What do you use to cut sheetmetal - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
Hotrodders.com -- Hot Rod Forum



Register FAQ Search Today's Posts Unanswered Posts Auto Escrow Insurance Auto Loans
Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board > Tech Help> Body - Exterior
User Name
Password
lost password?   |   register now

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 07-11-2006, 01:48 PM
cab cab is offline
Registered User
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Dallas
Posts: 135
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
What do you use to cut sheetmetal

Hello All, as I begin "accumulating" (i.e. that's grom the old gaelic term whihc loosley translates to "spending money on cool tools") tools perparing for the bodywork phase of my project (67 Firebird) I was wonderign what tools you recommend for cutting sheetmetal (as in "cutting sheetmetal out of that ruster quarter panel for a patch"). I was at my local Northern Tool store staring at 4" electric grinders (which could have a cutoff wheel instead of a grinder), air "scissors", nibblers, little die grinders (same as above I guess for a cutoff wheel). Any kind of nibbler looks like it would distort the metal to me, but cutoff wheels actually remove a bit of metal.

Opinions?

Thanks,

Chris

    Advertisement
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 07-11-2006, 02:33 PM
Member
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location:
Posts: 3,707
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
An air chisel with a panel ripper bit and also a wide but thin chisel gets used for quick and rough trimming and spot weld seperation. Plasma cutter is also fast but not real precise. A 3"X 1/32" cutoff wheel is used for precision cuts. Nibblers and snips also have their uses. But the tool I use the most for precision cutting for patch panel work is an airsaw. The airsaw does nice work for following scribe lines and will turn a .5" radius with the right blade and no distortion.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 07-11-2006, 03:26 PM
Member
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Green Bay, WI
Age: 44
Posts: 2,073
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
The more the tools the better. I would say for cutting realitivly thin sheetmetal out for patches I use my electric nibbler the most. There is times when a cutoff wheel or an air saw is used to. and a airhammer with a cutter bit will cut fast too. For thicker plate, a plaxma cutter can't be beat. Its a little out of my budget, but we have one at work. Cutting through plate with the plasma cutter takes minutes instead of forever with air tools. When still sort of new at work, I was using a sawsall on some 3/16 inch metal trying to cut out a large rectangle as it caught and jumped around in spots, the boss tells me they have a plasma cutter. After 5 minutes to grab a piece of angle iron and clamp it on for a guide for the cut, the actual cut took hardy any time and was a nice straight cut.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 07-11-2006, 03:36 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Escondido, CA
Posts: 3
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
proper tools.

For thin sheet metal, an air driven cut-off wheel is probably best. Good control and it won't bend, twist or distort the edges. The air driven one are smaller and easier to handle. That's key. Whatever you feel you have the most control with.

http://www.*.com

Last edited by Jon; 07-11-2006 at 03:40 PM. Reason: Advertising. Please see business posting policy at: http://www.hotrodders.com/help/board/business.html .
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 07-11-2006, 04:46 PM
35WINDOW's Avatar
Member
 

Last journal entry: Dash Mock-up
Last photo:
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: utah
Age: 59
Posts: 1,399
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 7
Thanked 26 Times in 22 Posts
I had the same questions when I started my Project, and after buying about all of the Tools listed, I find I use the Cutoff wheel the least (I started out using it the most). The reason? I have a hard time controlling it on finish cuts, which is amazing because you watch someone like Foose cut a perfectly round circle on a freshly painted hood! I will double up my cutoff Discs and take down a Weld with one (does it fast, but keep control of it!). If I make a patch panel, and it's a relatively straight cut, I use my Kett metal shears (pretty fast, nice edge). If I have to make a more complex cut, I use a electric Nibbler (from HF). It is surprisingly good, but slower. I have used a power Hacksaw to install ready made panels by clamping them to the surface, angling the blade 45 degrees and cutting the edge, and almost have to not grind it, just weld it. I also have about every version of Metal Shears (Wiss brand-I like 'em), and I use them for finish cuts (a lot of times they give me the most control). As far as a Plasma cutter, I have one at work, and I agree with kenseth-nice, fast, relatively clean cut, but not always for everything, and it's a little pricey if you are on a budget. I have also used a Air Chisel, but for me it doesn't always leave a great, undistorted cut.

I would also recommend looking into a 4 1/2 electric Grinder (I like Milwaukee paddle switch) with Flap Discs (40 grit) for taking welds down relatively close, then I use 3" Roloc Discs (36 grit) to finish grinding Welds.

If I had to pick just one? I would say the Nibbler (cheap, does clean cuts, corners), and did I say it's cheap?

