Off Roading Forums banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
G

·
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the last few months, with a little help from my dad, I have been learning to weld. Right now all I have to cut with is a mini ox/acet torch and a hacksaw. The torch works great for whacking stuff up but I was wondering what kind of saw I need to get cleaner cuts. I don't do much metal fabbing so I was hoping to stay cheap. What about just one of the basic Milwaukee Sawzalls? Would it cut 3/16" or 1/4" angle fairly well? Any other cheap alternatives?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
605 Posts
You know what I use that works great is a standard circular saw with a metal cutting blade. Works great for straight cuts. The metal cutting blade is basically a big cut off wheel.

Works great and goes through 1/4" like butter.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Don't give up on the torch yet. If you use a guide for the tip you can make a pretty straight cut.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,504 Posts
To add to what Robert said, a piece of 1 X 3/4 or so steel bar makes a great guide. It's heavy enough that you don't need to clamp it on the piece.

A couple more tricks: Put a small worm-gear screw clamp on the tip so that it will ride on the guide and hold the tip the right distance from the metal.

Before you start a cut, rub your soapstone along the guide. It makes a good lubricant so that the tip slides smoothly. Soapstone, for those who don't know, is soft, white a rectangular stick of stone that's used like chalk to mark your cuts.

Make your cuts well, and spend 10 seconds with a 4 1/2" grinder, and they'll be as smooth and straight as if they were cut with a shear.

For cutting sheetmetal nothing beats a plasma cutter. For a reasonable price, I guess a Sawzall is a good choice, or the cutoff blade on the skilsaw.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,504 Posts
Thanks. A union Ironworker (Local 392, East St. Louis, and mighty proud of it!) showed me that trick, and several more.

It's great to have a circle of friends who can do things. There's always more to learn.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have not yet tried the cut off wheel on a circular saw.... I do use them in the 4 1/2 grinder.

I also use a Milwalkee portable band saw. It works very well on most cross cuts. Not so well on plate or sheet. It takes some pratice on getting things square and straight.


Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,066 Posts
For any thick metal work I use a 4.5" grinder with cut-off wheels, 4" air cut-off tool, 10" cut-off wheel in my miter saw (cheap chop saw), sawzall, torch.
For thin metal and body work stuff I use air shears, small bodied air saw, tinsnips.
Another thing very usefull are the flapper discs for small grinders, they clean up before and after welding real good, smooth out torch slag and ragged edges really good and are available in many different grits.
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have used the 4" grinder with cut off wheels until I bought a DeWalt cutoff saw. It goes through a 3x4 3/16" piece of angle in about 10 seconds. Mine is a remanufactured one with the same warranty as new for about $150.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,870 Posts
I'm with SnowTow.
Electric angle grinder and cut off disc, or if you have a shop compressor, an air grinder with cut-off disc.
Dirt cheap, fast, cuts corners, circles or eccentric lines.
You can dress your edges on the spot.
I use a piece of heavy angle iron for a guide on long straight cuts, works great.
Cuts tubing, square or round, angle stock, and anything else that gets in the way...

Smaller and easier to handle than a circular saw.

If you find one cheap somewhere, get a plasma cutter.
I LOVE my plasma cutter!
With a plasma cutter, the layout work is the hard work...
Cutting is FUN!
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the info John. Unfortunately it's only for the multi-cutter and I bought the standard abrasive blade type. You bought the multi-cutter didn't you? I thought about it, but the damn blades are so expensive to replace and I really didn't know how long one would last. I've heard stories of them not lasting at all and some stories of them lasting forever. I think it all depends on how they are used. Too many people try to force the blade or let it sit in one spot and work harden. I knew the abrasive saw would do the job and the blades are only about $15 to replace.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,137 Posts
I hear ya, Skip.
But $ 165.00 for the Harbor Freight remaned metal wheel version (even though some have burned up or run backwards on first start, but were replaced with new) ... PLUS a free $150.00+ blade is a pretty good deal.

I had to wait from Nov till March for DeWalt to "make" some more of those remanufactured saws ...
.
Bet the metal blades won't last THAT long trying to cut 3.5" x 0.5" axel tubes ...

Hey Aaron, do you think I could get some fine toothed bands for metal and use them on my old Butcher Boy saw?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,870 Posts
I don't know...
I'd say if you can find a hack saw blade that will fit it...

I'm looking for a meat saw.... Know anyone that has one?
--------

I'm pretty fond of my little $65 cheepie power hack saw, now that you mention it.
Won't cut straight to save it's life, but if you just want to hack something off to 'bout there' dimensions, it's a real work saver.

Yard sale for $65, came with a couple of blades made in china that would loose teeth cutting twinkies...

Bought some blades from the local tractor supply store and the thing works fine now.
-------------

An air tool and those little 3" cut-off discs work great!
You can get into all kinds of tight places with it too.
-------------

If you are going to do only sheet metal, it's hard to beat a nibbler.
You can get them in air or electric, stand alone or that attached to a power drill, and they are dirt cheap!

What I like about my nibbler is you can expand small holes or make odd shaped holes without screwing up the rest of a sheet metal panel.
You can make internal square holes too.
Hard to make small square holes with any of the saws or grinders...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
393 Posts
I have the small cutter for the air compressor, but that was getting old, not to mention anoying for the people next door. I bought a Makita 14" cut off saw at Lowes for 160 bucks. ITs great! Just dont try to cut too fast, or the blade will flex and you wont get a straight cut.
The trick with the torch is also a great idea. I asked about it a few months ago, and the cut was clean as could be!
TJ
 
G

·
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Kind of pertains to the subject. I am going to be doing the RE hack 'n tap on my Cherokee real soon, and am wondering what would be the fastest and easiest way to get a straight cut?
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top