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looking to do a mailbox mod

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

O have a question. I looking to do a mailbox mod. What is the best way to cut a perfect circle in the mailbox? 

post #2 of 15

Try drilling a pilot hole where you want the center of the hole to be. Use a ruler and measure out lines from the pilot hole in all directions that are exactly the same length as the radius of your exhaust pipe (that way your not trying to trace out your exhaust pipe on a round surface, which wont work too well). Then connect all the lines to form a circle; cut out the circle with a dremel cutter or aviation snips.

post #3 of 15

I agree with SmokeTrailsteve. I used aviation snips and it took just a couple of minutes.

post #4 of 15
I used a dremel for mine.
post #5 of 15

Then snip, about 3/4", the smooth end of the elbow to make even numbered tabs...  bend 1/2 of the tabs outward .....  leave the other 1/2 straight....   insert the pipe end into the hole you cut out...  insert up to the bent tabs...    reach into the MB and bend the straight tabs outward to make a good mechanical connection..  no air leaks...   no sealant needed...    Then I recommend 3/4" to 1" holes drilled in the MB door as shown....

 

 

....

 

post #6 of 15

Using a soft pencil I traced the outside of the duct I was going to insert. To make the cut I used a saber saw fitted with a very fine tooth blade. I put the sheet metal over a piece of wood that had a small hole in it and then rotated the work while holding the saber saw steady. I proceeded very slowly (it took 3-4 minutes to cut my 3" circle). In essence, I created an upside-down jigsaw. The result was very satisfactory.

 

One other "trick" was that when it came time to create the "in and out" tabs that hold the duct in place, I took a 3" expandable collar that you use to connect two pieces of duct, and fitted it temporarily over the end of the duct, at a distance from the end that was equal to the length of the tabs I wanted to create. I then cut the tabs with my tin snips. The purpose of the collar is to make it almost impossible to make any cut longer than another, since the collar is much thicker material than the duct. The tin snips cannot easily cut through the collar.  I got near-perfect tabs as a result.


Edited by johnmeyer - 6/15/17 at 5:56pm
post #7 of 15

Here's how I've marked a lot of circles:

 

Take a piece of string, a pencil, and a nail.

 

Drill a hole in the center of where you want the hole.

 

Tie one end of the string to the Nail & the other end of the string to the pencil, near the point.

 

Now measure the distance of the radius from the nail hole & mark it.

 

Drop the nail in the hole, and roll the string up on the pencil until the point is on that radius mark you made.

 

Keeping the string tight, draw your circle, checking to make sure you end up on the radius mark you started with.

 

Naturally you have to keep the same side of the pencil pointed toward the nail at all times.

 

 

Bear

post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearcarver View Post
 

Here's how I've marked a lot of circles:

 

Take a piece of string, a pencil, and a nail.

 

Drill a hole in the center of where you want the hole.

 

Tie one end of the string to the Nail & the other end of the string to the pencil, near the point.

 

Now measure the distance of the radius from the nail hole & mark it.

 

Drop the nail in the hole, and roll the string up on the pencil until the point is on that radius mark you made.

 

Keeping the string tight, draw your circle, checking to make sure you end up on the radius mark you started with.

 

Naturally you have to keep the same side of the pencil pointed toward the nail at all times.

 

 

Bear

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearcarver View Post
 

Here's how I've marked a lot of circles:

 

Take a piece of string, a pencil, and a nail.

 

Drill a hole in the center of where you want the hole.

 

Tie one end of the string to the Nail & the other end of the string to the pencil, near the point.

 

Now measure the distance of the radius from the nail hole & mark it.

 

Drop the nail in the hole, and roll the string up on the pencil until the point is on that radius mark you made.

 

Keeping the string tight, draw your circle, checking to make sure you end up on the radius mark you started with.

 

Naturally you have to keep the same side of the pencil pointed toward the nail at all times.

 

 

Bear

... and you have to make sure that the string doesn't wrap around the nail as you go around or you end up with a spiral instead of a circle!

post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
 

 

... and you have to make sure that the string doesn't wrap around the nail as you go around or you end up with a spiral instead of a circle!


Didn't think I'd have to mention that.

 

You have to keep both feet on the ground (or Floor) too, or you might fall down.:biggrin:

 

 

Bear

post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearcarver View Post
 


Didn't think I'd have to mention that.

 

You have to keep both feet on the ground (or Floor) too, or you might fall down.:biggrin:

 

 

Bear


I have been told that I have a keen grasp of the obvious. :icon_confused:

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
 


I have been told that I have a keen grasp of the obvious. :icon_confused:


LOL---That's a good thing to have!! Thumbs Up

 

Bear

post #12 of 15

The one I used most often when I had my Cabinet Shop was the Stick & two nails.

 

I used it one time when I bought a Woodstove & had it installed at our earlier house.

Two guys showed up without their Boss, and didn't know how to mark a circle to cut a hole through my Aluminum sided wall.

They needed, I think, a 10" diameter hole for the Thimble, to go through the wall (Plywood & siding).

So I took a paint stirring stick, put a nail through it at 1", and a nail in it at 6".

Then drilled a small hole at the center of where they wanted the hole.

Then I put the nail at the 1" spot in the center hole, and spun the stick around a few times, making a circular scratch with the nail at the 6" spot.

 

It was funny later, as they were leaving they asked if they could have that circle drawing thing.

 

LOL---Sure, you need it more than I do.

 

 

Bear

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the tips...I have to find my dremel at the old house and buy some cut off wheels for it. I saw a cheap metal mailbox at walmart I could get for about 10 bucks.

post #14 of 15

Cutoff wheels for the Dremel are absolutely amazing: I have cut off hardened steel that were part of a locking mechanism on a coin box at an arcade where I was helping the owner. I use them a lot.

 

However ...

 

I'm not sure it you are going to get a very smooth circle with that tool. I think someone else suggested it, so go ahead and try it, but I'd suggest seeing if you can find a piece of scrap that you can practice on. I already told you the tool I used to cut my 3" circle.

 

BTW, the cutoff wheels are brittle and will break if you apply even the slightest crosswise pressure (another reason I'm not sure how well it will work cutting a circle). Therefore, be prepared to go through quite a few, even in a simple job. Also, eye protection is mandatory, and face protection (a face shield) is a darned good idea. I'm pretty cavalier about safety warnings of all types, but when the disc suddenly snaps, the pieces fly off at a high rate of speed. They won't embed themselves in your flesh or anything like that, but you can get some pretty good scratches.

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
 

Cutoff wheels for the Dremel are absolutely amazing: I have cut off hardened steel that were part of a locking mechanism on a coin box at an arcade where I was helping the owner. I use them a lot.

 

However ...

 

I'm not sure it you are going to get a very smooth circle with that tool. I think someone else suggested it, so go ahead and try it, but I'd suggest seeing if you can find a piece of scrap that you can practice on. I already told you the tool I used to cut my 3" circle.

 

BTW, the cutoff wheels are brittle and will break if you apply even the slightest crosswise pressure (another reason I'm not sure how well it will work cutting a circle). Therefore, be prepared to go through quite a few, even in a simple job. Also, eye protection is mandatory, and face protection (a face shield) is a darned good idea. I'm pretty cavalier about safety warnings of all types, but when the disc suddenly snaps, the pieces fly off at a high rate of speed. They won't embed themselves in your flesh or anything like that, but you can get some pretty good scratches.


I agree about the Dremel cutoff wheels.

I would use my Bosch Saber Saw, but I guess not everybody has one.

That safety Shield & Goggles is a good idea!!!

 

Bear

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