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
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
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.
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.
On 6 Dec 2003 06:14:02 -0800, email@example.com (Skirrow)
......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
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. **************************************************** sorry
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