G Scale Model Train Forum banner
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,704 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 10" table saw and was wondering if I could use it to cut thin metal ~.032". I need to cut strips of 1/2" to 1" wide and about 3' long.

If so what blade would you recommend?

Also, what about cutting thin steel about the same thickness, ~.032" Would it require a different blade since steel is considered ferrous?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,167 Posts
You can use a carbide tipped blade to cut thin soft metal (brass, aluminum) but it makes a big mess (think metal shavings everywhere!). I have used my miter saw but I wheel it outdoors and put a big tarp around it. You can buy big abrasive metal cutting discs in the home depot but they make the metal very hot as they cut, especially hard steel. I'm not sure how successful you would be trying to cut thin strips of steel.

-Brian
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
5,732 Posts
Personally, I don't know if I'd want to try that on a 10" table saw regardless of the blade. 0.032" is pretty thin, and if that fast-spinning blade catches it, God knows what could happen. It could rip it out of your hand or shoot it out of the saw in a heartbeat. I'd be too afraid of serious injury. Besides, even if you could cut it, I doubt it would come out very well, and would probably be bent up with mucho burrs all along the edges.

My recommendation would be to (a) use a shear, (b) find someone with a shear willing to cut it for you, or (c) buy it already cut to width. Perhaps a local sheet metal company would be willing to cut you a few strips for little or no cost. Either way, your fingers, eyes, and hands are worth the extra expense.

MHO. :)
 

·
A Steamed Elder
Joined
·
3,857 Posts
I sure wouldn't do it!/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/shocked.gif
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
I'd have to echo the above - cutting thin sheet metal on a table saw would be very dangerous.

37 and 52" jump shears are very common and there are models that can handle 16 gauge (.060") or thinner steel without problem all day long. Once you get the back gauge set up properly, you could cut 192 1/2" wide strips out of an 8' piece of sheet stock in less than half an hour. Any HVAC shop should be able to handle such a job.

Brian
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,393 Posts
Posted By jimtyp on 07/30/2008 2:52 PM

I have a 10" table saw and was wondering if I could use it to cut thin metal ~.032". I need to cut strips of 1/2" to 1" wide and about 3' long. «snip...»
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
101 Posts
how many strips do you need? I have a shear and am in San Antonio TX but would be more than happy to cut you some
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,007 Posts
I've cut brass up to 1/4" thick on a table saw,,, an old 10" delta contractors saw,,, just fine. But as others have mentioned, considering the cost of brass, I would look into borrowing a shear or a paper cutter. I've cut thin sheets of brass and steel on a paper cutter with no harm to the blade. It sure caused trouble with my wife though.
I have a shear now, and there is no comparision between that and the other alternatives when it comes to cutting metal,,, how ever, it is limited in the thickness it can cut.
Changed slightly by Peter Bunce as moderator, re language.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,704 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the info gents! I remember trying to cut some thin brass metal (.032") on chop saw once and it was a bad experience, lucky I didn't put an eye out or worse.

What about using a tile cutter, a wet saw?

I'll look for shears that will cut up to 36" long via Google but do you have any sources or specific tools you'd recommend?

Ben, thanks for the offer to cut the metal, you are most kind, but I have a lot to cut. Or if I was closer to San Antonio I would drive over :) I think the shipping back and forth would be prohibitive.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
101 Posts
Jim
I was just sitting here thinking (that could be dangerous) and I remembered that one time we used a carpenters knife to cut some aluminum sheet .062 or 16 ga. and also some brass sheeting aswell.
Looking at my most recent Harbor Frieght add that came in today they also have a " Sheet metal Fabrication kit" for $79.99 for the 12 inch throat and 112.99 for the 18 inch throat and they both include 7 mandrels of which one of them is designed to cut up and including 18 guage, hope this helps, Take care Amigo
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,704 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
What band saw would folks recommend? I'm looking at cutting up a sheets of 36" x 36" of mild steel, 22 gauge, into strips of 1/2" wide to 1" wide.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,065 Posts
I used a metal cutoff wheel on a full-sized tablesaw to cut thru 8 foot long steel guttering material. You should have seen the sparks fly. Looking back at it, I think it was pretty unsafe and foolish, but it did get the job done quickly.

I've worn down teeth on metal cutting bandsaws as they are usually for soft metal, which I found the hard way.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
168 Posts
Man, your best bet and would be about as cheap would be to go to a sheet metal shop and have them
cut the metal into strips for you.

Ken owner of K&K the road to nowhere
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
430 Posts
Cutting brass or aluminum shapes with a chop saw or even a table saw is a whole different ball game from cutting thin sheet metal ( no matter what kind).
If sheet stock could successfuly, cleanly, and safely be cut with a circular saw (chop or table) there would be no sales of metal shears now would there

Sandwiching betwen two sheets of wood is a semi practical idea in a pinch, but you will not come out with clean smooth edges.

Find a small sheet metal shop and talk straight to the guy that would do the job. Usually these guys are pretty easy going with prices for folks doing hobby work.
If your doing it for resale then bite the bullet and pay the going rate. Far better than ending up with a bunch of chopped up strips that aren't good for anything
and that's the good scenario.

Just my opinion, based on 30 years in a sheet metal shop.
Later
Rick Marty
 
1 - 20 of 26 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