A few weeks ago I created a front panel for a kit I built in December 2012. The kit is a QRP Transmit/ Receive box designed by the 4-state QRP club.
Below are before and after photos of the front panel. The first photo is my attempt to drill out holes in an enclosure i purchased from Ten-Tec based on the template provided with the kit. I really lacked the proper milling tools to do the job and, needless to say, it shows.
The second photo is the front panel I designed, again based on the template provided in the kit. The software I used to design the panel layout was provided by Front Panel Express online. (the software I downloaded from Front Panel Express for my Mac work flawlessly) Using the software I positioned and specified sizes for each panel opening. In addition I specified labels for each opening.
I learned that I should have allowed a bit more room for panel openings as the position of components on the board was slightly different than my front panel specifications. I had to enlarge two of the openings using a Dremel bit to adjust for two jacks whose position was slightly off from my specifications.
In addition I learned that I should have positioned my labels a farther from the openings as the connector fasteners tended to overlap my labels somewhat.
All in all I think this was a very successful first attempt.
Second attempt, using Front Panel Express milled front panel.