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Old 04-25-2010, 10:59 AM   #1
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1977 31' Sovereign
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Cutting Interior Panels

I'm looking for reccomentdations for cutting aluminum interior wall panels. I am rebuilding my 77' 31 Sovereign. I have several square and round hole I need to cut and would like some advise? Some of the wiring holes I will need are as small as 1" diameter.

I have thought of using a cutting wheel on a dremmel but thus wheels are so thin they usually shatter if you just look at them wrong!
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Old 04-25-2010, 11:23 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDSilverado View Post
I'm looking for reccomentdations for cutting aluminum interior wall panels. I am rebuilding my 77' 31 Sovereign. I have several square and round hole I need to cut and would like some advise? Some of the wiring holes I will need are as small as 1" diameter.

I have thought of using a cutting wheel on a dremmel but thus wheels are so thin they usually shatter if you just look at them wrong!
Try a hole saw with a pilot bit.They come in all sizes.For the square, drill the circle then square off the edges with small tin snips or the dremel once the bulk is removed.
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Old 04-25-2010, 11:28 AM   #3
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Jig Saw with a metal blade?
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Old 04-25-2010, 11:35 AM   #4
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The Dremel rotary blades - look for the fiber reinforced black aluminum oxide discs, they are larger in diameter and 10x the strength of the redish-tan emory style discs...

As a general warning high-speed cut-off wheels are not recommended to be used on aluminum, they are made to burn away iron with the great rooster tail of sparks and aluminum can clump up on the cutting disc and throw it off balance enough to shatter the disc; that being said I'll admit I've merrily ground away at sheet and cast aluminum and not had any problems.
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Old 04-25-2010, 11:40 AM   #5
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Go to Avery Tools (Averytools.com), They specialize in tools for aircraft aluminum work. They have anything you will need to do the work the right way.
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Old 04-25-2010, 11:44 AM   #6
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Where are you getting your alum. wall panels?
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Old 04-25-2010, 12:59 PM   #7
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My other post I wanted to solve your frustration with the Dremel tool only, so I'm adding an additional solution...

Here is an example of a handy tool - Sheet metal nibbler - that I've used on everything from mixing bowl stainless steel to copper flashing.. Think I found it for $10 on sale...
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Old 04-25-2010, 02:09 PM   #8
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Thanks all...just back from HD I see now that they do make a thicker wheel for the Dremmel for cutting. My Dremmel is rechargable so I may have to upgrade to the 120v model to use those (any excuse to buy another tool). I also purchased an electricians stepped hole bit. It will cut from .25" to 1.125" diameter hole for pulling wires.

Eddie - I'm not installing any new wall panel (yet)...just some minor cutting for rewiring the trailer and putting in new puck lights etc.
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Old 04-25-2010, 04:56 PM   #9
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I've use a combination of hole saws, tin snips, dremel cut-off wheels, and for long cuts, the most effective tool is the electric shears:

- Harbor Freight Tools - Quality Tools at the Lowest Prices

Good luck!
-Marcus
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:09 PM   #10
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All the cool stuff from the 70s is gone! They used to make a tool that looked like a jigsaw, but it had two wheels, one rotating and the other fixed...like a canopener...cut circles, arcs, straight in tin and alumibum sheet just like butter!
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:59 AM   #11
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Thanks Wabbit. Just got myself a nibbler from Harbor Freight.

Question about interior panels....

Is aluminum just as ok to use for stove backsplash as stainless steel is?
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