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How to Cut a Metal

Ningthoujam Sandhyarani Sep 26, 2018
Bending and cutting metal is not as easy as wood working, as the former is comparatively harder and tougher to handle. Here are some tips on cutting metal pipes and sheets.
While doing any type of metal work, either to fix up small drainage defects or larger construction purposes, cutting the metal is almost an unavoidable task. The equipment required depends upon the material type (steel, aluminum, iron, etc.), size, and thickness. By learning simple bending and cutting techniques, you will be able to sort out these issues.
The most important tip for cutting is using the blade that is appropriate for the particular material. For example, you need to use different blades for aluminum and stainless steel. This is because steel is much harder than aluminum, thus requiring a special blade. Likewise, cutting pipes differs from cutting sheets.

For a Pipe

Before you try your hand on actual metal cutting with a torch or other device, gather safety accessories such as protective eyeglasses and leather hand gloves.
Other basic items are hacksaw, extra hacksaw blades, holding device (clamp vice), worktable, and scriber. Keep these things nearby, and follow the steps mentioned here.
1. Place the pipe on the worktable. Measure the length accurately and mark the cutting point with the scriber.
2. Using the vice, clinch the pipe tightly in such a way that the portion to be cut is extended from the vice clamp jaws.
3. Check the hacksaw and more importantly, the blade to find out if it is installed properly or not. If not, try fastening the blade in its place.
4. Grip the hacksaw by the handle and adjust the blade, so that the teeth are overlapping the marked spot on the pipe.

5. While applying gentle pressure over the saw with your left hand, continue cutting.

6. In between, check the symmetry to ensure that you have not deviated from the marked spot.

7. Once done, use the remaining section of the pipe

For a Sheet

Cutting sheets can be done either by using simple hand-held tools or sophisticated electric powered shears.
You would require a jigsaw with the correct teeth size, extra blades, working bench, self locking C-clamps, and a fine toothed file. Once you are ready with these equipment, you can get to work:
1. Keep the sheet on the working bench; the side to be worked on should overhang from the table.

2. Fasten the edge to the bench with the self-locking C-clamps and mark the line.
3. After securing the blades as per the manufacturer's directions, position it over the sheet, making sure that they are aligned with the marked line.
4. Support with one hand and use the other to apply gentle pressure on the jigsaw.

5. Press down the trigger of the jigsaw and push forward while remaining on the line.
6. You can control the speed of the operation and lower it in case of excess vibrations. While reaching the end side, reduce the hand pressure to avoid deformation.

7. Unfasten the C-clamp and remove the sheet. Give a final touch by running fine-toothed file along the edges.
If you use the wrong equipment, you will be wasting both time and money. Do not hesitate to hire a contractor, if you are unsure about carrying out the task on your own since, wasting metal is more expensive than paying the fees of a professional cutter.