronounced. The nibbler makes clean, slow, professional-looking cuts, with little metal shards left over. The diagonal pliers make quick, easy cuts with no shards but tends to bend the metal around the incision.

I prefer the diagonal pliers, honestly, for speed and ease-of-use. They also reach into smaller areas. If I can get my hands on a set of tin-shears, I'll try those too and report back.

Edit: The Nibbler is currently far outperforming the diagonal pliers at cutting a new fan hole in straight sheetmetal, and is slightly ahead of the Dremel in terms of speed, far ahead in terms of convienience, and behind in appearance. The Diagonal Pliers can't begin to cut the sheet steel straight like this. I'd still use them for cutting fan grills off, but if you need to cut fan holes...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2003 12:34 am 
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This is really useful info. I'm interested to hear how the tin snips compare when/if you try them.

The metal in my case seems pretty thick -- approx. 1mm thick. Will I still be able to use one of these tools to cut off the fan grill?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2003 2:59 am 
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Location: United States, Mobile, AL
I have a case that is very thick steel and i was able to cut the fan grill out with wire snips (like plyers but with blades). I dont know about tin snips though, I didnt try cause I have used them in the past and they tend to turn sideways like kiddy scissors.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2003 6:29 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2003 12:42 am
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Good to hear.

Say, did the wire snips make a fairly clean cut without too much in the way of metal shards? I don't give a hoot what it looks like but the risk of a motherboard short kinda scares me...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2003 6:36 am 
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Location: United States, Mobile, AL
Yea they didnt leave any fileings, but i had one of square holed grills, just clipped each little strand one at a time until it came off, if its a little rough then you could sand it down, but if you cut carefully the first time and your not worried about the edge being sharp (because it will) then you can just cut it and leave it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2003 7:01 am 
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Thanks. My fan grilles are square holes too. This procedure suddenly doesn't sounds so bad now that I don't have to pull out the jigsaw...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2003 7:17 am 
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LOL Yea a jigsaw will probably leave filings. If I were going to use soming like that then I would remove EVERYTHING from the case and take it outside and blow it off real good and then wipe it down real good after that. But Im pretty sure you can get away with just some snips, try different kinds, as long as you can get the blades around the grill to cut it I dont see any reason it shouldnt be really easy.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2003 7:40 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 23, 2002 10:41 pm
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Location: Boston, MA
Quote:
I dont see any reason it shouldnt be really easy.


Agreed. In a pinch I've removed metal grills with a pair of needle-nosed pliers. It's not difficult, it just requires a little gusto.

BTW, if tin snips are what I think they are, you can forget about a review from me. They're those things people used to cut pennies with on TV, right? They don't cut anything unless you can get the material all the way to the base of the jaw.

Oh, I just remembered another great tool... Shimano SIS cable housing cutter... for the expensive SIS cabling.
Pros: Tremendous torque, lots of power, simple, clean snipping, dead simple to use, small jaws to fit in tight spaces.
Cons: 45 dollars per tool. Ultra-rare.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2003 3:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2003 3:47 pm
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Tin snips to me are the things we used to use to cut the sheets of corrugated aluminum for barn roofs. That are like a very heavy scissor, with springs to assist. Kinda like scissors on steroids.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 13, 2003 11:28 pm 
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Location: Powell River, BC, Canada
Image

Wiss M1R Metalmaster Left Cut Compound Action Snips for right handers and curves from right to left.

Wiss M2R Metalmaster Left Cut Compound Action Snips for left handers and curves from left to right.

These are tin snips. These are proper, good, industry standard tin snips. They cut right out to the very very tip. They don't bind or bend the metal. At $35.28 for the set they are the best general sheet metal cutting tool I can think of. I have personally made everything from custom computer cases to stainless steel (very hard metal) trim pieces for display, using these snips. As for the cheapo Chinese no-name red-green-yellow sets they sell for 20 bucks in MallWort, forget it. They are just there to make you hire a professional who uses Wiss. And yes they cut out fan grilles with ease and grace.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2003 4:32 am 
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Those are mean looking snips!

