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Need to cut long thin strips of steel (& plastic) - e.g. with an angle grinder?

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John Smith 4719/01/2022 15:56:25
393 forum posts
12 photos
Posted by Maurice Taylor on 19/01/2022 14:03:01:

Hi, why don’t you use your Dremel and see if it works instead of keep asking others.

Maurice

Why? Because I haven't bought it and as a humble novice I am asking others if it's a stupid suggestion and if so for what reason.

@Grindstone/Rob - I can't find a spec for the Burgess BK3.
Fwiw, a supplier suggested the rather dinky little Proxxon bandsaw, with a diamond blade that is designed to cut ceramics tiles... however at just 80w I imagine that the cutting speed would be pretty slow!
Re VAT, it's the other way around. I have opted in. the point is that I am saving 20% of all that I spend.

Bezzer19/01/2022 16:11:24
156 forum posts
13 photos
Posted by John Smith 47 on 19/01/2022 15:56:25:
Posted by Maurice Taylor on 19/01/2022 14:03:01:


Fwiw, a supplier suggested the rather dinky little Proxxon bandsaw, with a diamond blade that is designed to cut ceramics tiles... however at just 80w I imagine that the cutting speed would be pretty slow!
Re VAT, it's the other way around. I have opted in. the point is that I am saving 20% of all that I spend.

 

You seem to have ignored my reply on page 1 saying exactly that, I've used a bog standard diamond wet wheel tile saw to cut stainless sheet, no problems with that, glass, porcelain or plastics either. Mines 375w though and you can get them for a lot less than a poxy 80w Poxon.

 

 

 

 

Edited By Mick Berrisford on 19/01/2022 16:12:07

John Smith 4719/01/2022 18:59:02
393 forum posts
12 photos
Posted by Mick Berrisford on 19/01/2022 16:11:24:
Posted by John Smith 47 on 19/01/2022 15:56:25:
Posted by Maurice Taylor on 19/01/2022 14:03:01:


Fwiw, a supplier suggested the rather dinky little Proxxon bandsaw, with a diamond blade that is designed to cut ceramics tiles... however at just 80w I imagine that the cutting speed would be pretty slow!
Re VAT, it's the other way around. I have opted in. the point is that I am saving 20% of all that I spend.

You seem to have ignored my reply on page 1 saying exactly that, I've used a bog standard diamond wet wheel tile saw to cut stainless sheet, no problems with that, glass, porcelain or plastics either. Mines 375w though and you can get them for a lot less than a poxy 80w Poxon.

My apologies yes, I didn't completely understand your comment when I first read it.

To get clear, you are suggesting that I cut my (0.9 to 1.4mm thick) stainless steel plate on a water-cooled machine that is designed to cut ceramic tiles.

It's certainly a radical suggestion!

- How fast does it cut?
(presumably quite a lot slower than an angle-grinder?
I'm guessing RPM is c.3000, whereas angle grinders are more like 17000rpm... but on the other hand no sparks & grindings mostly trapped by the water is a proper bonus.)

- Did you fit a narrow metal-cutting disk (if not you will be cutting an unnecessarily wide channel, no?)

- Do you ever get kick-back between the part and the side-rail?

Has anyone else here tried using a wet tile cutter to cut thin (c.1mm thick) steel sheet?

J


Robert Butler19/01/2022 19:53:22
382 forum posts
6 photos
Posted by Mick Berrisford on 19/01/2022 16:11:24:
Posted by John Smith 47 on 19/01/2022 15:56:25:
Posted by Maurice Taylor on 19/01/2022 14:03:01:


Fwiw, a supplier suggested the rather dinky little Proxxon bandsaw, with a diamond blade that is designed to cut ceramics tiles... however at just 80w I imagine that the cutting speed would be pretty slow!
Re VAT, it's the other way around. I have opted in. the point is that I am saving 20% of all that I spend.

You seem to have ignored my reply on page 1 saying exactly that, I've used a bog standard diamond wet wheel tile saw to cut stainless sheet, no problems with that, glass, porcelain or plastics either. Mines 375w though and you can get them for a lot less than a poxy 80w Poxon.

If in doubt, read the instructions

Robert Butler

Grindstone Cowboy19/01/2022 19:59:17
854 forum posts
64 photos
Posted by John Smith 47 on 19/01/2022 15:56:25:

Fwiw, a supplier suggested the rather dinky little Proxxon bandsaw, with a diamond blade that is designed to cut ceramics tiles...

I've not come across diamond blades for bandsaws, that sounds very interesting. Would you have any further information on those, or a link?

