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PostPosted: December 9, 2017, 4:36 pm 
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Location: Denver, Colorado
So I do not have a plasma cutter, and I am not spending the cash to get one. I do have a Sawzall, an angle grinder, a die grinder, a chop saw and Rage cold saw (both of which really would not work well to cut chassis plates) and a hacksaw.

What are the most wise group's recommendations for cutting plate steel (3mm and 6mm)?

Thanks in advance!

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PostPosted: December 9, 2017, 5:04 pm 
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Joined: June 5, 2016, 7:03 am
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Location: ontario
RandyBMC wrote:
So I do not have a plasma cutter, and I am not spending the cash to get one. I do have a Sawzall, an angle grinder, a die grinder, a chop saw and Rage cold saw (both of which really would not work well to cut chassis plates) and a hacksaw.

What are the most wise group's recommendations for cutting plate steel (3mm and 6mm)?

Thanks in advance!


Cutting steel in a straight line is not difficult. I have cut up to 1/2" over 8 or 10 " long with my 7" angle grinder. Make first a shallow cut over the whole length using if you need it a metal fence ( I don't) and go over your cut several times until the disc cuts through. Actually I prefer the angle grinder over the plasma cutter which I have. When it comes to curves, this is another story. Sawzalls, jig saws don't like turns. There I try to use hole cutters under the miller . If you don't have one, the drill press would do. You can cut up to 6" circles in 3 or 6 mm (or a lot more) and use these curves to form the parts for your car. And if all this does not work, yes you need a friend with a plasma cutter or someone with an acetylene torch.


Good luck :cheers:

PS. Mgkluft below is right: try to use your band saw. I use mine up to 6-7 " lengths (it take longer, than with the angle grinder though)


Last edited by phil on December 11, 2017, 12:40 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: December 9, 2017, 5:28 pm 
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Joined: April 12, 2012, 11:56 am
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Location: Pemberton, BC
I use a combination of my bandsaw and angle grinder. The bandsaw for reducing the larger chuncks, in a straight line, and then the angle grinder for the rest. Get good quality cut off blades and as thin as available. The rest is just shaping with the grinder and some good files.


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PostPosted: December 10, 2017, 5:08 pm 
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Joined: October 19, 2009, 9:36 pm
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Location: meadview arizona
i made a band saw from a power hacksaw i bought at a yard sale by mounting it on a bracket i could clamp to a bench and welding up a table/platform that bolted on but my buddy borrowed it when he was building his hot rod 55 dodge truck so i sold it to him for $50.00 then went and bought a "real" band saw from harbor fright which i used for my blower build.

in truth i built my whole car with only a hacksaw, i didn't even own a chop saw then, you can cut longer cuts if you turn the blade sideways, just scribe a line and watch it as you cut.

i once raced a student of mine who said it takes too long to use a hacksaw compared to an air saw guess who won that race.

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PostPosted: December 10, 2017, 5:20 pm 
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Joined: March 30, 2011, 7:18 am
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Location: central Arkansas
RandyBMC wrote:
Sawzall, an angle grinder, a die grinder, a chop saw and Rage cold saw


Use the shop saw or cold saw for what you can get to. Then use the Sawzall to finish the cuts, and clean them up with the angle grinder.

After you get the hang of it, it'll be pretty quick.

If you make a wood or metal stand for the angle grinder you can use it like a small disc sander; just the ticket for finishing to size and making square edges.


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PostPosted: December 15, 2017, 12:43 pm 
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Location: Denver, Colorado
Thanks for the advice! I don't have a band saw (just a portable band saw for exhaust work). The angle grinder and die grinder worked for the first couple, after making the cuts I could with the cold saw (Rage saw).

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PostPosted: December 15, 2017, 4:49 pm 
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Joined: January 2, 2009, 1:45 pm
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Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
I routinely use my Makita jig saw with a good metal cutting blade and lots of cutting fluid for metals. I have typically cut 16 guage steel, but have done 1/4 x 3 inch SS flat bar.

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PostPosted: December 22, 2017, 11:22 pm 
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Joined: May 17, 2008, 10:55 pm
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Location: canada
RandyBMC wrote:
Thanks for the advice! I don't have a band saw (just a portable band saw for exhaust work). The angle grinder and die grinder worked for the first couple, after making the cuts I could with the cold saw (Rage saw).


