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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 4:44 pm 
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Hello peeps :-)

Short version:
What would be the best way to accurately cut a small square (41mm x 41mm) from the inside panel of a metal-paneled door?

Considerably longer version:
I have project in the pipeline where I will need to cut a small square out of the inside of a metal-paneled fire door. This will enable me to insert a network camera in place of the peep hole.

I know there are kits on the market specifically for this type of thing but they are either cheap and tacky or prohibitively expensive for something bespoke. Finding one which has all the attributes I require, i.e. quality components, network connectivity, hard drive recording capability etc., at a reasonable price is next to impossible, so I would rather just custom-build my project, save money and have the satisfaction of knowing I did it myself :D

How the camera will be fixed in place and many other issues are yet to be considered and I may not even go ahead with the project until I am certain I can professionally complete all aspects of it, however, I need to start somewhere, and how I can accurately cut a square out of the inside panel seems as good a starting point as any.

The door has thinnish internal and external metal panels (2mm or 3mm maybe), which are pressed into a regency-styled appearance. The cavity between the two panels is filled with foam, presumably not a fire retardant but to act as an insulation and support between the panels.

About 10 years ago I had a similar idea (which never took off) and tested the softness of the metal by drilling 2 small holes with a 1mm drill bit. You can still see the 2 holes on the inside pictures. I remember very little effort was needed to drill through the panel so, it is fairly soft metal.

I was thinking maybe to mark out the square, drill a hole and use a hacksaw blade to roughly cut the square and use needle files to finish the job? Would this suffice or is there a better solution?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

P.S.
The camera will be connected via wireless repeater to my router which in turn connects to a small, fanless Windows 10 PC in the loft. This has hard drive cloud storage attached to it and would record either continuously or via motion detection. The networking part of my project has been tested and works fine. It now just needs to be fitted :D


Attachments:
1 Door.JPG
1 Door.JPG [ 123.73 KiB | Viewed 411 times ]
2 Camera.jpg
2 Camera.jpg [ 74.27 KiB | Viewed 411 times ]
3 Inside Peep Hole.jpg
3 Inside Peep Hole.jpg [ 46.13 KiB | Viewed 411 times ]
3b Inside Peep Hole.JPG
3b Inside Peep Hole.JPG [ 68.9 KiB | Viewed 411 times ]
3c Inside Peep Hole.JPG
3c Inside Peep Hole.JPG [ 59.41 KiB | Viewed 411 times ]
4 Outside Peep Hole.jpg
4 Outside Peep Hole.jpg [ 44.18 KiB | Viewed 411 times ]
4b Outside Peep Hole.JPG
4b Outside Peep Hole.JPG [ 87.32 KiB | Viewed 411 times ]
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:37 pm 
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mark up the door, punch and drill some holes in the corners and along the edges, cut out with a Dremel (or other rotary tool)

I suggest you use the reinforced cutting disks

file down to suit

There are plenty of other option on the market with out the need to cut the door - you also still need to get power to the camera



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 5:56 pm 
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Hi flash,

I know there are other options on the market. As I explained in my original post I am avoiding those and doing it myself :)

Power to the camera is simple. It is provided via the camera power supply and network connectivity is provided via a wireless network repeater. All this has been tested and works correctly.

I appreciate your advice on the method of cutting my door. A Dremel is something I don't have in my arsenal at the moment but I will definately look into purchasing one of those.

Many thanks for your reply :)


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 7:21 pm 
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Or a very small drill bit and drill lots of holes next to each other and then press, then file the edges?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:52 pm 
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my thoughts
fire door ??would it effect the integrity /??
how are you securing the camera/finishing around the cut opening
you need to plan the whole job from start to finish incase you need say a bigger opening to accomodate the say aluminium finishing trim :dunno:

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:10 pm 
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Id look for a camera that could be fitted in a round hole... few seconds with a holesaw.

Id avoid abrasives such as a dremel cutting disc as any metal dust (sparks) going onto the white finish may well cause some rust marks- unless you can cover the surrounding area with a protective film...

The size of the hole limits your choice somewhat... id think something like a monodex cutter might do it, but youd have to have a hole to start. Is it not an option to holesaw it and trim the corners out... I assume there wil be some kind of bezel to go around it after to hide the cut edge?

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:44 pm 
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Just guessing here, but I bet he is making the square hole on the inside and poking the lens through the hole, so some masking tape (several times) around the hole will be fine. Then once the camera is mounted a small bead of silicone? (Just don't mention the camera cable)

As for fire integrity I doubt it matters as:
1) It already has a hole in it
2) Fire doors are generally wood not metal.

