How to Cut Thin Metal Precisely
Kevin gets asked often how to get a clean cut on a piece of thin metal.
There are three tools that Kevin uses a lot to get a precise cut from a thin piece of metal. One tool is a foot shear or a jump shear. Another tool is a plate shear for cutting slightly thicker metal than the foot shear can handle. The third tool is a Beverly shear or a throatless shear.
All three tools work great and all start the same way. When cutting a thin piece of metal precisely you need to make sure to start with a good line and a good mark to follow. Instead of using a pencil, a magic marker or soapstone, Kevin suggests using a scribe so you can get a nice razor edge line to follow.
Once you have a line made, you are ready to begin cutting. Kevin is cutting 16 gauge 5051 soft aluminum and it’s a little too thick for tinsnips so he needs to use a power tool. If you have an air compressor, one option is an air-powered cutoff tool.
Another power tool option is one of Kevin's favorites, an angle grinder with a cutoff wheel. The angle grinder with the cutoff wheel will be a quieter option than the air-powered cutoff tool and offers a little more power.
Using a straight edge clamped to the edge of the bench is also a good tip to cut thin metal precisely. Using your power tool, ensure you're up against the straight edge and can follow along the line to get your perfectly cut piece of thin metal.
Before you head out, stick around for another moment to see a crazy safety tip ….
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