We are using an off-the-shelf power strip to distribute power to several devices in a large aluminum, painted Hammond brand enclosure. We'd like to be able to switch the power on and off with an externally accessible switch, so we had the idea to cut the plug off the power strip, strip the cables, crimp on quick connects, and attach it to a power entry connector (specifically a Schurter DC12.5102.003, Digikey part 486-2251-ND) attached to the back panel of the enclosure. We'd like to know if this is a safe way of doing this, and if so, do we need to attach the ground to the enclosure (after clearing a connection point of paint)? Any suggestions for alternate ways of doing this would be very welcome as well. Thanks!
We'd like to know if this is a safe way of doing this
Yes if you can use a crimper correctly there should be no trouble.
And if so, do we need to attach the ground to the enclosure
You should. The legality depends on your country's legislation, whether the whole thing is Class-I or Class-II but if you use a power strip with ground on it, then I will assume it is Class-I. In this case, protection earth (not "ground" in this case) must be connected to the metal enclosure, and it should not be flimsy. Usually this is done by means of a crimp terminal with a hole, a metal screw, and serrated washers.