Last edited by 35WINDOW; 07-11-2006 at 04:54 PM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 07-11-2006, 05:33 PM
Member
 
Last wiki edit: Ford axle ratio codes
Last journal entry: Rear Suspension
Last photo:
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Prattsville
Posts: 6,401
Wiki Edits: 31

Thanks: 2
Thanked 59 Times in 55 Posts
for cutting sheet steel, I break out my HF air body saw or 3" cut off tool, for grinding welds, I break out my die grinder with a 3M brown rollock disc on it, works great
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 07-12-2006, 03:49 PM
scrot's Avatar
Registered User
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: In front computer
Posts: 449
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Quote:
for cutting sheet steel, I break out my HF air body saw
================================================== ========
I have to agree with matt and Badbob. The thin blade of the body airsaw can cut very tight corners and doesn't leave a big kerf like the cutting wheel. The only problem is that the blades that come with the saw are made out of extremely soft metal. I'm not kidding--I can cut only 18" of sheetmetal before the teeth are completely worn down! Fortunately I found some Bluemold brand of blades at Home Depot. They should last longer than the other blades.
[IMG]saw[/IMG]
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	00113.gif
Views:	77
Size:	14.5 KB
ID:	13336  
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 07-12-2006, 04:06 PM
Member
 
Last wiki edit: Ford axle ratio codes
Last journal entry: Rear Suspension
Last photo:
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Prattsville
Posts: 6,401
Wiki Edits: 31

Thanks: 2
Thanked 59 Times in 55 Posts
yep, my first blade wore out quickly when cutting 12ga, havn't bothered changing it. got 5 blades I think with the saw.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 07-12-2006, 09:42 PM
Member
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location:
Posts: 3,707
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Blades, I use a Bluepoint airsaw that has lasted for 6 years now, the two Ingersol Rand saws I had before that only lasted 1year at best. I don't buy airsaw blades, instead I buy packages of regular hacksaw blades and trim them to the length and width I need for the airsaw. Some saws use regular hacksaw type blades like mine while others have a dowel pin and need the regular airsaw blades. Hacksaw blades are cheap and the higher quality ones last quite awhile. Bob
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 07-12-2006, 10:00 PM
Member
 
Last wiki edit: Ford axle ratio codes
Last journal entry: Rear Suspension
Last photo:
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Prattsville
Posts: 6,401
Wiki Edits: 31

Thanks: 2
Thanked 59 Times in 55 Posts
I think, and I'm not 100% certine but to my knowladge Bluepoint is a snap on company now, and snap on rebadges IR air tools for themselves, that being said, your Bluepoint airsaw may very well be a rebadged IR saw. I like IR stuff, top notch in my book.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #11 (permalink)  
Old 07-14-2006, 12:46 PM
cab cab is offline
Registered User
 
Last photo:
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Dallas
Posts: 135
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks Guys - excellent feedback. Hadn't ever heard of the body saw before now. Looks like I'll be buying at least a couple of these tools.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 07-15-2006, 05:50 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Wichita, KS
Posts: 3
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Well..

I work on aircraft bodies (which is just aluminum sheet) for the air force and when we want a nice cut with quickness, we use the recriprocating saw (body saw) as well. Nice clean cut, fast, and relatively easy to use at any level.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 07-15-2006, 06:28 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Sweden
Posts: 5
Wiki Edits: 0

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by cab
Hello All, as I begin "accumulating" (i.e. that's grom the old gaelic term whihc loosley translates to "spending money on cool tools") tools perparing for the bodywork phase of my project (67 Firebird) I was wonderign what tools you recommend for cutting sheetmetal (as in "cutting sheetmetal out of that ruster quarter panel for a patch"). I was at my local Northern Tool store staring at 4" electric grinders (which could have a cutoff wheel instead of a grinder), air "scissors", nibblers, little die grinders (same as above I guess for a cutoff wheel). Any kind of nibbler looks like it would distort the metal to me, but cutoff wheels actually remove a bit of metal.

Opinions?

Thanks,

Chris
Chris
When cutting for patching I usally use a 4 " grinder, there are some really slim discs on the market lately, something like 0.8 mm, and flexibel. I bought some but have not tried it out yet. 0.8 is what i wold keep as a distance when welding 1.0mm sheet-metal, sorry for the metric.
Now, I have a 4" grinder that I modified 20 years ago by conecting a speed-adjusting trigger? (language-problem?)
This modified tool is SO VERY USEFUL WHILE WORKING ON SHEETMETAL. At slow speed I use it for taking away the paint at an edge that should be welded, and not loose very much metal, I even use it in tight areas without protection cover to gain access. Now dont try this at home, he-he.
I have found a need for very slim cuttings, for example when you have to cut away a piece that is going to be welded back again. In this case I use an air-grinder?, 3.2 mm shaft and a laboratory dentists cutting wheel. aviable down to 0.15 mm thickness.This is TOO slim for welding!!!.
I just hope I inspired you to research for the possible cutting tools. And to answer your qustion. a regular 4" grinder will do the job you specified.
Svenne
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Recent Body - Exterior posts with photos

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name (usually not your first and last name), your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
"Basics of Basics" Sectioning a Body MARTINSR Body - Exterior 7 11-24-2008 12:04 PM
Chop and channeling. how to....? baugh353 Body - Exterior 15 02-07-2006 07:21 AM
Tip of the day #13 MARTINSR Body - Exterior 6 12-24-2005 03:09 PM
Question about removing roof 86caprirs Body - Exterior 3 03-27-2005 12:21 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:24 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
Copyright Hotrodders.com 1999 - 2012. All Rights Reserved.