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  1. takevin's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2002
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    Wauconda,il
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    Oct 15, 2008, 11:17 PM - Best way to cut sheet metal? #1

    I plan on using using some 1/8g or 1/16g metal chrome or diamond plated sheeting in some various shapes. Some round, squarish etc, whats the best way of cutting the metal without leaving too much of a jagged edge to be grinded down? Most wont be bigger then 10"x8"? AS far cutting a hole in said shape, hole saw? Thank you
    Last edited by takevin; Oct 15, 2008 at 11:26 PM.
  2. exoray's Avatar
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    May 2003
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    Oct 15, 2008, 11:53 PM - Re: Best way to cut sheet metal? #2

    Aluminum or steel?

    For aluminum you can cut with a table saw and a carbide blade, steel will be a little harder and you should use a abrasive disc in the saw instead of a blade...

    Wear glasses, even though carbide cuts aluminum very well you can throw the carbide teeth if it grabs...

    A decent hole saw will cut holes in both, just take it slow...
  3. takevin's Avatar
    Member Since
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    Oct 16, 2008, 1:22 PM - Re: Best way to cut sheet metal? #3

    exoray said: View Post
    Aluminum or steel?

    For aluminum you can cut with a table saw and a carbide blade, steel will be a little harder and you should use a abrasive disc in the saw instead of a blade...

    Wear glasses, even though carbide cuts aluminum very well you can throw the carbide teeth if it grabs...

    A decent hole saw will cut holes in both, just take it slow...

    aluminum, thankyou for the tips
  4. slave1pilot is offline slave1pilot
    Oct 16, 2008, 1:52 PM - Re: Best way to cut sheet metal? #4

    Plasma cutter.
  5. Vaderman's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2006
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    Burbank, California
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    Oct 16, 2008, 2:04 PM - Re: Best way to cut sheet metal? #5

    Plasma can leave a pretty nasty edge, though perhaps the aluminum is soft and thin enough that this is minimal?
    You can also use a hacksaw, a bandsaw, water jet, laser or get it on a CNC machine for a really, really nice finished edge.
  6. RPF Premium Member
    Member Since
    Nov 2006
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    762
    Oct 17, 2008, 12:23 AM - Re: Best way to cut sheet metal? #6

    My little Miller Spectrum 375 plasma cutter can do 1/8 aluminum but I've got cleanup to do. 18g (40 thousandths) is no problem and if using a pattern guide or straight edge to guide the cut the edge is pretty good on 18g. What really matters for aluminum is amps as that dictates how well you can keep up with the aluminum's ability to disperse the heat quickly. I've tried 3/16 & 1/4 inch aluminum plate and 3/8's steel plate with it and it was not pretty. I ended up just breaking out my Bosch jig saw and going through a few blades.

    Cheap route if its work table space is big enough is just get one of the little craftsman benchtop bandsaw and order a good bi-metal blade for it. Aluminum sheet likes to be cut in the upper 2k to lower 3k range which is what most wood bands saws run at, just don't try those speeds on anything steel. You could do quite a bit with just a good hand held jig saw too (I love my little Bosch one), some well placed manuvering holes for tight turns, and a few files.

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