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Old 02-21-2012, 06:38 AM
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Reciprocating Saw or cut off wheel

Which do you prefer for your body work. I've been using a cutoff wheel with good results but I haven't had to be real precise. I'm going to be chopping my model A top and when I do I want to be as accurate as I can. I was thinking the saw might be a little more precise.

Your thoughts??

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Old 02-21-2012, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golferjc
Which do you prefer for your body work. I've been using a cutoff wheel with good results but I haven't had to be real precise. I'm going to be chopping my model A top and when I do I want to be as accurate as I can. I was thinking the saw might be a little more precise.

Your thoughts??
I really prefer an arbor on my die grinder over my cut off tool. It's the right size for accurate cuts. You DO have to wear eye protection as there wont be any guard - is that your problem, that guard? The Sawzall will work, but might be best just for cuts around the 'A' pillar and any multiple thicknesses of steel. With the cut off wheel you can lay yourself across the car body or other appropriate place, leaning on your elbows to guide the tool. My recip will put you against the wall if you aren't standing well braced on the floor and accuracy with it - tough.

As far as accuracy - I "assume" you are using masking tape with a line to guide you - or at least a Sharpie line drawn on the steel. Almost everything I cut (and often, drill), even with a hack saw has a line as closely measured as possible and drawn on masking tape to make sure my aging eyes see where to cut. Just get the tape off before it sets up.

Another tool to consider - a pneumatic hack saw - just not a Harbor Freight, they are not much good, at least mine isn't
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:53 AM
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I use both but for accuracy on the pillars I'd use the sawzall...But I've got hundreds of hrs behind the sawzall and I can use it like a scalpel and I can certainly understand daves point I always get a kick out of watching a new guy viberate himself and the car senseless...
Theres a few tips I can give you that'll help a lot:
1) get a sawzall with a variable speed trigger
2) think of the metal as a tree limb your cutting with a saw.if you start cutting from the bottom you wont get far before the weight of the limb wants to close the gap and bind the blade but if you start at the top as the weight of the branch pull it opens the gap ,making it easier to cut as you go
3) like the tree limb a pillar will want to close the gap from the weight of the roof and bind the blade about halfway through ,jambing a wedge (a chiesel) in the gap will keep the gap open and make for an effortless cut.

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Old 02-22-2012, 08:11 AM
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DBM may be a master at the sawzall but I'm not! There is no friggin way I would get anywhere near any project with a sawzall unless I was making rough cuts. Chopping a top on a model A? FORGET IT!

A hand hack saw is the tool of choice with me for a top chop, did it on my first and I will do it on my last. The long sheet metal area, I would rough cut it with the die grinder and a 1/32" disc and then fine tune it with off set tin snips.

Brian
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadbodyman
I use both but for accuracy on the pillars I'd use the sawzall...But I've got hundreds of hrs behind the sawzall and I can use it like a scalpel and I can certainly understand daves point I always get a kick out of watching a new guy viberate himself and the car senseless...
Theres a few tips I can give you that'll help a lot:
1) get a sawzall with a variable speed trigger
2) think of the metal as a tree limb your cutting with a saw.if you start cutting from the bottom you wont get far before the weight of the limb wants to close the gap and bind the blade but if you start at the top as the weight of the branch pull it opens the gap ,making it easier to cut as you go
3) like the tree limb a pillar will want to close the gap from the weight of the roof and bind the blade about halfway through ,jambing a wedge (a chiesel) in the gap will keep the gap open and make for an effortless cut.
great post! Haven't needed to use a sawzall much but will remember these tips, thanks!
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:26 AM
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i use my small air saw and a sawsall and even my jig saw. but the most important part is new quality blades. they are cheap so use a new one on every cut. i stick an old blade in after i get started for a shim. good luck .
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:55 PM
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I'll 2nd the jigsaw statement. Using one of those with NEW blades and as fine of a TPI as possible will allow for a smooth, precise cut. Cut off wheels are pretty user friendly, but keep in mind most are much thicker than a reciprocating or jigsaw blade, so you need to take that into account when cutting alone your line.

Hope that helps!

-Matt/EW
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:01 PM
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I just cut off a roof last week .I also hired a helper ,this was out first job and although he's been doing body work for a while some of the things I do without even thinking he had never seen before. for instance he loved how I put a grinding disc on front and back of the grinder and how I used it to clean the back of a panel so it could be flanged..and my simple little template I use for marking out my flange and making my 90 degree jamb marks...I was surprized he hadnt seen this and said ,well ,how else you gonna do it???
I know Norm always says measure twice and cut once but my favorite saying is Dont measure unless you have to...
mabee this will help someone else out,easier can be better
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:18 PM
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I like a 6'' cut off blade..Good clean cut..
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Old 02-23-2012, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
DBM may be a master at the sawzall but I'm not! There is no friggin way I would get anywhere near any project with a sawzall unless I was making rough cuts. Chopping a top on a model A? FORGET IT!

A hand hack saw is the tool of choice with me for a top chop, did it on my first and I will do it on my last. The long sheet metal area, I would rough cut it with the die grinder and a 1/32" disc and then fine tune it with off set tin snips.

Brian
Ditto

The A-Pillar and B-Pillars don't take long to cut by hand. The reinforced areas of C-Pillars don't either.
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Old 02-23-2012, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Rod and Custom
Ditto

The A-Pillar and B-Pillars don't take long to cut by hand. The reinforced areas of C-Pillars don't either.
It's nothing, heck I did it when I was 16 years old, with a dull blade I am sure!

Brian
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:36 AM
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Those pants alone were worth clicking on that pic.
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:42 AM
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I have been posting that photo for years and get a comment about the pants every time. LOL How about the angle grinder attachment on the 1/4" electric drill?

Brian
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NEW INTERIORS
I like a 6'' cut off blade..Good clean cut..
x2 ^^^^ a 6" wheel on a 4.5" grinder works best for me
flat and straight
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Old 02-24-2012, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pontiac_Judas
Those pants alone were worth clicking on that pic.
LOL,Is that .......a drill........with an angle attachment ???????? spending ten bucks on tools was a ton of money back then....remember when we had hair....
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