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Thread: Cutting .063 4130?

  1. #1
    Jim Hann's Avatar
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    Cutting .063 4130?

    Hey folks,

    I'm primarily a wood builder but I need to cut some brackets, etc. out of .063 steel. I don't have anything beyond a hacksaw right now. I was hoping to get an angle grinder from Harbor Freight to do the little cutting I need. What say ye of more knowledge? Down the road I might need to cut some .125 also, but that isn't on the radar for now.

    Thanks!

    Jim
    PS, HF link: http://www.harborfreight.com/catalog...+angle+grinder
    Last edited by Jim Hann; 12-27-2011 at 03:33 AM. Reason: add link
    Jim Hann
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  2. #2

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    Jim,
    An angle grinder will work but you will have a lot of waste due to the thick blade. A small air powered angle grinder with a cut off wheel will due a better job. Not a big fan of HF but here is one. http://www.harborfreight.com/3-inch-...ter-47077.html Use your own judgement with the Chinese discs, I only use the US made.

    I prefer a plazma cutter for everything but the simplest of cuts.

    Jack

  3. #3
    Chad Jensen's Avatar
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    I am a fan of Harbor Freight...that being said, take Jack's advise to NOT use the Chinese discs. The tool itself will do the trick just fine, and will more than likely last you the length of your build.
    Chad Jensen
    EAA #755575

  4. #4
    Mike Switzer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    I prefer a plazma cutter for everything but the simplest of cuts.
    I agree, but they are pricy if you won't be using it a lot. I paid over $1200 for mine back in 1999, but I use it quite a bit for auto body work. It also came in real handy for trimming the ends off all the steel studs for my apartment/office/shop that were a bit long.

  5. #5

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    get a pack of metal cutting blades for your jig saw go slow

    http://www.grizzly.com/products/VS-Jigsaw-President-s-Special-/G8994Z

    c
    ut big, shape on your belt sander.
    Last edited by Tom Downey; 12-27-2011 at 10:33 AM.

  6. #6

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    I used a hacksaw to cut all of the fittings for a full size Great Lakes. There were well over 100 pieces using from .065 through 1.25 thickness. Yes, I also hand filed them until I got the idea to borrow a buddies belt sander. Must admit, they were very nice fittings. As I learned latter, there are easier ways. I used a die grinder for some metal work. Admittedly faster, but not better.

    larry

  7. #7
    Neil's Avatar
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    You should really be using a metal cutting band saw. You can buy one of the cut off saws sold my many of the tool supply houses for a couple hundred dollars. Make sure to get one that has the upright attachment for sawing small parts. The local welding supply house here has a guy that makes up blades for these in about any pitch you want. Something around 18 to 24 pitch would be about right. All machine shops purchase blade stock on rolls so you might be able to get blades made at a local shop. Wood cutting band saws can be fitted with metal cutting blades but they must be slowed down a lot to cut anything other than aluminum. The blade guides on the wood cutting saws aren't the best for metal work but you can get by if you gear the saw down enough.

  8. #8
    Jim Hann's Avatar
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    Guys, thanks for the great information. I'm thinking that my jigsaw doesn't go slow enough but I'll check it out. Chad and Jack, do you have a suggestion for cutoff wheel acquisition (Lowe's, Sears, HD, ???) I've got options here in STL, the only thing I don't have is a business ID so I can buy from Grainger :-(

    Neil, I'd love to have a metal cutting band saw but I have two problems, it is hard to spend that much money on something I won't use much at all and I will become homeless (i.e. my wife will throw me out!) Most of the metal parts have been cut for my fuse, I still need to do wing fittings and parts and right now I've got an 18X36 piece of 4130 that is begging to be cut!

    Jim
    Jim Hann
    EAA 276294 Lifetime
    Vintage 722607
    1957 Piper PA-22/20 "Super Pacer"
    Chapter 32 member www.eaa32.org
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  9. #9
    Chad Jensen's Avatar
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    I honestly can't remember where mine came from (maybe Van's???), but just make sure they say "Made in the USA" on them. Should be printed in white.
    Chad Jensen
    EAA #755575

  10. #10

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    Jim,
    3m Green Corps are good ones, McMaster-Car has them, not sure of the brand, and you can find them at paint/body shop supply stores. I'm sure Amazon has them. I get mine at a local mine and mill supply.

    Jack

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