Cut steel with a cut off wheel?

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Old 04-21-03, 09:48 PM
insainity
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Cut steel with a cut off wheel?

Ok guys do they make a skill saw designed for useing the metal cuting blades/wheels.I had a cheapy (the name escapes me but it was around 45 bucks) i used for cuting a few feet of exspanded metal.It was fairly new,but aparently didnt like the metal/griding dust. The bearings failed in a very short time.I have a cuting torch but would like(the finished/straight edge) of a skill saw for sheet steel and exspanded metal.Ughum i have a worm gear saw but im not about to use it.

Yea yea i no just a few more thousand hrs of cutting and ill be steady enough to use the torch.
 
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Old 04-22-03, 03:51 AM
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insainity:

I assume you are using an abrasive blade when you say the dust is killing your saw.
If so, there are steel, metal cutting blades available for cutting light guage sheet metal. These would work well in your worm drive saw.

http://www.metaldevil.com/
http://doityourself.com/store/1431279.htm
 
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Old 04-22-03, 05:25 AM
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One of my businesses usually has us doing a lot of metal cutting, and for the past few weeks we've been renovating prisoner holding cells deep in the basement of a courthouse. Everything has to be fabricated on the job site; so we're cutting, clamping and welding bar and flat stock, and both expanded and sheet stock.

From all my experiences it has become my opinion that after safety, a good blade and a mechanic with patience are the two main keys to getting it done. No doubt a strong and durable professional model saw motor, if used properly, will last longer than those cheap-o homeowner models, but a real good blade - similar to the types GregH suggested - will make a cheap-o saw work wonders.

Patience is real important, let the tool do the work, don't rush or force it. That holds true for using your torch. Good luck, I'm sure you're a much better mechanic than you're joking about! "A few more thousand hours" Good one! LMAO!
 
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Old 04-22-03, 08:59 AM
C
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What thickness are you dealing with?

I'm considering a project that will require me to do the same thing: cut steel pipe (1/4" wall) at 45 deg. angles. I have a torch as well, but would prefer the cleaner cut of a saw. What thickness metal are you working with?
 
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Old 04-22-03, 10:45 AM
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CZ: It just so happens that I too am using the same steel pipe to fabricate overhead and roll over protection for my outside hi-lo and old Michigan 55III front end loader. My new insurance company has required it. (I must also sprinkler an attached shed).

I bought the stock at a ship yard sale a long time ago and it's been laying, covered up, out in the yard a long time. I cut rough sized lengths with one of my my Partner K-12 saws. It's the same kind of saw that fire departments use to rip through and ventilate roofs, to cut through steel rolling security doors, and to quick cut window security bars - 2 cycle motor with a 22" SAIT bi-metal 1/8" blade. SAIT is a division of United Abrasives. It's a rough tough long lasting blade. I also have 110v Quickie brand electric saws. Both the Quickie and K-12 have 1" arbors and wood blades are available. The SAIT blade tore through that thick walled stock like it was butter. After we drag the rough cuts into the shop we use one of the Makita chop saw to cut the stock down to size. It has a 10" Norton blade which has performed real well. I usually get Norton 7" for the smaller hand held portable saws.

After it's cut, it gets notched and bent in the brake; and if I had more clamps, and less other work it'd be finished by now.

I don't think you'll have much trouble cutting stock for your project.
 
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Old 04-22-03, 11:53 AM
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Dam*, sounds like you sure got the gear for it

Hey, N&BKing, thanks for your post.

I forgot to mention that the pipe is 2" OD. I used to work in a shop that had saws like yours, but I don't have anything like that now! Is there a Joe Homeowner solution? Maybe a blade for a circular saw? Only other thing I've got right now is a grinder with a 4" blade.
 
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Old 04-22-03, 06:45 PM
insainity
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CycleZen: Your best bet is a chop saw for makeing cuts that are an acurate 45deg.A circle saw is very hard to use for angle cuts on stock steel/and especially pipe. You can probaly rent a chop saw from one of those tool rental shops.They should only be around 30 dollars or less,a day to rent.I bought a Milwalke(sp?) and im tickled to death with it.


I was mainly wondering if it was the cheapy saw.Or would it kill any saw that quickly.I was takeing it very easy on it,and let it have plenty of cool down breaks.But it still dead a quick, horible death. I use 3/16 steel mostly.So im not to demanding on it.Just though they would have a saw that would take the gritt and heat better.Like the chop saws.I was thinking about the worm gear saw,because the blade is in front of the motor instead of beside it.But i didnt want to ruin my high dollar saw.A non abrasive blade would be much safer.Thanks guys/GregH!!

