Can I do this with a nibbler?

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
Reply to
Loading thread data ...
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.
Reply to
Karl Townsend
Nibblers make a big mess- and they wont cut right up against the edge, as noted. 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.
formatting link
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.
Reply to
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)
Reply to
Another possibility is an *aluminum* cut-off blade in an angle grinder. E.g., McMaster-Carr #4535A53. Cheap if you have the angle grinder. Does take a steady hand. Bob
Reply to
Bob Engelhardt

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.