Cutting Steel Plate

I've just ordered some 3mm thick steel plate. It's 2m x 1m. Whats the
best way the get s straight cut through it. I need to cut it into
about 4 sections and I anticipate there will me about 6m of cuts in
total. Is a jigsaw out the question? I guess it will eat blades and be
slow. I also have a circular saw if thats any good or even an angle
grinder if anyone has an ingenious way of getting it to cut a stright
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I would use an abrasive blade in a circular saw. Clamp a piece of wood or long straight edge as a guide. Fast, cheap, pretty-good edge, but kind of messy (grinding dust). Hacksaw blade in a sawzall would be slower, harder to keep straight, more ragged edge, but not as messy.
Next step up, in terms of cost, is a circular saw with a cold cut blade. IIRC, you need a slower turning saw for this.
The ultimate in cost and efficacy is a plasma cutter. If you could borrow one, or take your steel to someone with one, it would be a piece of cake.
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Bob Engelhardt
I would probably bite the bullet and mark off the cuts and take it to a shop with a shear, if you want a good clean cut. I have split many sheets of various sized steel on my BP mill. Not the most feasible way but it does work. 3mm about 1/8" or so is not all that thick, so a abrasive balde in a skill saw may work ok.
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If my math is right, 3mm is slightly less than 1/8". You'll find that a good jigsaw and fresh blade will cut faster than you might think, and if you concentrate a bit, it will cut straighter than you might think, also. If you have jigsaw, the time spent will much less than finding a shop to do it. Gary Brady Austin, TX
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Gary Brady
before i bought the plasma cutter, a grinder was the way to go for sheets up to 2mm. 3mm is do-able. stock up on some cutoff discs. i used to lay the sheet down on a metal workbench and use the edge of the table as a guide. be careful sideloading cutoff discs, they can explode like grenades.
depending on what you mean by "straight", an O/A torch can do a reasonable job in 3mm sheet. a steady hand and a fast cut will limit the amount of 'dressing' you'll need to do later.
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Be sure to use a straight edge guide. Any peice of metal that will slide under the motor housing will work fine, add a couple of 'C' clamps.
Gary Brady wrote:
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Roy J
On 6 Dec 2003 06:14:02 -0800, (Skirrow) wrote something ......and in reply I say!:
How accurate do the cuts have to be? You may need to use a straight edge, and if you use any saw, you need to make sure that the saw will follow a straight edge properly. Many of them want to wander from their own guides, because the blade is not parallel. Steel will really accentuate this, both because it's tough stuff, and because the blade has no teeth to provide kerf clearance. It's easy to start jamming the blade, and you wonder why the saw just won't move. You can help this by setting a shallow cut, but be _very_ careful if you do this, because the saw will push back pretty hard, especially if you do jam it.
Is this just mild steel? If it's anything else, especially the pre-tempered stuff, then even an abrasive circular saw will affect the edges. Oxy even more so.
Abrasive is messy. Use a mask at least, and glasses.
If you use a jigsaw, then make the speed fairly slow, or it will eat blades. Because the jigsaw blade has just about nowhere to go, it gets hot easily. If you see little sparks coming off the blade, tyhen slow down a fair bit. It will cut surprisingly fast, but for metal you need patience.
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