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 (<$200) alternative: 1) A corded recip saw with a 14 tpi blade - something like Milwaukee 6563-21 for $200 2) A portable band saw - no name off EBay for $110 including shipping. This will cut only 4-1/2 by 4-1/2" so presumably the cut would have to be done from two directions. 3) Put a abrasive disk in a circular saw with a decent motor and an all metal construction (I could not do that today with my cordless as the guards are plastic) - all for less than $100.
Thanks,
--
Michael Koblic,
Campbell River, BC
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Michael Koblic wrote:

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
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Interesting. I have been using an fiber re-enforced abrasive blade in my 14" chop saw. They seem to last about the best of anything and cut ok. How would one of these blades compare for speed? Is the durability enough to make up for the cost. I mean would they last as long as 5 fiber abrasive disks? 10? 20?
Do they need to be cooled with liquid? The local metal yard where I occasionally buy a few pieces of steel has what looks like a 20" blade that they keep cool with a white milky liquid that is recollected and filtered below the feed table.
Bob La Londe www.YumaBassMan.com
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Michael Koblic wrote:

... For straight cuts, check out 319-4083
http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INPDFF?PMPAGEb1&PMITEM19-4083
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
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On Wed, 03 Sep 2008 05:32:49 GMT, with neither quill nor qualm,

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. <thud>
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
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On Wed, 03 Sep 2008 05:25:11 -0700, with neither quill nor qualm,

It'd be nice if I'd link it, huh? <blush> So solly! http://tinyurl.com/5ue7jj
-- 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
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Larry Jaques wrote:

Borat liiiiike.
--Winston
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On Wed, 03 Sep 2008 19:01:44 GMT, with neither quill nor qualm,

Again, please, in English this time.
-- 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
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Larry Jaques wrote:

I say, Larry old chap.
Your selection of portable circular saw struck me as the sort of tool that would be useful and decorative.
I found myself thinking "why, if I needed to cut up some 6 x 6 lumber in one pass, this would be a most efficient way to do it."
Well done, old boy!
--Winston
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On Thu, 04 Sep 2008 06:38:53 GMT, with neither quill nor qualm,

You said all that in two words? What language is that, Winston?
P.S: Thank you.
P.P.S: More Power! <arr, arr, arr>
-- Who is wise? He that learns from every One. Who is powerful? He that governs his Passions. Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody. -- Benjamin Franklin
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Larry Jaques wrote:
...

It's pidgeon Kazakh, a highly compressed dialect.
The phrase 'Borat liiiiike' can only be translated as:
    1) "Say, she's rather nice!"
    2) "I say, Larry old chap. Your selection of portable      circular saw struck me as the sort of tool that      would be useful and decorative. I found myself      thinking "why, if I needed to cut up some      6 x 6 lumber in one pass, this would be a most      efficient way to do it.""
As you can imagine, the second definition is rarely employed.
--Winston
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On Thu, 04 Sep 2008 18:33:30 GMT, with neither quill nor qualm,

Indubitably, my dear fellow.
Say, is Kazakh an offshoot of Elbonian?
-- Who is wise? He that learns from every One. Who is powerful? He that governs his Passions. Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody. -- Benjamin Franklin
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Larry Jaques wrote: ...

Very observant of you.
Pidgin Kazakh is related to Elbonian theribs.
--Winston
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On Fri, 05 Sep 2008 21:16:38 GMT, with neither quill nor qualm,

Quiyat! You're making me hungry.
-- Who is wise? He that learns from every One. Who is powerful? He that governs his Passions. Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody. -- Benjamin Franklin
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Winston wrote: ...

And watch where those red-hot chips are flying. You can set something on fire! BTDT
Bob
--
Nota for President

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On Tue, 2 Sep 2008 21:20:51 -0700, "Michael Koblic"

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
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Gunner Asch wrote:

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 ).
--
Snag
'90 Ultra "Strider"
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It is fun to just chew though something random with a hacksaw every now and then.
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I cut most stuff with my mill these days.
--
Due to extreme spam originating from Google Groups, and their inattention
to spammers, I and many others block all articles originating
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Ignoramus27629 wrote:

How?
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