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"Your work is an inspiration to me.... Someday I?ll retire from the railroad and build a shop and create, too."
--David S. Ludlow, Executive Director, Wilmington & Western Railroad, Wilmington, Delaware

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Cutting Metal: How to Select the Right Tool for the Job

The Voice: Hey, Kevin. What are you looking at?

Kevin Caron: I?ve got to go cut something up, and I was just trying to decide which tool to use. You ever have that problem?

Let?s say you?ve got to cut up a piece of metal. For instance, I?ve got a piece of angle iron sticking out of the ground and I want to chop it off. I could take a hacksaw, but I don?t think so.

How about a power tool like the air-powered 3-inch cutoff tool? It spins and chops it off very nicely - as long as you can cut into the piece. However, with the safety shield and the little bolt that sticks out of the end to hold the wheel on, it?s hard to get into a tight area. Not the right tool this time.

How about the air-powered hacksaw? It?s a cute little tool, really quiet and really fun to play with here in my studio. It takes tiny blades and does a real tiny curve very easily. You can almost sit and scroll with it like a jigsaw. But it requires you to drag the hose out.

How about the Sawzall? It?s got all different kinds of blades, all different sizes and shapes. It?s got wood blades of different lengths, and metal blades of all different lengths.

This is a preferred tool, at least for me, when I need a good metal cutter. I can put on any kind of blade I need and there?s lots of horsepower to hack and slice. I use this power tool when I?m not worried about how to precision cut the way I would when I?m creating a metal sculpture.

The Sawzall works with wood and it works with metal. I?ll drag out the extension cord and use this tool.

Sometimes, you want to go out and have a little fun with power tools, but don?t forget the safety accessories - welding gloves, hearing protection, safety glasses. Wear ?em. It?s good for you.

See you later.

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