Portable bands saws in stands. It's a thing. I made mine, and like it a lot.


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PostPosted: December 23, 2017, 9:26 am 
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I agree with the angle grinder comments but I don't know how I could live without my oxy/act torch. If you don't own one it's WAY cheaper to buy than a plasma and has a million other uses as well. (loosening ANY bolt quickly, tempering aluminum, welding where you can only see the bottom of the weld, lighting the charcoal grill NOW, etc) I bought a plasma a couple years ago thinking I could do cleaner cuts and I really can't, it's just collecting dust.

Also, hard to feel more manly than when you cut out a great looking part with a torch :lol: , not a ton of people left who really know how to do it well (I'm not exactly one of them but I make it work. My FIL makes better looking parts with a torch than I do with a bandsaw, I can do Plasma looking cuts).

Alex


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PostPosted: December 28, 2017, 4:56 pm 
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iadr wrote:
RandyBMC wrote:
Thanks for the advice! I don't have a band saw (just a portable band saw for exhaust work). The angle grinder and die grinder worked for the first couple, after making the cuts I could with the cold saw (Rage saw).


Portable bands saws in stands. It's a thing. I made mine, and like it a lot.


Photo please...

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PostPosted: December 28, 2017, 4:57 pm 
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ajmacdon wrote:
I agree with the angle grinder comments but I don't know how I could live without my oxy/act torch. If you don't own one it's WAY cheaper to buy than a plasma and has a million other uses as well. (loosening ANY bolt quickly, tempering aluminum, welding where you can only see the bottom of the weld, lighting the charcoal grill NOW, etc) I bought a plasma a couple years ago thinking I could do cleaner cuts and I really can't, it's just collecting dust.

Also, hard to feel more manly than when you cut out a great looking part with a torch :lol: , not a ton of people left who really know how to do it well (I'm not exactly one of them but I make it work. My FIL makes better looking parts with a torch than I do with a bandsaw, I can do Plasma looking cuts).

Alex


Maybe I should try that out! Sounds like fun.

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PostPosted: December 28, 2017, 10:19 pm 
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Joined: July 17, 2006, 3:09 pm
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Location: Holly, MI
SWAG Offroad makes portable saw stands. I just bought one to use with the new Harbor Freight Bauer saw.




http://www.swagoffroad.com/SWAG-Portaba ... _c_35.html


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PostPosted: December 29, 2017, 10:06 am 
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Location: central Arkansas
ajmacdon wrote:
Also, hard to feel more manly than when you cut out a great looking part with a torch :lol:


I wasted a lot of gas trying to master the oxyacetylene torch. The *#&@ never worked like the book said it should.

One day after wasting $40 in gas trying to make a few simple cuts, I got angry enough to take the acetylene regulator apart. It was full of swarf. The oxygen regulator was similar. So that explained why, no matter what pressure I set, the oxygen lever on the cutting head never did much...

Those were high-end Harris regulators, bought at Sears in the mid-1990s, not Harbor Freight stuff. The Harbor Freight regulators I replaced them with work just fine...


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PostPosted: December 29, 2017, 12:30 pm 
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Location: BC, Canada. eh?
Having tried virtually everything available (except a plasma cutter, which fits into my budget like a size 14 foot into a size 5 shoe), all of my thicker-materials cuts are done with a 4 1/2" angry grinder & ultra thin carbide discs. There's not much they won't cut (I've even cut stone with 'em), and the ultra thin discs remove very little metal, so there's little waste.

Beware, though...any metal cut with one will reach a higher temperature than the surface of the sun, so don't grab any freshly cut bits, lest you leave parts of yourself stuck to the material like bacon to a stove element...

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PostPosted: December 30, 2017, 10:57 pm 
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Joined: February 29, 2008, 7:15 pm
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Location: Denver, Colorado
I've been doing some plate cutting using a couple different methods. I have used the chop saw when able, then die grinder finishing. I've used the angle grinder. I've used the sawzall and finished with both a bench grinder and a flapper wheel on the angle grinder, both of which work pretty well. The sawzall is probably the fastest and removes the least material, but requires a bit of finishing to get the lines I'm happy with. None of that has been curved.

I've run out of 3mm plate, so now I need to go run out and get more to finish the upper roll bar/shock mounting plates. Thanks for all of the suggestions!

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