Wooh i clicked on the speed comparison chart on the Devil blade that GregH gave.Whoo thats fast.Scary fast!

 

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Old 04-22-03, 09:21 PM
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I'll check out the rental places

... and while I'm at it, I'll see if they'll rent me a welding machine, too.

Thanks again!
 
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Old 04-23-03, 10:43 AM
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I like a metal/cement saw like this for cutting metal. Most short cuts with tools end up byting you in the booty.





<img src="http://www.dewalt.com//ProductImages/PC_Graphics/Photos/DEWALT/TOOLS/LARGE/8/DW866%_1.jpg">
 
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Old 04-23-03, 04:26 PM
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CZ: No doubt a chop saw will work best. Those of us that have them are a little spoiled and have all but forgotten about the trusty mitre box - which will work for you, just make one up out of a decent sized stock (2X4 or 2X6) the exact width of your pipe. If you need matching 45 degree cuts on both ends of the same pipe use a marking guage and scribe a line down the center of the pipe. Screw a small piece of plexiglass onto the top of your mitre box and mark its center. Keep the line on the pipe under the line of the plexiglass for each cut and your ends will match.
 
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Old 04-26-03, 12:16 AM
insainity
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Thanks weld god and others.I new they had to make a saw like that! That would do just fine.I asum it a Dewalt,by the look of it.So i no what brand to ask for. Im still trying to put my small,hobby/side line money welding shop together.And that would be a wecome tool,to add.
 
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Old 04-26-03, 04:56 AM
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Thinking outside the mitre box

Thanks NutAndBoltKing- for a great idea and making me realize that there's more to this than I thought!

I *will* have to cut matching 45 deg. angles. Never even thought about matching them up- thanks for the tip! And customizing a mitre box for this application is a smart one, too.

Thanks, everybody, this has been a great thread.
 
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Old 05-20-03, 08:23 PM
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I have a couple of 14 inch saws and burnt one up the other day without thinking about it cutting some 4 inch pipe without giving it a break between cuts. It probably would have went a couple of more years if I had paid attn. I replaced it with a Rigid from HD cause I am lost without one and reached for it all day Friday. 14 inch is the only way to fly,, or bigger, but they are popular. I like them for cutting slots and coping angles as well as finish after a cut too. Also semi skilled labor can make a straight cut easily too.
 
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Old 05-22-03, 02:07 PM
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im a union ironworker 24 yrs,you can use a dewault or milwaulkee 7 or 9" grinder with the handle screwed in on the side with a good cut blade,but make sure you keep the gaurd on,also a chainsaw type chop saw,we use mostly husquavarna's( how ever you spell it,lol),there "very" affective,but,most of the time if im not cutting anything above 3/8" thick,i use a "Metabo",its a type of grinder that is made specificly for cutting,"best invention an ironworker ever had",it can be used as a grinder if you get the grinding wheels with the nut on it,the nut on the metabo is a type of locking nut,made for the thin cuttin blades made for them,i have a metabo in my garage,i use it for cuttin body panels,roll cages,harley frames,pipes,round/square stock(or another name,cold roll),is very effective,i love it,very strong & durable
 
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Old 06-17-03, 05:39 AM
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circular saw, metal cutting

I remember an old copy of Popular Mechanics monthly magazine, which had an interesting suggestion concerning your question.
The proposal was : How to cut sheet metal & light steel with a circular saw. Surprisingly, the saw blade used, was, Plywood cutting blade,[ blunted]. The process required: clamping the work securely, wearing heavy protective gear, ( lotsa hot metal chips get tossed around), slow feeding of saw blade through the workpiece, letting the blade action determine the rate of speed. The theory was that the friction caused by the saw blade where it made contact with the workpiece would heat up the metal of the workpiece to the point of being made very soft, the blunted teeth of the plywood cutting blade would then dig into the softened metal and flick it away. The blade itself would not overheat, because( at the rate of more than 3000rpms) only a tiny portion would be in contact with the workpiece at any given time and then for a fraction of a second, as the blade rotates into & out of contact with the workpiece. One cannot force this process, and the use of a circular saw with plastic housing would have disastrous effects on the plastic housing, probably reducing it to plastic slag. I have used a 1960's vintage Black & Decker metal housed circular saw and several dozen plywood cutting blades since I first read this article during the early 1970's, with great success. I have ruined many blades by pushing the blade too hard and causing warpge. Once the blade warps, you gotta chuck it out. Try this, you might be pleasantly surprised.
Dugald
 
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Old 06-17-03, 06:11 AM
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I dont know personally because i would of never & never will use a plywood blade but,the low grade steel plywood blade sounds a little dangerous to me,could melt & fly apart,hopefully not into your body & the blade would have to make contact before "the metal would heat up" for the cut to begin.
Im not insulting anyone,dont get me wrong,im just hoping some people that "doesnt know" about the dangers of some "shortcuts" takes some factors into consideration & protect them selves properly.
Ive seen more "shortcut disasters" in my life than i care to even think about ,let alone have that vision in my mind the rest of my life.
Please be safe folks,you only get one set of eyes & limbs in a life,& i wouldnt wanna even think about the heartache of family members being without a loved one because of a shortcut.
 
