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Old 10-05-2017, 07:36 PM
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Murdoch Murdoch is offline
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Default Advice for cutting 16 gauge steel and aluminum equivalent

Not sure if this belongs here and I truly apologize for my ignorance if that in fact is so.
I'm working on a project and I am wondering what would be the best tool for cutting 16 gauge steel and the equivalent thickness in aluminum.
I thought a scroll saw would have done it, but not good at all.
I was wondering if a bandsaw would be OK but I would like to be able to cut curves and such.
Now sadly I have a limited budget, by that i mean that I would be looking for a used unit or even trading for said item. I am also limited on space, yes limitations ol plenty here lol.
I appreciate your help and support on this.
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Old 10-05-2017, 08:09 PM
BSG BSG is offline
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What about a Beverly shear?

http://beverlyshearmfg.com
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Old 10-05-2017, 08:24 PM
cliffrod cliffrod is offline
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What kind of scroll (saber) saw?

I have a Makita saber saw with variable speed and four orbital settings (from straight up and down to a progressively greater oval pattern which helps shed debris from the teeth) and it works very good on sheet metal. For very thin stuff, sandwiching between plywood or luan helps stabilize the metal.

I bought this type of saw based on Ron Fournier"s first book, because it was the most versatile way to cut so many things. It's pretty slow to use for cutting 1/4 plate steel but works great with lots cleaner edge than using a torch. Until I get a Beverly, this and my Kett electric shear (added since the Makita saw) are what I use.
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Old 10-05-2017, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cliffrod View Post
What kind of scroll (saber) saw?

I have a Makita saber saw with variable speed and four orbital settings (from straight up and down to a progressively greater oval pattern which helps shed debris from the teeth) and it works very good on sheet metal. For very thin stuff, sandwiching between plywood or luan helps stabilize the metal.

I bought this type of saw based on Ron Fournier"s first book, because it was the most versatile way to cut so many things. It's pretty slow to use for cutting 1/4 plate steel but works great with lots cleaner edge than using a torch. Until I get a Beverly, this and my Kett electric shear (added since the Makita saw) are what I use.
I had a Mastercraft that I had picked up for $40.00 just sold it for $50.00
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Old 10-05-2017, 09:35 PM
Chris_Hamilton Chris_Hamilton is offline
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Like Cliffrod stated the Kett shears are excellent and affordable. KD-440 model would be the way to go. Plus I think they are still American made. At least the 440 that I got a few years ago was.

http://www.kett-tool.com/products/de...t_model=KD-440
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Last edited by Chris_Hamilton; 10-05-2017 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 10-06-2017, 12:11 AM
crystallographic crystallographic is offline
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Curling shears (Kett, Milwaukee, Makita, etc) are good on 18 ga steel and thinner.
If you use a saber saw (handheld "jig" saw) you must have two teeth engaged or snap the blades, so on thin material you need 32T blades, or 36T and good luck. My box of Bosch sabersaws also has a pile of blades in packages of 5 and 6 per, from 4T and up.

I would buy shears of the bypass type for 16 ga steel because they are civilized in the hand and invite more cutting - unlike other cutting tools.

No price listed:
http://www.makitauk.com/products/met...tal-shear.html

$300 new
http://www.performancetoolcenter.com...20group%20%231

You will likely think that you want to spend $40 for what you think you need, and I'm very sympathetic .....

If you want to cut the metal you have to have a minimum tool. Minimum in my book is not distorted cuts- which will require time to straighten.
Not ragged, which takes time to hand file.
And your hands still function afterwards - no small thing when tools are barely able to do the job .... and take their personal price in skin.

When I was a starving apprentice I haunted the row of hock shops that was facing the tracks, every Saturday morning, 10AM sharp.
With $3 in my pocket.
I still have a few of those excellent US-made primo tools that I bought for $1 ...
$1.50 ....
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Last edited by crystallographic; 10-06-2017 at 12:16 AM.
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Old 10-06-2017, 06:48 PM
Chris_Hamilton Chris_Hamilton is offline
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I find the Kett's easier to use than the bypass type. I struggle keeping the bypass type like the Makita flat when cutting. The ones I have, have no issues with 16 ga (they are rated to 14 ga and .125 aluminum) and vibration isn't really a issue either.
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Old 10-06-2017, 08:21 PM
Oldnek Oldnek is offline
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I have the Makita and works great, it will even cut 2mm straight as it's very hard to turn on that thickness. On smaller material up to 1.6 keep your waste to the left side and this will help with flatness.
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Old 10-06-2017, 08:28 PM
Oldnek Oldnek is offline
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Adding I also had a set of Makita JS1660 Shears, they were great until they fell off the bench and snapped the cutting nose off them.
Only used those upto 1.2mm so I can't comment on how they cut on thicker material.
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Old 10-06-2017, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldnek View Post
I have the Makita and works great, it will even cut 2mm straight as it's very hard to turn on that thickness. On smaller material up to 1.6 keep your waste to the left side and this will help with flatness.
I'm going to look into that. I do like Makita, I have a palm sander from them that I've always loved...
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