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Easiest way to cut silver sheet


#1

I have a large sheet of silver (it is 3 feet long by 2 feet) what
would be the easiest way to cut it? I do have extensive
osteo-arthritis in my fingers and rheum.arthritis in my knuckles. So
holding a small of anything on bad days will be impossible. I was
wondering if an attachment to my dremel would cut through it? Any
suggestions?

Leslie


#2

Hi Leslie,

Unless you’ve got a specific requirement for a piece that large, I’d
have it cut into pieces between 6 inches & 12 inches wide depending
on the type of work you usually do. That width piece is a little more
manageable.

To get the large piece cut take it to a local heating & cooling
contractor or tin shop. They usually have shears that an cut much
wider material than that.

Then when you have the pieces at home, use a paper cutter with a
straight cutting edge to cut the smaller pieces to size. Paper
cutters are available from at store like Office Depot. When getting a
paper cutter, get one with a wood bed. The ones with a plastic bed
flex when cutting & can make cutting difficult.

Dave


#3

For something that big a brake shear would be the ticket. You could
slice it into manageable sizes. A machine shop might cut it for you.

Failing that you might try a jigsaw with a metal cutting blade.
Clamp a guide on so you get a straight cut. Or try a spiral saw with
correct blade. Autobody supply shops have nibblers for 'nibbling’
your way thru sheet.

Failing that, a very large pair of snips would cut it if its not too
thick. Edges would curl so you’d have some waste.

Failing that and if you get desperate…one can buy metal cutting
abrasive wheels to fit table saws.

Failing that, if the metal is appropriately thin, you could make
some deep scores and bend til it breaks. Might be good to make a jig
out of hardwood strips clamped on each side the scoreline to avoid
warpage and give you something to bear against.

I think you’d have a lot of trouble with a dremel.


#4

2 feet by 3 feet? What the hell? I have never heard of such a thing,
it’s sterling? Lucky you.

Bench shear is the easiest way to cut from large to small workable
sizes, well tooled steel working shops would probably have a large
enough shear. For small repetative pieces I would have Dar of
Sheltech make me pancake dies and use them in my Bonny Doon press
after bench shearing to maybe 6 inch by 6 inch pieces.

I wish I had your silver problems but the arthritis I wouldn’t trade
for.

Good luck.
Sam Patania, Tucson
www.bahti.com


#5

Leslie,

What gauge? How small do you want the pieces?

For a large sheet like that, if I simply wanted it cut down into
more workable “slices,” I’d use (depending on gauge) the guillotine
shear, beverly shear, or a pair of tin-snips. 22 and thinner, I’ve
even used a pair of my Fiskar scissors, which works beautifully.

If you’re looking for a totally mechanical way to do it, you can put
a jeweler’s saw blade into a scroll saw (or just use a fine
woodcutting blade) or use a cut-off disk in your dremel… but you’ll
likely go through a bunch of cut-offs before you get through a cut
that’s 2’ wide!

Hope this gives you some ideas!

Karen Goeller
No Limitations Designs
Hand-made, one-of-a-kind jewelry


#6

A small guillotine works very well and requires little strength to
cut sheet metal. The one I use cost UKP35 here in UK - worth every
penny.

Regards, Gary Wooding


#7
(it is 3 feet long by 2 feet) what would be the easiest way to cut
it? I do have extensive 

Leslie, it’s doubtful that a dremel is going to be any good. You’d
need at least a 3 inch wheel, and you could hurt yourself. (To keep
a dremel with your hand around it at right angles to the work will
take a big wheel). Lacking big time equipment - the “Best” way would
be to use a 4 foot power shear - I’d suggest one of two ways. First
would be a jig saw - it might even pay to buy one for $35 to get the
work done. You can put down masking tape first to avoid scratches.
Otherwise, the old fashioned way. Scribe your lines and use a sharp
cold chisel till you get through it.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#8

what is the thickness of the sheet? This will determine the best way
to cut a sheet of this size.


#9

Leslie-

You did not say what gauge the sheet is, but if it is 22# or
thinner, it is quite possible to cut it with an ordinary paper cutter
if you do not have a bench shear. It does take a little strength to
so so but perhaps someone else can help you with that. I have been
using a paper cutter for years for that purpose and I also have
arthritis. It has apparently done no damage to the blade of the paper
cutter either, as I also use it all the time for paper.

Joycelyn Merchant
Chicago, IL


#10
(it is 3 feet long by 2 feet) what would be the easiest way to cut
it? 

I would take it to a sheet metal shop and have them cut it on there
brake. It shouldn’t cost too much and could be done fairly short
order.

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
Rocky Mountain Wonders
Colorado Springs, Colorado
http://rockymountainwonders.com


#11

I may be a little off subject, but I have to brag a little. I
recently got a straight shear from Rio, and it is the best tool in
the workshop.

Last summer I studied with Orville Tsinnie, a famous Indian Jeweler,
and he had a shear, I watched him use it and realized how much of my
time I was wasting sawing when I could be creating.

I can cut a perfectly straight line in 2 seconds, that used to take
5 minutes.

As for your big 2’ x 3’ sheet, any sheet metal shop will usually
gladly cutit for about $1 a cut.

If you want to cut it yourself, the best /cheapest/fastest bet is an
inexpensive jig saw with a metal blade. Harbor freight has one for
$19.

harborfreight.com Itemnumber 772

Love and God Bless
-randy


#12

Plasma cutter.

Messy, expensive, slightly dangerous…
but a hell of a lot of fun…best thing I ever bought…

andrew