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Old 06-17-03, 08:31 AM
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Smile No one should be insulted at a difference of opinion, especially with safety.

I agree that the suggestion of using a plywood blade is not a safe solution to cutting steel.
I got sucked into the suggestion of "Just put the blade in backwards to cut aluminum, I do it all the time".
Fortunately I wear safety equipment and no harm was done except to the blade.
My buddy said "musta fed the blade too fast cause that hardly ever happens to me"!
Bought a non-ferrous blade and I can cut aluminum all day.
Still have to be careful with the feed though.
 
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Old 06-17-03, 10:01 AM
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Years ago a lot of manufacturers claimed some of their circular saw blades were all-purpose; good for any type of wood, plastic or light metal. Few make that claim today, and for a number of reasons; consumer safety and liability concerns probably top the list, but they now also manufacture and market other types of blades better suited for the task - designed and engineered specifically for the materials involved.

Saw blades are just like drill bits and all other types of powered rotational cutters in that they create dynamic friction. Dynamic friction can be good - it helps keep opposite-direction threaded arbors, locking nuts and chucks on spindles; but dynamic friction is mostly bad - it creates heat which taxes, distorts and wears the cutting edges and the body of the bit or blade, and it can damage or adversely affect the material being worked on.

Heat from dynamic friction always increases during the duration of the cut, and it normally isn't a stable or predictable factor that can properly be used to assist the cutting action - such as holding a minor angle to an oxygen acetelyne torch for preheating material slightly ahead of the cut being made.

The new designs, coatings and tips available on todays saw blades, and the materials they're made from still do not adequatley reduce bad dynamic friction. Blades and bits get hot and often overheat, even when used by the most careful mechanic. Todays saws and drills generate much more power and torque than older models - so a quality blade or bit best suited for the material that also matches the working speed of the machine must be chosen.

Saw blades and bits are typically not consumables. If properly used they will stay sharp and last for some time. Some blades for metal or concrete or stone are consumable, they wear out and need to be replaced - but they were better suited and safer during use.

Safety is always job 1.
 
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Old 06-18-03, 02:28 PM
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I said it earlier up this thread but I think its epically appropriate here. “Most short cuts with tools end up biting you in the booty.”
 
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Old 06-18-03, 05:50 PM
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Talking cut steel with a cutoff wheel

I must confess that I do not now and never have claimed any level or degree of expertise in the profession of sheet metal working and/or welding. I am NOT any such creature. I have no papers, no certificates, no nickname or ' handle ' which would even remotely suggest that I even think that I have such papers or certification. I will, however, categorically state that I have described my personal experience on this subject, as the result of having read the article in Popular Science/ Popular Mechanics, many years ago. I experimented with this process, found that it is useful and that it works, quite effectively. If memory serves me correctly, when I showed this article to " EXPERTS" in the two previously referred to fields, I was told: 1/ I would be nuts to try this idea, 2/ It would never work, because a blade made to cut plywood could never cut steel, 3/ the blade would shatter and result in serious injury to me and any nearby onlookers, 4/ I would have to apply so much pressure to the plywood blade that it would warp & rupture. 5/ ETC. Well, folks, I am neither insane nor stupid, I still have all of my original appendages, I followed safety procedures, which were ignored many times, in Professional Shops where I have observed very dangerous work being worked. the process does work, I repeat, I have been using this method to cut stainless steel, sheet steel up to 1/8 thick and ordinary sheet metal & galvanized metal for the last 30 , count thirty years. You may choose to disbelieve me, that's your choice, BUT I am recounting my experience over a forty year period as a do-it-yourselfer. This does not make me any kind of expert but I know what I know. I have learned how to do many things over the course of my sixty three years on this earth, which I was told by experts , " Couldn't be Done ". I have been told, many times by such " Experts" that I didn't know what I was talking about, but then went on to show these " experts " that I did know what I was talking about. I have to say that I have learned just as much from serious curious, safety-conscious, conscientious amateur Do-it-yourselfers, as I have from "Experts ". In closing I would like to add that I don't bull****, gave up telling lies sometime ago, because it got me in too much trouble, over the years.
 
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