I have never used a nibbler, or even seen one used, but I think it
might be just the tool for this job. I am using some aluminum
j-channel, satin anodized, to finish the top edge of some wall
panelling. The customer wants the j-channel bent, not mitered, at
outside corners, since the mitered corners are too sharp. The long
(wall) leg of the channel is about 1 1/4 inch high, the top is about
1/2 inch, and the front vertical part is about 1/2 inch. I need to
remove a section of the wall leg, about 3 inches long, so I can use a
hand notcher I bought to cut out a "vee" in the top leg and then make
the bend. The aluminum is about 1/16 inch thick, and the hand notcher
can just make the cut I need, but I am having trouble removing that 3
inch back section. I've tried making a couple of cuts with Wiss-type
hand shears and bending up the back leg til it breaks off, but it
distorts the channel and stills needs filing to remove 100% of the leg.
Would an air or electric nibbler be able to cut right up to the under
side of the top leg? I suspect that there would be some interference
with the front leg, since the channel is only about 3/8 inch deep,
front to back. I've also seen a hand powered nibbler in pictures, but
would prefer a power tool. Any suggestions? Gary
My nibbler will only come within 3/4" of an edge like you describe. The die
plate gets in the way.
If I understand you correctly, a radial arm saw would make quick work of
this. AL cuts easily with a carbide tip blade.
Nibblers make a big mess- and they wont cut right up against the edge,
What you need to do is saw it- I used to do a lot of work with this
stuff, and i used to use an XACTO miter box with minature backsaw. The
miter box is just a little piece of aluminum channel with cuts in it,
and the saw has very fine teeth- perfect for aluminum.
the miter box, 3 different size saw blades, and big red handles
to hold em, about 15 bucks for the lot.
Easy to saw right up to a sharp pencil line, then you might want to
file it a bit with a smooth file to get rid of any burr.
Sometimes I also use a bandsaw for this- its quicker, but requires a
more steady hand.
Is this trim for 1/8 or 1/4"? If for 1/4, I think you can make
all the cuts with Midwest or Malco brand aviation snips. They
have a longer, thinner nose. Lay out the intended corner, mark
45's both front and back. On the back, cut a bit more than the
45's so they will not interfere. Make a good clean cut on the
front face. You should be able to bend the piece and bet a nice
clean 90 with the outside edge intact.
Experiment a bit with felt tip markers to touch up any exposed
aluminum color. A black Sharpie is probably right.
(top posted for your convenience)
Keep the whole world singing . . . .
DanG (remove the sevens)