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Cutting 1/4" on the cheap

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  • Cutting 1/4" on the cheap

    I'm rather new to welding/metal working. I just got my HH187 and been practicing a bit. I think I have the technics down enough to start some back pocket projects. Thanks to the wealth of information you guys have posted on this site.

    Anyways....I've come to the end of my pre-Christmas budget and I need to cut some gussets out of 1/4" steel. I have a angle grinder, die grinder, circular saw (that I have no love for) and jig saw. I was thinking it would be easiest to put a metal cutting blade in my circular saw and make my gussets fairly clean and quick that way. Or would it be best just to use my angle grinder with a cut off wheel?

    The gussets only need to be about 4" tall so I could just buy a 4" wide plate and cut that up into triangles. I'll still need to do some die grinding to make them form fitting. Well since I never done this before I was hoping some experienced people my have some suggestions.

    Thanks guys.

  • #2
    It kind of depends on what tools you have...

    I just cut a piece off a 5cm x 2.5cm bar that I brought home from the scrapyard. (I intend carve a small scroll bender out of it)... with a reciprocating saw... I may try to do the next piece with a cut-off wheel... Wish I had a bandsaw... 8-(

    I know that doing long cuts in thick material eats wheels...

    Al...

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    • #3
      I guess I should add in sawzall to the list of tools I have. Also have a 80 gallon compressor that I could buy some cheap tools down at the local HF store.

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      • #4
        From the tools that you have listed, I'd get a blade(s) for the angle grinder and go after those gussets. You can get a circular saw for metal, but just putting a blade on your's isnt' going to be very effective from what I read and hear. Metal cutting blades on a grinder work pretty good actually. Buy what you want, but I've always used Sait blades on mine.
        Jim

        Miller MM 210
        Miller Dialarc 250P
        Airco 225 engine driven
        Victor O/A
        Lots of other tools and always wanting more

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        • #5
          I am going to recommend the angle grinder. Before I purchased a plasma cutter I cut a lot of plate with my angle grinders. I have also used an abrasive wheel on a circular saw but always preferred a 4.5" angle grinder and wheels. Gave me more control.

          Use a quality abrasive wheel (Sait for example). You will go through the harbor freight wheels far to quickly.

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          • #6
            I would also say an angle grinder from your list. Again buy good quality wheels and go slow let the wheel cut if you push it too hard the wheel disappears quickly.

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            • #7
              Hypertherm Powermax 1250 Plasma Cutter.

              Time to cut: Mere seconds.

              Cost of cut: Practically nothing.

              Cost of machine: High (but costs less with each use)

              SundownIII

              Syncrowave 250DX, Tigrunner
              Dynasty 200 DX w/CM 3
              MM 251 w/30 A SG
              HH 187 Mig
              XMT 304 w/714D Feeder & Optima Pulser
              Dialarc 250 w/HF 15-1
              Hypertherm PM 1250 Plasma
              Victor, Harris, and Smith O/A
              PC Dry Cut Saw and (just added) Wilton (7x12) BS
              Mil Mod 6370-21 Metal Cut Saw
              More grinders than hands (Makita & Dewalt)
              Grizzly 6"x48" Belt Sander
              Access to full fab shop w/CNC Plasma & Waterjet
              Gas mixers (Smith(2) and Thermco)
              Miller BWE and BWE Dig

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              • #8
                In my humble opinion I have to say that I might be inclined to buying a torch set up. It serves many proposes including cutting and skill with a flame is very important to a metal fabricator. Metal cutting blades for circular saws are great on 1/4 inch and make such a clean cut you would think it was sheared! BUT they are expensive and you really need to use a circular saw thats made for cutting metal, It kills regular saws pretty quick. You can buy a pretty good saw from tsc for about $100.
                Capitol Punishment

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                • #9
                  DHayes,

                  If I had to do the job with the tools you have, I'd make a small notch in one corner of the 4" square, clamp it to my welding table with the needed cut line parallel to and up against the edge of the table and use the sawzall.

