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How to Get a More Accurate Cut on Metal - Kevin Caron



Kevin is about to true up a piece of steel for his latest sound sculpture. A viewer recently asked how to get a more accurate cut when working with metal - his work always seems to come out too big or too small.

Working with metal, of course, you can use a soapstone and can sharpen a point on the end of it. The first half-inch or so of your line will be a good clean line. Then as the point wears down, your line gets wider and wider.

To demonstrate, Kevin draws a 7" line with the soapstone. He shows how big and fat the line is. You can make a smaller line if you rotate the soapstone as you go, keeping the point down.

Next Kevin draws the same line with a Sharpie marking pen, gently touching the steel and rotating the pen as he goes. You still end up with a fat line. It's smaller than the soapstone line, but it's still a pretty big line.

Then you have to ask yourself, "Do I cut on the right of the line? The left of the line? Or right down the middle of the line? Where's my mark?"

Finally, Kevin discovered a scribe. It has a nice hard steel point. You can grind it on the grinder to get it even sharper. Caron uses the scribe to etch a line in the metal and shows how it is razor thin. Now you can cut right dead on that line or just to the right side, and your cut is going to come out exactly where you want it. There's no ambiguity.

Then you can go to your chopsaw, your shear, use your angle grinder with a cutoff wheel on it - whatever you need - to make your cut, and you'll know it's accurate.

Where do you get a scribe? Kevin says you can buy them from a tool truck, at the big orange box store in the tool corral, or just pick up a piece of steel and make one. You can use a piece of rod and grind a point on it. Pick up a bolt and grind a point on it.

You don't have to buy one - you're a metalworker! There's your homework for today. You can make a scribe as long and as big around as you want.

Kevin doesn't recommend, however, that you put a hook on the other end like the one he is using. It's actually an automotive tool, letting mechanics retrieve, say, an O ring, but that hook can catch on your hand when using it as a scribe.

So go get or make a scribe. It'll make your cuts and joints a lot tighter and neater.

Kevin is ready to go back to work, so you can subscribe to this channel to see a new video every week - he uploads one every Wednesday - or go to http://www.kevincaron.com to see his wild work and more how-to videos.

Or you can stick around for another moment and see him make the Voice laugh ....


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