cutting steel plate with circular saw?

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Hi,
I haven't worked with metal much - but have done a little grinding and cutting in my time. I have some sheet metal that a neighbor left me. I believe it is 1/8", but some of it may be 1/4". I want to cut long
pieces, say about 6 or 7 feet.
I've read on here about metal cutting blades with circular saws and table saws, but it was unclear to me if anyone was making such long cuts. Will I be able to cut through that much steel with a circular saw and a metal cutting blade? Or should I be looking for a bigger, more powerful tool?
I will probably need to make about 8 of these cuts, so total would be approximately 50+ feet of cutting.
Thanks for any info,
Ben
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I cut up a big old refrigerator with a circular saw and a abrasive blade. I started using a metal cutting blade, which quickly dulled.
The process was highly unpleasant. (much of unpleasantness was related to how the refrigerator was built, not to cutting metal as such).
i

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Ignoramus3975 wrote:

I ruined a great B&D Quantum saw with one of those blades. Fried the commutator . Not sure if it was from overheating or from metallic dust contamination . Or maybe a combination of both . I suggest the original poster look in the phone book for a shop with a brake shear to cut his stuff .
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A lot of these supposedly fried drills can be fixed by blowing dust out with a compressor. I fixed two such drills this way (a drill and a grinder).
i
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Ignoramus24699 wrote:

I wish it was that simple . There are commutator segments missing , not repairable short of a new armature . Which costs more than it's worth .
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wrote:

I "did in" my good rockwell saw cutting aluminum. The armature was worth more than many replacement saws, but I decided it was worth fixing and have not been sorry. That saw will likely outlast me (as long as I don't cut metal with it again).
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There are special saws made for that purpose - available from places like Princess Auto and Northern Tool.
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For 50 feet, just buy an abrasive blade (not a "cold saw" or anything with teeth) and go make sparks with the saw you have (or a real cheap one picked up at a yard sale, if you have a "good" wood cutting skilsaw and want to be nice to it). One blade will probably do it unless you force it.
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I would not buy a metal blade. I would buy a quantity of abrasive blades, use them, and return the ones that were not used. I doubt that one would be enough to cut 50 feet of material.
i
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Don't do that with carbide-------you'll pull the brazed inserts off, or destroy them if they refuse to yield.
Harold
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Hi, Ben. You can do this nowadays. You can either get your hands on a saw designed to do it, or you can use a worm drive saw. It's my understanding that a regular Skilsaw isn't up to the job. I have a Skil Model 77 worm drive saw with a blade made by Matsushita, and I used it to make several cuts in 1/4" steel plate. The best way to make your cuts is with a large shear but if you can't get some time on one of those then the new saw blade technology is the next best way to go.
You have to wear ear protection, full face mask, and wear sturdy clothing that covers you everywhere you don't want burned. You can cut freehand but I clamp a straightedge and use that to guide my cut. My cuts came out really straight and clean as a whistle.
My saw blade came with insert literature that says you should never allow a tooth to come fully out of the back side of the cut. Ernie says he never heard of such a thing and uses his to cut tubing. I was cutting flat plate and did what the blade literature said to do and had no problems.
You should easily get 50' from one blade. Don't even think about an abrasive blade. Google this group for "ernie tenryu" and you should get some relevant hits.
Grant
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You will be much happier with a metal cutting blade and a worm drive saw than the abrasive blades. I have cut 1/4 inch steel both ways.
I bought an old worm drive saw at a garage sale, and then bought a good metal cutting blade meant for steel up to 1/4 inch thick. Works amazingly well.
The length of the cut should be a non-issue. Don't force the saw, no matter what blade you have.
Richard
Grant Erwin wrote:

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I bought a rotary saw at harbor Freight (about $60) that is made for cutting metal. It works, but I haven't used it enough to judge blade life. The main drawback I found was that you can't see the blade edge well enough to follow a line--it would be good to clamp on a straightedge.
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    --Do yourself a huge favor and find a friend with a plasma torch. It'll save you tons of time and there will be less chance of the stress-induced bending you'd get from using a saw.
--
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steamer wrote:

Ed, with all due respect I'm guessing you have never used one of these saws. There is no comparison to the edge you get between a sawn edge and a plasma cut one. Any metal can bend of course, and if it's light gage sheet it would certainly bend under the weight of a worm-drive saw, but it's easy to support a workpiece on 2x4s separated just far enough to admit the saw blade.
Grant
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Grant Erwin wrote:

The saw blade can do a good job, but it's an expensive blade and will be a pretty slow cut. A good plasma cutter, which you are also more likely to find someone with, will tear through the 50' of cut in 1/8" and 1/4" material as fast as you can move the torch and leave an edge just about as clean as the saw, while using about $0.25 worth of the torch consumables.
Pete C.
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Pete, as I am going to pick up a plasma cutter tonight (for my own use, not resale), would you have any suggestions for making guides for cutting to make neat straight or properly curved cuts. I suppose that one can start with a simple aluminum straightedge, but have you tried any circle cutting attachments, etc?
i
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Ignoramus3975 wrote:

You can make templates out of most anything, 1/8" masonite / hardboard is probably the cheapest and easiest. For thin metal like 1/4" and down you're moving so fast that you won't even burn the template.
Someone a while back posted a pic of their home built circle guide for a plasma cutter either here or in s.e.j.w. It doesn't need to be fancy, nothing more than a piece of rod welded to a collar that will fit the plasma torch nozzle, and a small mounting magnet with a pivot point attached and a clamp for the rod.
Since there is no cutting force with a plasma cutter, you can guide it with nearly anything. In a pinch even a piece of 12ga copper wire stripped from scrap romex will give you a functional circle guide.
Pete C.
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wrote:

Here's one I made. Quick 'n dirty, but it works. http://users.goldengate.net/~dforeman/circle_cutter /
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