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"Every time I go by the [Mighty Owl Oak] there are children, parents or teachers standing around it. It is wonderful to see the kids bring their parents into the school to see the tree and their leaf."
--Lisa Pavlet, project coordinator, Litchfield Elementary School PTSA

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How to Cut Metal Using a Circle-Cutting Tool

Kevin tries out a new tool, a circle cutter for his oxygen-acetylene unit (oxy-acetylene can cut really thick metal). Kevin saw the tool online and the folks at JCA Enterprises were nice enough to send him one. It's a simple design, with a hole for the torch head, a locking set screw so you can adjust your pivot point, and, opposite the torch head hold, a saddle, or brace, that cradles the torch body. It snaps onto the oxygen-acetylene cutting torch handle, and it's installed, just like that. It helps when cutting circles or radii (rounded corners on a plate). Once the circle cutter is snapped on, you adjust your radius where you want it, lock down the lock lever, and you're good to go. It's really, really easy. It also comes with an attachment for your plasma cutter. That attachment fits right into the torch head hole, where it locks into place. You do have to bore the hole in the attachment to fit your plasma cutter, which Kevin points out lets the company provide the attachment without having to have a bushing for every plasma cutter on the market. Kevin then talks about how this circle cutter for metal compares with the one he has been using with his plasma cutter. He says they are very different. That circle cutting attachment uses a bushing that fits the head on the plasma cutter with three set screws to lock it into place, and an adapter ring that is secured with a snap ring. This one also uses "training wheels" to help keep the cutting head steady. It comes with extensions for cutting pipe or curved pieces of metal, too. To make it a circle cutter, you replace one of the training wheels with the circle cutting attachment. The problem is that the rod gets in the way. And, unlike the new tool, you can't secure the rod to the torch handle itself. He talks about how the set screw on the new circle cutter allows you to raise or lower the pivot point or turn it 180 degrees. You can cut from a 1-inch circle to a 26-inch circle with it. It's more solid and has fewer parts to lose, too. Now it's time to cut something. Kevin gets some 1-inch plate, snaps the circle cutter onto the oxygen-acetylene torch handle, adjusts his radius, locks it into place, and then checks it before he puts on his safety equipment. Then he fires up the oxygen-acetylene torch cuts the radius. The video shows it in real time so you can get a realistic idea of how long it takes to cut 1-inch steel. Kevin likes the results. He says the cutter takes just a little getting used to, but does a great job and will make a great addition to his box of tools.

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