Author Topic: Cutting stainless....  (Read 890 times)

Wetstuff

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Cutting stainless....
« on: February 22, 2021, 10:44:36 AM »
I am building a castor'ing nosewheel for my beach cart and had some 16 gauge SS sheet...  I tried an air cutoff saw, then a die grinder but could not cut a half-azz'd straight line if my wife depended upon it.  It turns out standard 4" cutoff wheels work well and this tracks like a skill-saw in wood.  ....plus, lickity-split compared with the other tools.

I did not have any fancy cutting oil ...but Canola oil seemed to work Ok to help keep it cool.  This saw is from, 'trow-it-out', Harbor Freight.  I have not thrown it out in 15+yrs, so I must have not used it much.  I put this up - because I had not seen it done before. (I am sure I am not the first...)  I don't want to be there, but I would bet it would work well for FRP also.

Jim
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TallDude

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Re: Cutting stainless....
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2021, 11:28:56 AM »
I owned a steel supply company years ago and sold metal cutting blades. Most of what we sold was for cutting mild steel, but the brand we sold also made blades for SS. These are Carbide  tip blades, not abrasive wheels. They chisel their way through with no sparks or burn discoloring. My custom stainless steel fabricators started buying tons of them from us. The mild steel blades (7 1/4" on a Skillsaw) will cut through 1" steel plate just like cutting wood. They do throw tiny bits of shrapnel. Go to wear protection. I cut a 1" thick structural base plate in half with my Skillsaw right in front of my structural steel fabricator. His Jaw dropped. WTF! Never seen anything like it. I sold him a ton of those blades.

 http://www.tenryu.com/sps.html

It's not overhead to me!
8'8" L-41 ST and a whole pile of boards I rarely use.

PonoBill

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Re: Cutting stainless....
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2021, 10:36:13 PM »
I use carbide-tipped skill saw blades all the time to cut steel and aluminum. They don't actually have to be anything special as long as they have a lot of teeth, but the special metal cutting blades are best and last longer. And your saw needs to be geared, a weenie homeowner direct drive saw will slow and that burns out the blades. Blade speed is your friend. The carbide is actually friction cutting, and if the tips stay on contact with the metal for long they overheat. My metal cutting chop saw has a 21" carbide blade. Replacement blades cost almost as much as the saw did, but they last a few years. Eye protection for sure, I wear goggles and a face mask. A leather apron is a good idea too. And don't wear sneakers--the hot metal bits are big enough to hold a lot of heat, they go through the fabric of a pair of Nikes like it wasn't there and you get to do the hotfoot dance. I wear leather boots in my shop most time--I do a lot of welding.

For heavy stuff I use a plasma cutter. Mine goes through 1" steel like it was butter and it cuts in any direction--I can draw with it. The big trick with a plasma cutter is getting it started--if you have to start in the middle of a thick sheet it blows metal everywhere and makes a mess. I just drill a hole where I want to start, then the plasma is starting on an edge and slices right through instead of blowing a crater.

If you're going to get an angle grinder spend the extra bucks for a Metabo. It's a lot of extra bucks, but absolutely worth it.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2021, 10:46:40 PM by PonoBill »
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

Wetstuff

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Re: Cutting stainless....
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2021, 05:48:44 AM »
Don't get me wrong, I appreciate 'nice tools', but this little work-around was $40.  I may have to toss it after a few hours but I also cannot see needing it very often. It was already a dust collector.  I have two chop saws (little & big) for tube - so infrequently used to not warrant an expensive blade.  I really dislike HF, but sometimes a cheap tool beats the expense and wait for a job shop or site visit.  I search Amazon before I drive 3min. to HF.

Jim
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PonoBill

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Re: Cutting stainless....
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2021, 07:01:12 PM »
Nothing wrong with HF stuff as long as you understand the limitations. On the other hand, people could retire on what I've spent on tools over the last 50 years, but the tools that get used the most are the ones that were much more expensive than the ones that sit jumbled up in drawers. I have at least ten, maybe twenty sanders. I have one Festool sander that costs about the same as all the xx number of sanders put together. I always grab the Festool. I have one Metabo angle grinder and six or seven lesser (not that much lesser) grinders that I leave set up with various wheels--flap sanders, heavy grinding wheels, thin cutoff wheels, diamond blades, cup wheels--and rather than use them I change out the wheel on my Metabo almost every time.

The skillsaw in talldudes picture is a Mag 77. Two hundred bucks. You can buy five cheap skillsaws for that, and you won't have one that will really do the job that the old Mag 77 worm drive saw will do. I've got at least five not-so-cheap saws and a Mag 77 that I bought at an estate sale for 50 bucks. It's old, ugly, beat up, and it's twice the saw of any of the direct-drive saws I own. No laser though, so for long cuts I reach for something newer.

Sad but true, good tools feel good and do a better job. I still get all silly and buy cheap shit, and then get real and get what I should have bought in the first place. That doesn't mean that expensive is better--you still have to know what you want and how to tell good from the bad. But when you know what you want, you just have to pull up your big boy pants and buy the big boy stuff.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2021, 07:09:31 PM by PonoBill »
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

 


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