                  Also, IMHO, I think the next tool that you spend some $$ on should be one of those small 4x6 horizontal/vertical bandsaws and put on a good bi-metal blade.

                  The bandsaw and blade together should run you less than $200 if you keep your eyes open.

                  This task can easily be done in less than a minute with the saw in vertical mode.

                  Mark

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                  • #10
                    I'd go with the sawzall too. I used mine a lot to cut .250 plate before the band saw days. A good bi-metal blade is a must, though.

                    Hank
                    ...from the Gadget Garage
                    MM 210 w/3035, BWE
                    HH 210 w/DP 3035
                    TA185TSW
                    Victor O/A "J" series, SuperRange
                    Avatar courtesy of Bob Sigmon...

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                    • #11
                      Dhayes,

                      If you'd post up your location (in your profile) it would be helpful.

                      If you're anywhere near eastern VA, I'd be happy to knock out a handful for you with the plasma.

                      With the tools you listed, I'd be inclined to go with the skilsaw and a Morse Metal Devil carbide blade. Gives a really clean cut in 1/4" material.
                      A metal cutting blade (7 1/4") from Bullet Industries would be my second choice (cheaper that the Morse).

                      Make sure you wear long sleeves, heavy gloves and a full face shield because they will throw hot chips.

                      The Milwaukee metal cutting saw is basically just a "refined" skilsaw (8" blade) which has a heavier duty motor and a better chip collection system. I've found I can get a much "truer" cut with a skilsaw than a sawsall.
                      SundownIII

                      Syncrowave 250DX, Tigrunner
                      Dynasty 200 DX w/CM 3
                      MM 251 w/30 A SG
                      HH 187 Mig
                      XMT 304 w/714D Feeder & Optima Pulser
                      Dialarc 250 w/HF 15-1
                      Hypertherm PM 1250 Plasma
                      Victor, Harris, and Smith O/A
                      PC Dry Cut Saw and (just added) Wilton (7x12) BS
                      Mil Mod 6370-21 Metal Cut Saw
                      More grinders than hands (Makita & Dewalt)
                      Grizzly 6"x48" Belt Sander
                      Access to full fab shop w/CNC Plasma & Waterjet
                      Gas mixers (Smith(2) and Thermco)
                      Miller BWE and BWE Dig

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'd use the angle grinder with cutoff wheel until you buy something else.
                        Miller 140 A/S
                        HF Flux Core
                        Dewalt Chop Saw
                        Smith O/A Torch
                        Ryobi Grinder, Craftsman & HF Grinders

                        Harley Electra Glide Classicsigpic

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by FormerTankSarge View Post
                          I'd use the angle grinder with cutoff wheel until you buy something else.
                          I'm with Sarge on this one , that's always worked good for me .
                          Hobart Handler 210 mig , 80cf bottle of C-25 mix
                          Bokrand GmbH pocket mig , 110v
                          Clarke 101E stick , 110v
                          Craftsman 10" drill press
                          Craftsman 12" bandsaw
                          HF 12 ton hydraulic press
                          Black Max 6hp 60gal air compressor
                          2 4 1/2" grinders
                          Porter Cable 1410 ,cold cut chop saw
                          Makita 14" ,abrasive chop saw
                          50ft 8/3 extension cord
                          Makita saw
                          Arctic Cat generator with adapter cable for welder.
                          Eastwood 135 mig 110v , 20cf bottle C-25 mix

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                          • #14
                            Go to your local SHEET METAL SHOP and have them shear them for you....CHEAP for a bunch of parts
                            Some people require more attention than others.....Like a LOST DOG and strangers holding out biscuits....

                            Dynasty 350
                            Hobart Beta Mig 200
                            Twenty seven Hammers
                            Three Crow Bars
                            One English Springer Dog



                            A Big Rock

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                            • #15
                              cutting 1/4"

                              We have a 1/4" x 10' shear here at work. If your in the Dallas area let me know. $35 minimum gets you 1/2 hour of one of my guys time (can shear lots of simple parts in 1/2 hour). Save your money for a plasma.

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