View Full Version : Holes Holes and More Holes.......... version 1.1

06-09-2007, 11:27 PM
The objective is to create a 16 X 48 grid of leds or a ledtriks panel.....I decided to use plexiglas for it's insulation properties and because I happen to think it will last longer than pegboard. Plexiglas is available to me in a wide variety of sizes but 48 inches is the limit for affordability. I originally wanted to use plexiglass for the complete project, the panel and it's enclosure. the trouble I ran into was if I used a 1 inch center for the leds I would have a 47 inch panel that left only 1/2 inch per side to build the enclosure. I decided a 7/8 inch center layout would allow for a total length of 41 3/8 from first to last led . Which leaves plenty for construction of the

If I were to mark 7/8 inch centers and then a grid work of lines for a drilling guide it can be easy to make mistakes. And after drilling a couple hundred holes one or 2 holes a little less than exactly on layout are not so important. SO I wanted to make this as easy as possible. I decided to make a metal drilling guide. If I had a way to drill holes exactly 7/8 of an inch from each other all I would need to do is make the lines parrallel. What I did was to drill a metal bar with the holes on center. I then used the bar to drill the grid ,this insured the grid would be parallel .If you wanted to drill pegboard using 1/2 inch centers you could do this very nearly the same way I did....

I decided to use a dremel drill press... and of course I didnt use a dremel tool in it....
http://thefunnyfarm.net/ledtriks/tn_1.jpg http://thefunnyfarm.net/ledtriks/257.JPG

you will notice I have a guide set to center the stock. you will also notice the previous projects many pencil marks...
http://thefunnyfarm.net/ledtriks/tn_2.jpg http://thefunnyfarm.net/ledtriks/258.JPG

next you see my template stock 1/8 X 3/4 X 48 . you will also notice I have sprayed some paint on it... the paint makes it east to see your marks...
http://thefunnyfarm.net/ledtriks/tn_3.jpg http://thefunnyfarm.net/ledtriks/259.JPG

notice I marked several with 7/8 inch centers... too many in fact....

http://thefunnyfarm.net/ledtriks/tn_4.jpg http://thefunnyfarm.net/ledtriks/260.JPG

http://thefunnyfarm.net/ledtriks/tn_5.jpg http://thefunnyfarm.net/ledtriks/261.JPG

here we have 6 holes drilled... more than enough...
http://thefunnyfarm.net/ledtriks/tn_6.jpg http://thefunnyfarm.net/ledtriks/262.JPG

that is a small nail...With the drill still in the bar stock I drove a snug fitting nail into one of the holes..
http://thefunnyfarm.net/ledtriks/tn_7.jpg http://thefunnyfarm.net/ledtriks/263.JPG

and here is the nail with the head cut off....
http://thefunnyfarm.net/ledtriks/tn_8.jpg http://thefunnyfarm.net/ledtriks/265.JPG

having driven the nail in one of the holes means the nail is a multiple of 7/8 from the drill . if I drill a hole then move the bar one hole to the right and re center it on the nail I can now drill the next hole. What this does it takes the guess work out of the layout. as long as you are tight to the centering guide and have the nail in a hole you are on layout. Im sure it doesnt sound easy but it is. Keep things tight and they will come out wonderfully. It seriously speeds up the drilling process using the nail. And less that 5 minutes later we have a complete template drilled. what I did not show was I took a small dremel rotary file with a ball shape to round the face of the template... to make it easier to slide the drill in later.
http://thefunnyfarm.net/ledtriks/tn_10.jpg http://thefunnyfarm.net/ledtriks/268.JPG

next I prepare the main panel. I stacked 2 layers... 1/4 plexiglass and a
fluorescent light lens ( it was a mistake.... but it is a cheap plastic )
I painted the corners black this time. I used the template to find the corners. Once I had what I thought was the corners I checked them for square.. measure corner to corner... they should be the same number... adjust until they are... next free hand drill the 4 corners... I then placed the template on the left column of 16 ... dropping a nail in the two corners .... then drill drill drill...after which I moved to the right column of 16 and drilled again...
http://thefunnyfarm.net/ledtriks/tn_14.jpg http://thefunnyfarm.net/ledtriks/270.JPG

rotate the jig ( bar) 90 degrees and place a nail in each end... this will line you up to drill the row of 46 holes ( you have already drilled number 1 and 48 )
http://thefunnyfarm.net/ledtriks/tn_12.jpg http://thefunnyfarm.net/ledtriks/268.JPG

I timed the first 5 lines of 48... it took less than 2 minutes each.... so I drilled the complete panel in under an hour...
http://thefunnyfarm.net/ledtriks/tn_15.jpg http://thefunnyfarm.net/ledtriks/271.JPG

and the results are
http://thefunnyfarm.net/ledtriks/tn_16.jpg http://thefunnyfarm.net/ledtriks/272.JPG

yeah I know plexiglass is usually clear.... BUT not if you store it in a hot arizona garage for many years...
http://thefunnyfarm.net/ledtriks/tn_11.jpg http://thefunnyfarm.net/ledtriks/267.JPG

in conclusion if I build another panel I will use this method again. and I still think while pegboard does cut some of the effort. I dont happen to think it will last the long run for me. I had 1 bad led and it's replacement was a breeze.
on a side note... this is real close to the original version of this doc.... I was tired and made a mistake posting an early draft then had trouble with the pics... so on and so forth...

with luck this does in fact help someone ....

06-10-2007, 09:22 AM
Thats nice!

06-13-2007, 08:55 PM
Great How To. I may have to use that idea if I make another panel.