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No such thing as "Thou shalt put this wire here, Thou shalt put that wire there" .............Take a picture BEFORE you do the job.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:11 am 
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Hi everybody,

Thanks for all the replies :-)

big-all wrote:
my thoughts
fire door ??would it effect the integrity /??
how are you securing the camera/finishing around the cut opening
you need to plan the whole job from start to finish incase you need say a bigger opening to accomodate the say aluminium finishing trim :dunno:

The door already has a hole in it. This project would just make it slightly larger and square. The casing on the camera is metal and once in place would fill the square. How the camera will be fixed into position is something I am currently considering - see further down...

Hitch wrote:
Id look for a camera that could be fitted in a round hole... few seconds with a holesaw.

Id avoid abrasives such as a dremel cutting disc as any metal dust (sparks) going onto the white finish may well cause some rust marks- unless you can cover the surrounding area with a protective film...

The size of the hole limits your choice somewhat... id think something like a monodex cutter might do it, but youd have to have a hole to start. Is it not an option to holesaw it and trim the corners out... I assume there wil be some kind of bezel to go around it after to hide the cut edge?

Buying another camera is out of the question. This one was purchased because it has all the attributes I need. There are others on the market which would fit in a round hole but they might not have network connectivity, or they might not have the resolution, sensor quality etc. I'm happy with this one... other than it being square :-)

As I mentioned in my original post, how the camera will be fixed into position is something I have yet to consider. Masking or insulation tape wrapped round to the desired thickness (which has been suggested) might be practical but I'm sure there must be a more elegant solution.

The mondex cutter sounds interesting. I wouldn't need to cut a hole as there's already one there which the existing peep hole fits through.

There will be some kind of bezel for the outside to make it look similar to the 6th picture down in my original post. I wouldn't want to make it look odd by just having the camera lens poke through the door. This part of the project should be fairly straight forward. One possibility is to drill out the plastic lens of the peep hole to the diameter of the camera lens. Again, this is something else I am pondering over.

someone-else wrote:
Just guessing here, but I bet he is making the square hole on the inside and poking the lens through the hole, so some masking tape (several times) around the hole will be fine. Then once the camera is mounted a small bead of silicone? (Just don't mention the camera cable)

As for fire integrity I doubt it matters as:
1) It already has a hole in it
2) Fire doors are generally wood not metal.

Yes, basically square hole through which the camera can fit and the lens facing through the front of the door. I hear what you are saying about masking tape but I would be looking for something a little more refined. Something which would hold the camera in place and also cover the edges of the cutout. Maybe something similar to the picture below but ideally quite thin - 5mm or so.

Adhesive cable clips are an option I am considering (below). A short hanging loop at the hinged part of the door would prevent fatigue to the cable when the door opens and shuts. Having the cable run through the cavity in the door would be desirable but probably difficult to achieve.

The hardest part of my project will be getting the square hole cut into the back of the door with a professional finish - the rest will be relatively simple. Thanks again everybody for the replies :-)


Attachments:
Rubber Seal.jpg
Rubber Seal.jpg [ 19.71 KiB | Viewed 345 times ]
Cable Clip.jpg
Cable Clip.jpg [ 51.33 KiB | Viewed 345 times ]
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:21 pm 
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I meant the masking tape should be put on while you are making the holes, then remove it.

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Take it easy, a forum is only a collection of opinions. Above, are mine.

Which is correct? Metre or Meter? Click the link. to find out more.

No such thing as "Thou shalt put this wire here, Thou shalt put that wire there" .............Take a picture BEFORE you do the job.

If gloom had a voice, it would be me. :mrgreen:

:idea1: How to post a picture on this forum Click here


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:33 pm 
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Or mark out, drill some 10mm holes inside the marked square, and use a jigsaw with metal cutting blade starting from the holes. Shorten the blade if necessary to stop it hitting the other side.
As far as fixings go, I find this stuff useful.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3M-KLETT-POWE ... 2504635510
They do discs as well. I've used it to fix all sorts. The adhesive is good, and the "clips" are too.
Lidl have it on offer from time to time.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:53 am 
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someone-else wrote:
I meant the masking tape should be put on while you are making the holes, then remove it.

Ah, I understand, my mistake. Yes, good idea. That'll teach me not to have half a shandy while reading people's replies :-)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:59 am 
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Dave54 wrote:
Or mark out, drill some 10mm holes inside the marked square, and use a jigsaw with metal cutting blade starting from the holes. Shorten the blade if necessary to stop it hitting the other side.
As far as fixings go, I find this stuff useful.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3M-KLETT-POWE ... 2504635510
They do discs as well. I've used it to fix all sorts. The adhesive is good, and the "clips" are too.
Lidl have it on offer from time to time.

Thanks for the tips. I'll be using a small 7" Android tablet to monitor the view on the back of the door. Those fixtures will be ideal to mount it so I can remove it if I have to. I'm assuming they are velcro?


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