Rob

JasonB19/01/2022 20:03:14
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Moderator
22559 forum posts
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Proxxon do em, not cheap though

Grindstone Cowboy19/01/2022 21:25:25
854 forum posts
64 photos
Posted by JasonB on 19/01/2022 20:03:14:

Proxxon do em, not cheap though

Blimey, they aren't are they? Won't be getting any of those then.

Rob

Andrew Johnston19/01/2022 22:45:46
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6574 forum posts
701 photos
Posted by John Smith 47 on 19/01/2022 01:32:35:

I'm guessing an 80 ton press could also stamp without unintended curves too...

If that was an attempt at sarcasm I'd advise you to stick to the day job. smile

There are bench top guillotines that will cut material without curvature. But they are designed for PCBs, so will cut plastic, but not steel.

Andrew

John Smith 4719/01/2022 23:45:57
393 forum posts
12 photos
Posted by Robert Butler on 18/01/2022 21:37:52:

I would guess the normal production technique would be guillotine, stamp or laser cut. To cut thin material with a circular saw without restraining the material risks kick-back with the potential for serious cuts. As with other posts there is no solution to this problem.

I do find the posts endlessly amusing however.

Robert Butler

> To cut thin material with a circular saw without restraining the material risks kick-back with the potential for serious cuts.

Re kick-backs, it occurs to me that saw blades are probably much more prone to violent kick-backs than grinding disks. Does that sound correct? I mean if for example a cut part on a table saw begins to jam into to the side of spinning disk... on a grinding/abrasive disk it will immediately just grind off some additional material, whereas on the edge of a solid blade that wouldn't be an option an it would start jam, yes?

> I do find the posts endlessly amusing however.
yes




John Smith 4720/01/2022 01:00:11
393 forum posts
12 photos
Posted by Andrew Johnston on 19/01/2022 22:45:46:
Posted by John Smith 47 on 19/01/2022 01:32:35:

I'm guessing an 80 ton press could also stamp without unintended curves too...

If that was an attempt at sarcasm I'd advise you to stick to the day job. smile

There are bench top guillotines that will cut material without curvature. But they are designed for PCBs, so will cut plastic, but not steel.

Andrew

Wait, what about this beast?
The "Durston Heavy-Duty 300 Guillotine Shear"

"it can cut 300mm wide and 2mm of mild steel ensuring clean cuts every time".
**LINK**


Sadly way outside my budget... (& insanely heavy at 58KG), but it looks fun to use in that video!

The cutting blades seem remarkably parallel so it would be interesting to learn just how flat the cuttings when full width cuts are made.

J

Edited By John Smith 47 on 20/01/2022 01:00:57

Robin Graham20/01/2022 01:42:21
945 forum posts
295 photos
Posted by John Smith 47 on 19/01/2022 15:56:25:

@Grindstone/Rob - I can't find a spec for the Burgess BK3.

Here you go mate, Burgess bandsaw manual . Took me a full 5 seconds to find that!

I have one:

thrall.jpg

and it might do what you want, but I've never tried cutting anything as thin as 1mm with it. It's a light enough machine, I can lift it with one arm and I'm not a beefy chap.

Best, IfanJones42

Michael Gilligan20/01/2022 04:10:49
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20057 forum posts
1040 photos
Posted by John Smith 47 on 20/01/2022 01:00:11:

.

Wait, what about this beast?
The "Durston Heavy-Duty 300 Guillotine Shear"

[…]

Sadly way outside my budget... (& insanely heavy at 58KG)

[…]

.

That looks like an honest, well-built, and appropriately hefty, tool for the job yes

MichaelG.

.

Edit: __ with the obvious caveat that it would perform better on some materials than others

… as per your opening post :

3. Materials
Steel is obviously the hardest of the things that I need to cut. So a small machine that could even cut just steel would be a revolution for me. But would it be too much to hope for one machine that could cut both materials? 

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 20/01/2022 04:18:04

peak420/01/2022 10:18:49
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1671 forum posts
175 photos

There are also machines such as the Formit, from Warco amongst others
https://www.warco.co.uk/sheet-metal-fabrication-machinery-metalwork/302933-mini-formit-universal-sheet-metal-machine.html
Sometimes described as a 3 in 1 sheet metal machine; Clarke and others sell them.

The guillotine blade seems to be set at an angle to the static blade though, so I would expect that the the removed material would curl away from the main sheet

They are designed for removing waste material up to the working edge of the project, but the problem here, is that the project is a lot narrower than the parent source material at 1 to 5mm, so effectively becomes the waste

That also looks to be the case with the Durston shear mentioned above.

