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Sheet metal cutting


#1

Grettings all…I am in need of some input into the best possible way
to cut 1mm thick sheet copper into irregular shapes for etching
pieces of it for a sculpture…any insight would be much appreciated.
The sheet is 3’x4’ so a jewellers saw with a 04 blade is out of the
question, unless deep throat is a saw not a movie!..thanks Catherine


#2

Hi Failte: I have used a sabre saw (sometimes referred to as a scroll
saw) for this kind of work (I have used large sheets of sculpture for
architectural applications). Get the finest hack-saw blade that you
can use in a sabre saw, and put down masking tape on the metal on the
surface you’ll see as you’re cutting. The tape will keep the saw’s
guide plate from chewing up the surface of the metal. A sabre saw can
be purchased for under $30. Another option is a unit called a
"nibbler". This is a pair of shears, or sorts, that, instead of
shearing the metal, cuts right down the middle of a sheet if needed,
taking out or “nibbling” a narrow peel of metal. I’ve even seen
nibblers that are air driven, using a compressor. They’re quite
affordable in either case, and a usefull addition to a sculptors tool
collection. If you go for an air driven tool of any sort, make sure
your compressor can produce the cubic feet per minute needed to drive
the tool.

David L. Huffman


#3
  I am in need of some input into the best possible way to cut 1mm
thick sheet copper into irregular shapes for etching pieces of it
for a sculpture... The sheet is 3'x4' so a jewellers saw with a 04
blade is out of the question, unless deep throat is a saw not a
movie!..thanks Catherine 

Yeah, g’day! a deep throat saw is neither a book or movie; it a saw
which carries jewellers saw blades, and used to be called a fretsaw.
You should be able to buy one from a good tool store or a Modeller’s
Shop. the depth of the throat is usually 8 - 10 inches. I made my
own out of aluminium strip 1/8th by 3/4" a very long time ago. –
Cheers now,

John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua Nelson NZ


#4

1mm is a piece of cake. Go down to your local hardware store and buy
a pair of metal shears–they look like scissors, but are for cutting
sheet metal.

Cheers
Virginia


#5

Catherine, Looks like you will be restricted to a jigsaw unless you
want to simply cut it into 6" (or so) strips and then use a deep
throat hand saw. You’ll have a lot more edge cleanup after using a
jigsaw but, it will do the job. If you don’t already have one, you
need a veriable speed and begin cutting pretty slow.

Regis


#6

I would suggest that you look into electric metal shears. They will
zip right through 1 mm copper sheet. You can find them at
McMaster-Carr, Graingers, maybe even a big hardware store.

Jack Reisland


#7
     The sheet is 3'x4' so a jewellers saw with a 04 blade is out
of the question, unless deep throat is a saw not a movie!..thanks
Catherine 

Catherine,

You can use a jeweler’s saw frame with a 6" throat depth.

Timothy A. Hansen
TAH Handcrafted Jewelry
web-site: www.tah-handcrafted-jewelry.com
e-mail: tim@tah-handcrafted-jewelry.com


#8

G’day; I forgot to mention in my reply to a query about cutting thin
sheet that at all times no less than two teeth of the saw must be in
contact with the metal being cut. I would humbly suggest that a
so-called jigsaw or a sabresaw (as I know them) would not meet that
criteria. Since I hate being told what to do without a reason given
for doing it, a saw blade without at least two teeth in contact with
the metal will ‘jag’ and therefore break very easily.

If one uses shears of any kind to cut pieces of sheet metal,
including a guillotine, it should be understood that there will be a
downturn at the edges.

Furthermore if one needs to cut two identical shapes from sheet
metal, the easiest way is to fasten the two together with double sided
sellotape first.

I often print the shape I need, at the correct size, onto adhesive
paper and stick it on to the metal. Sometimes I cover the piece of
metal with dark marker pen (blue or black) and use a scriber
consisting of a heavy sewing needle with the eye end pushed into a
piece of wooden dowel, using pliers. Marvellous for easing splinters
out of the hands too. – Cheers now,

John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua Nelson NZ


#9

If you decide to try shears, be sure to get aviation shears. They
mechanically increase your hand strength and you can cut thicker stuff
with them. You can also bend part of the copper sheet out of your way
while you cut. Latter, you can flatten it back out.

Marilyn Smith


#10

Catherine, I have found a Beverly Shear to be the easiest way for
me to cut copper into various shapes. I purchase large (4’ by 8’
),sheets, and cut them down to the desired shapes with the shear. I
prefer the Beverly Shear because it can cut curves. I have not seen
any advertised lately, so it may be difficult to locate. Perhaps
our fellow Orchidians can assist with tracking one down. Good luck, Alma


#11

More on the Beverly shear. Some may come with serrated edges, but
mine has smooth edges, and gives me a nice smooth cut with no ridges.
Cuts copper, brass, steel, silver, gold. Good for cuttling small
pieces of metal or very large ones. The blade is adjustable for
different gauges—though I have never had to adjust mine. Also, the
blades can be sharpened if necessary. Alma