Cutting steel plate


I found myself in need to cut 1/2" mild steel plate today. The cut was about
4-3/4".
I tried first with my only reciprocating saw which is 18V cordless and a
Lenox 18 tpi blade (the only one I had on hand). The cut progressed very
slowly. I thought I would try my Bosch 1590 jig-saw not expecting much
(Bosch do not recommend use beyond 3/8") and I was not disappointed: It was
even worse. In the end I did most of the cut using a hacksaw with 18 tpi
blade (A DeWalt past its prime). This in fact was the fastest way and also
the cleanest (except for the mess that the lubricating wax makes :-).
I specifically avoided using a 4-1/2" cut-off wheel in my grinder: I find
those things very messy and hard to control. This policy was vindicated when
I tried to cut off a couple of the corners of the said plate. It was not
that fast either.
Oddly enough I find using the hacksaw less fatiguing than any of the other
tools: something about the better posture and rhythmic dynamic movement as
opposed to having to hold a vibrating tool still.
Although I do not expect to have to cut this sort of material in future very
often it got me thinking: Say one needed an even longer cut - 6" to 8". What
would be a good low cost (
Reply to
Michael Koblic
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A worm drive 7-1/4" saw with a Tenryu or Matsushita blade will cut through plate like butter. Google this group on tenryu and you will see ..
Grant
Reply to
Grant Erwin
... For straight cuts, check out 319-4083
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Alternatively, you could put a ferrous metal cutting blade in your worm drive circular saw. Note that non-worm saws don't have the mustard for this kind of duty.
NON-optional safety gear
* Use hearing and eyeball protection! This is not a quiet operation but it is a little cleaner than a chop saw. * Use gloves! * Use long sleeves and protect yourself from high - velocity steel swarf. * Lubricate cut with wax
It works surprisingly fast and leaves a straight non - HAZ cut.
--Winston
Reply to
Winston
Keep in mind that a reciprocating saw only cuts in one direction..the other half of the time its reversing. And its a bit hard on the blades for this reason.
You want faster? Buy a bandsaw, or a Portaband
Gunner
"Obama, raises taxes and kills babies. Sarah Palin - raises babies and kills taxes." Pyotr Flipivich
Reply to
Gunner Asch
It is fun to just chew though something random with a hacksaw every now and then.
Reply to
Cydrome Leader
I picked up a used portaband at the pawn shop for under a c-note , then built a stand to mount it as a vert saw from scrap . Biggest limitation for me is it only makes straight cuts , I need curves sometimes . I can buzz thru a piece of 4140 stock over 2" diameter in a couple of minutes , using a HF variable pitch band (three for twenty bucks or so ).
Reply to
Terry Coombs
I cut most stuff with my mill these days.
Reply to
Ignoramus27629
On Wed, 03 Sep 2008 05:32:49 GMT, with neither quill nor qualm, Winston quickly quoth:
If you're looking for something to build timberframe homes with, a worm drive is it. Here's a nice little beauty of a Makita, a 16-15/16" circular saw.
Tawm, take one of these to your spare warehouse, take it down by hand, and sell the lumber!
-- The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man. -- Euripides
Reply to
Larry Jaques
I would say that the 4 1/2" abrasive disk is the worst choice of all for cutting thick materials that are wide, where the abrasive wheel is more or less buried in the stock. ---Especially when hand-held. A 14" chop saw, although messy, can be a good choice for (solid)rounds, squares and rectangles, up to about 2" X 2" in my mind. Tubes can be even bigger, since the wheel isn't in contact with all that much material. the big problem, (again, in my mind) is that when cutting materials where the wheel is deep in the material, the sides of the wheel rub in the cut. This makes the wheel slightly tapered from the cutting edge back toward the saw arbor. So, as the wheel goes deeper, not only does the edge of the wheel cut, but the sides have to cut as well to widen the cut to accept the thickest part of the wheel. This takes a LOT of power and therefore, cutting action almost stops!
For cutting jobs as you have there, I use a "gas ax"; (oxy-propane cutting torch). It doesn't care whether you are going straight or curving. Plan for the rough kerf (depends on your skill level) and grind to finish.
For the occasional cut, take the piece to a local fab shop. The one I usually use considers 1/2" thick plate to be "sheet metal" and shears it. One "thunk" and it's done.
I have a Porta band and like it a lot where it fits the work.
The saw that gets the most use in my shop is the 4X6 horizontal/vertical band saw.
One other approach is the do the cutting on a horizontal milling machine, using a slitting saw. There, you are only limited by the X length of the table traverse.
Pete Stanaitis ---------------------------------
Reply to
spaco
How?
Reply to
Grant Erwin
Let's say that I want to cut a pipe, I put it in a vise and cut it with an endmill.
Reply to
Ignoramus27629
When I want to drive a screw, I put a screwdriver in a vise and rotate the work around it with my lathe.
I have very clever techniques.
Reply to
Cydrome Leader
I thought you used a hacksaw to cut that 1/2" thick plate? Are you done yet?
Reply to
Ignoramus27629
As usual, you're confusing me for somebody else, but cutting 1/2" mild steel with a hacksaw isn't an impossible for anybody that can actually handle a hacksaw, or actually knows how to use tools.
Reply to
Cydrome Leader
I can give you a piece of 1/2" plate, for free. You use your hacksaw to cut it and come back when you are done. I will give you a free virtual pat on the back.
Reply to
Ignoramus27629
I don't want to take your time, afer all you're probably going to be busy painting a large resistor.
Reply to
Cydrome Leader
I think that you are very important. So I can give you a little bit of my time.
Reply to
Ignoramus27629
On Wed, 03 Sep 2008 05:25:11 -0700, with neither quill nor qualm, Larry Jaques quickly quoth:
It'd be nice if I'd link it, huh? So solly!
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-- The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man. -- Euripides
Reply to
Larry Jaques
So you have e.g. a 1/2" kerf?
I'm just asking - unlike other posters I'm trying very hard to be friendly and keep the spirit of community alive.
Grant
Reply to
Grant Erwin
Borat liiiiike.
--Winston
Reply to
Winston

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