Bill

SillyOldDuffer20/01/2022 12:19:26
Moderator
8469 forum posts
1885 photos
Posted by John Smith 47 on 19/01/2022 15:56:25:
Posted by Maurice Taylor on 19/01/2022 14:03:01:

Hi, why don’t you use your Dremel and see if it works instead of keep asking others.

Maurice

Why? Because I haven't bought it and as a humble novice I am asking others if it's a stupid suggestion and if so for what reason.

...

It's not a stupid suggestion, but how successful it is depends on the skill, imagination and determination of the operator. A Dremel isn't the ideal tool for this, but it does meet most of John's peculiar requirements. Has John realised yet that his requirements are peculiar? From where I'm sat, answering a John Smith question is like playing Mornington Crescent - there are no rules. Is this parody or accident?

Accident I think, because John's project is full of internal conflicts. The end goal is secret. A commercial product is being developed with inexperienced home-made methods. Boundaries between home-made and professional methods are unclear. Prototype and production needs are conflated. There are unlikely difficult requirements for high precision. A major obstacle is time, money and space are all severely constrained, and further complicated by a muddle of other unhelpful obstacles like irrelevant needs such as next day delivery and VAT Invoices.

Concentrating on keeping tool costs and sizes down, unfortunately when circumstances rule out buying the large expensive specialist tools that makes jobs easy, and outsourcing, then the operator has to take up the slack and get stuck in. John appears reluctant accept this.

There are no shortcuts. Most Model Engineers succeed despite limited equipment. Shortcomings are overcome with skill, imagination and determination. In particular, we may take a long time to make parts and reject several attempts before getting one right. We accept substitute time and skill for expensive tooling.

Projects only have two resources, time and money. If money isn't available to fund a big, brightly lit workshop full of specialist tools, or to pay someone else, the same job can be done with simple hand-tools but it will take longer and put the strain on the operator. The secret of hand-tools is learning to use them properly - lots of practise, and realising they only work as fast as the human.

Possibly as a non-engineer John may not have realised that rejecting one hand tool because it cannot be quickly and easily applied at home means that all hand tools are off the agenda. Discussing them further risks annoying members because their attempts to help will be rejected when John eventually torpedoes them. This is very irritating.

If it were me, I'd look hard for ready made strips, if necessary changing the design to use whatever sizes are available. How about the spring strips inside windscreen wiper blades?

Otherwise I'd hacksaw strips by clamping a steel sheet between sacrificial wood, and tidying them up with a Dremel. How long each strip takes to make depends on the skill of the operator, which John would have to develop:

  • How accurately can a new boy cut with a hacksaw. Poor at first, but improves considerably with practice. Any imperfections are removed slowly with the Dremel, so sloppy sawing at this stage is allowed, except it wastes time later.
  • How accurately the new boy can tidy up with the Dremel without spoiling work by removing too much. Just as with a hacksaw, results will be poor at first, improving considerably with practice.
  • Hand-tool accuracy can be improved with jigs, fixtures or other guides. In principle these are simple, but they too require skill. Much easier after several have been developed, first attempts are liable to disappoint.

Buying a hacksaw and Dremel is low-risk because they're affordable and useful for other work. They're as good a way of making a start on strip making as any other. However, it will be necessary to practise and experiment before acceptable strips are produced.

Given outsourcing isn't affordable, I can't see any way of getting John's project off the ground other than by him learning on the job. After the forum's advised on tools and methods, only he can make it happen.

I'm not sure what value there is in forum members rambling through possibilities when most of them are inapplicable to John's project due to requirement conflicts.

Dave

John Smith 4720/01/2022 13:00:40
393 forum posts
12 photos
Posted by peak4 on 20/01/2022 10:18:49:

There are also machines such as the Formit, from Warco amongst others
https://www.warco.co.uk/sheet-metal-fabrication-machinery-metalwork/302933-mini-formit-universal-sheet-metal-machine.html
Sometimes described as a 3 in 1 sheet metal machine; Clarke and others sell them.

The guillotine blade seems to be set at an angle to the static blade though, so I would expect that the the removed material would curl away from the main sheet

They are designed for removing waste material up to the working edge of the project, but the problem here, is that the project is a lot narrower than the parent source material at 1 to 5mm, so effectively becomes the waste

That also looks to be the case with the Durston shear mentioned above.

Bill

Mini Formit 3 ain't man enough:

noel shelley20/01/2022 13:16:04
1278 forum posts
21 photos

SO Dave, You are a very perceptive fellow, and have summed up the situation very well, Thank you ! Noel.

