Cutting Electrical Enclosures with pre-painted surfaces

I “hand” cut a lot of enclosure doors for installing small displays, pilot lights and/or push-buttons. The enclosures from Hoffman are painted steel. I’m wondering if the CrossFire devices would damage the painted surface.

@clough42 did a great video on this exact topic. He bucked all of the experts and tried it. You can see how he made out here Can you CNC Plasma Cut a NEMA Electrical Enclosure? Should you? - YouTube He’s one of my favorite youtube channels!


There’s definitely going to be some heat affected zone.

Your slats would likely scrape up the paint on the back side.

Depending on how big of a lip is on the switch or indicator it might cover the heat affected zone.

You would have to grind off an area to place your work clamp.



Maybe run a self tapper in the most inconspicuous spot and clamp to that?


I’ve done it before and it works great. I disassembled the door off the enclosure and cut it. Cleaned a small spot on the inside for a pair of visegrips and connected the work lead to it. You have to really think it through when some of these enclosures are $400 or more…