So for a right-hander you recommend the one in the link rather than the straight cutting version for doing computer mods?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2003 5:36 am 
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Location: United States, Mobile, AL
yea i have a pair just like those, those would work great, so long as you have a hole big enough to start the cut.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 14, 2003 11:47 am 
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Location: Powell River, BC, Canada
Quote:
...rather than the straight cutting version...


Yup, the straight cut (yellow) version is limited by the handles being inside the cut. With the red/green snips the handles are above the metal peice. I have never even used the yellows since the sheet metal shop I worked in never had even a single pair. They just weren't used.

You need a full red / green pair for extensive modding work. Regardless of what handedness you are, you use the snip that cuts from the side you need to work from. To make the neatest cuts, the scrap (metal being cut away) has to bend up, while the upper blade stays flat to the part you are keeping. You need to pick the correct sided snip for each cut. Especially in cases, you are often restricted as to which side you can start cutting from because you start at a corner, or something is in the way of the handles.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2003 5:19 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2003 11:13 pm
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Location: Los Angeles
Thanks for the tips! I just bought and used both the snip and nibbler mentioned above and they both work well. The nibbler does a professional looking job as I have never done any metal cutting before. It only takes out a little piece at a time and does not bend the metal upwards in anyway.

The snip did not do as clean a job but I had to use them to get through a piece which had some very thick reinforced metal behind it. In this picture you can see where I used the nibbler on the power supply fan grill and the case fan (sorry for the large pic but you can make detail out better). The snips were used right around the middle area (bottom of the JMC label) all the way to the right. If you look closely you can see the metal is crooked and bent upward and inward a bit. The same on the left hand side directly across. But as I mentioned it was a very strange thick piece there and I have not done this sort of thing before. Unfortunatley I did not think to take a before pic. You would have been amazed at the large piece of metal obstructing the fan, it wasn't even a cutout grid, it was a solid piece.

It quited the computer by I would say roughly 10-15% which in pretty nice. I also noticed the air is much cooler now.

On a funnier note, I never thought the nibbler would get used again. My girlfriend installed some folding doors today and she used it (and loved it) at the bottom to cut out a few areas to even up the doors with the baseboard area:)


Last edited by crg on Sat Apr 19, 2003 9:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2003 6:24 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2002 6:33 am
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crg - Is that a Dell?

How loud is that JMC 92mm fan? I assume that's the case fan/CPU cooler fan? Is that green plastic thing behind it the fan shroud that leads to the CPU?

Notice the little blue probe peaking out from underneath the JMC fan? I suppose that's a thermal probe? Is this normal for Dell?

Look at the design of the fan blades. Sure is different than a normal case fan.

Does anybody know anything about this fan? I looked on JMCs' and Datechs' site and found nothing quite like it. Probably special OEM for Dell?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2003 7:10 am 
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Location: United States, Mobile, AL
yea thats the shroud, and the fan serves as the cpu heatsink fan. Ive got a system just like that one sitting right beside me.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2003 7:33 am 
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So is that little blue thingy a thermal probe? Is the Dell case/CPU fan thermally controlled? Nobody's ever mentioned that fact in any thread I've ever read.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2003 8:26 am 
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Location: United States, Mobile, AL
the fan does change speed but for browsing the internet it stays at the lowest setting, which is always on this machine as its my moms and she wont allow me to play games on it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 18, 2003 5:35 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2003 11:13 pm
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Location: Los Angeles
Hi Ralf, sorry I'm slow, a few people beat me to the answer but yes it's a Dell. The green thing is a fan shroud and a few people just told me it is thermally controlled. There is no fan on top of the cpu heatsink. Here are a few more pics of it:



Also if you like check out these threads from me for more information on that fan. I am learning more about too. The problem is the more I learn the more I regret buying a Dell:)


http://forums.silentpcreview.com//viewtopic.php?t=3324


http://forums.silentpcreview.com//viewtopic.php?t=3337


Last edited by crg on Sat Apr 19, 2003 9:19 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2003 5:08 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2003 5:38 am
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Location: T√łnsberg, Norway
I use snips similar to the one at the picture to get most of the fan grill away, and then use the nibler to make nice edges. The nibler I have is often to thick to get inside the grill before parts of it is cut away.


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