John Smith 4720/01/2022 13:32:12
393 forum posts
12 photos

It's not a stupid suggestion, but how successful it is depends on the skill, imagination and determination of the operator. A Dremel isn't the ideal tool for this, but it does meet most of John's peculiar requirements. Has John realised yet that his requirements are peculiar? From where I'm sat, answering a John Smith question is like playing Mornington Crescent - there are no rules. Is this parody or accident?

Concentrating on keeping tool costs and sizes down, unfortunately when circumstances rule out buying the large expensive specialist tools that makes jobs easy, and outsourcing, then the operator has to take up the slack and get stuck in. John appears reluctant accept this.

There are no shortcuts. Most Model Engineers succeed despite limited equipment. Shortcomings are overcome with skill, imagination and determination. In particular, we may take a long time to make parts and reject several attempts before getting one right. We accept substitute time and skill for expensive tooling.

Projects only have two resources, time and money. If money isn't available to fund a big, brightly lit workshop full of specialist tools, or to pay someone else, the same job can be done with simple hand-tools but it will take longer and put the strain on the operator. The secret of hand-tools is learning to use them properly - lots of practise, and realising they only work as fast as the human.

Possibly as a non-engineer John may not have realised that rejecting one hand tool because it cannot be quickly and easily applied at home means that all hand tools are off the agenda. Discussing them further risks annoying members because their attempts to help will be rejected when John eventually torpedoes them. This is very irritating.

If it were me, I'd look hard for ready made strips, if necessary changing the design to use whatever sizes are available. How about the spring strips inside windscreen wiper blades?

Otherwise I'd hacksaw strips by clamping a steel sheet between sacrificial wood, and tidying them up with a Dremel. How long each strip takes to make depends on the skill of the operator, which John would have to develop:

  • How accurately can a new boy cut with a hacksaw. Poor at first, but improves considerably with practice. Any imperfections are removed slowly with the Dremel, so sloppy sawing at this stage is allowed, except it wastes time later.
  • How accurately the new boy can tidy up with the Dremel without spoiling work by removing too much. Just as with a hacksaw, results will be poor at first, improving considerably with practice.
  • Hand-tool accuracy can be improved with jigs, fixtures or other guides. In principle these are simple, but they too require skill. Much easier after several have been developed, first attempts are liable to disappoint.

Buying a hacksaw and Dremel is low-risk because they're affordable and useful for other work. They're as good a way of making a start on strip making as any other. However, it will be necessary to practise and experiment before acceptable strips are produced.

Given outsourcing isn't affordable, I can't see any way of getting John's project off the ground other than by him learning on the job. After the forum's advised on tools and methods, only he can make it happen.

I'm not sure what value there is in forum members rambling through possibilities when most of them are inapplicable to John's project due to requirement conflicts.

Dave

Dave

Thank you for all your words.

Please rest assured that my project IS making good and steady progress. Please also know that much of the individual advice given to me by other users within this community conflicts. So obviously I can't follow all it. (e.g. Mick Berrisford prefers to use a wet wheel diamond blade tile saw to cut his steel! Which I still think sounds interesting... but it's not what the machine was designed for so it is not exactly a slam-dunk).

Despite the progress there are times when I would like to speed things up by acquiring new tools & new skills....which I am hoping that's no crime around here (!)

As your other comments about my business etc, in the nicest possible way... because I know that they were written intending to help... I do not seek advice in that regard. I'm sorry but you just going to let me make my own mistakes. There is much that you are unware of but you are crossing that line into private matters. And let's be honest, such comments are off-topic for a forum about workshop tools.

I have now cut the steels I need right now by hand using hacksaws, so I am in no immediate rush.

But maybe I'll just buy that damned Dremel and practice using it...

...Meanwhile if anyone else here has tried cutting stainless steel sheet using a wet wheel diamond blade tile saw, I'd love to learn about it!

J  

Edited By John Smith 47 on 20/01/2022 13:37:00

Maurice Taylor20/01/2022 13:58:13
211 forum posts
36 photos

Hi. Now your steel is cut ,you can mount it in a vice and draw file to the correct size,with care you will get a good finish, at no cost.

By the way ,what is a slam dunk

Maurice

KWIL20/01/2022 14:01:57
3549 forum posts
70 photos

It looks as though the end of the particular sage is close (hopefully)

Nick Clarke 320/01/2022 14:06:50
avatar
1391 forum posts
61 photos
Posted by SillyOldDuffer on 20/01/2022 12:19:26:

From where I'm sat, answering a John Smith question is like playing Mornington Crescent - there are no rules. Is this parody or accident?

Dave

Parody - you mean 'Rather like a parrot' I assume? laugh

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