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I am trying to cut up a few small patch panels for some spot work on bko. I am using 16 and 18 gauge mostly.

How do you cut sheet metal?

I have tried:
a reciprocating saw (large and awkward)
a cutoff wheel (not bad)
a 4 1/2 " angle grinder (like cutting butter with a chainsaw)

I don't have $$ for a plasma.

I need to buy tin snips still.

However, today on extreme 4WD, they used a "buzz saw." It looked like a miniature reciprocating saw, or maybe a drill with a carbide tip on it working sideways.

Any ideas what it was. Looked small, like it could get into little odd angles well.

thank.s
mj
 

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I have used a jigsaw with metal blades, a dremel wheel and also a 3" cutting wheel,

depending on the tolorances, I usually use the cutting wheel and fine tune it with files, etc

if it is fine work, DREMEL....

Chem
 

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nibbler or tin snips. Get offset tin snips, you're less likely to cut your hand on the metal then.
 

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if its on the truck i use a body saw, a cheap hf one works great. for sheet metal i have a nibbler and a shear, ive even used a scroll saw with a metal cutting blade in it to make adjustment cuts after ive bent a peice
 

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I say aviation snips all the way. for low output stuff like your typical guy on here does and electric shear or nibbler is overkill. Buy a GOOD set of aviation snips and they'll do everything you want them to without breaking the bank.

I have a set of klenk aviation snips that were my dad's when he was in the navy in 1968. Still have them, use them on a regular basis, work great. I picked up a single pair about 3 months ago, needed a broad headed right hand snip. dropped about $20 on the pair, but i know they'll last at least 30 years.

All you'd really need is an offset pair that matches what handed you are. A right handed pair is designed to cut to the left, but if you cut straight it curls the metal up over your hand and out of teh way so you don't get cut up.

Whatever you do, DON'T buy some $5 no name pair from the bargain bin at the local hardware store, you'll hate yourself. Buy a good name like Klenk or Irwin and they'll cut that stuff like nothing.

Justin
 

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for cutting flat sheet this is the best $200 you'll ever spend.







Much faster then a Sawzall or a cut-off wheel and it leaves a perfect edge. Only problem is making a tight turn is tough, and it doesn't cut well unless you're cutting with both sides of the blade. In other words, you have to be cutting at least 3/8" off the piece. You can't cut 1/8" off of it.
 

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The trick with cutting by hand is to not close the snips all the way. Squeeze them until you have almost closed them and then move forward. If you close them all the way, you will make some real nice meat hooks for yourself and its a waste of time to try to trim them up properly after the fact.
 

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The trick with cutting by hand is to not close the snips all the way. Squeeze them until you have almost closed them and then move forward. If you close them all the way, you will make some real nice meat hooks for yourself and its a waste of time to try to trim them up properly after the fact.
Exactly.

A few years back the roofers loved using w/e brand offsets that Sears sells.
 

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Roofers can get scarey. More than once we've had to come back and fix a flue that they chopped off. Seems the furnace shuts off when there is nowhere for the combustion gasses to go. Imagine that!
 

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Roofers can get scarey. More than once we've had to come back and fix a flue that they chopped off. Seems the furnace shuts off when there is nowhere for the combustion gasses to go. Imagine that!
I worked with the guy in the fab shop who made all the custom drip edge and capping or the 20+ year experienced white guy who would go fix fawk ups like that.

@ 16 I was in charge of the Mexicans who had to dip the cedar shingles for the boss's house :doh0715:
 

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It's amazing to watch them build stuff at metal fabricators, and with the lazer cutters and all, you can't touch the quality.

It's tough being the straw boss sometimes, LOL.
 

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Another vote for a nibbler, I use a pneumatic one. Works great. Each tool works better for different thicknesses as well.
 
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