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Cutting 25 gauge stainless steel sheet

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  • Cutting 25 gauge stainless steel sheet

    I need to cut a 30" x 24" stainless steel sheet for a kitchen back splash. The size I need is about 30" x 10". I have no metal cutting tools, and I can't find a local sheet metal shop willing to do this small job. The only tool I have available is a table saw and a bench top band saw. No jigsaw. Can I cut it with a table saw with an all purpose blade? Can I mount a 7" metal cutoff disc on the saw and attempt to cut it? I need the the edge straight since it will be visible.

  • #2
    I am not a metal worker, but I don't think you can get a clean cut on a benchtop bandsaw. I'd probably try a metal-cutting blade in the tablesaw, you might want to check out a stainless cutting blade like this: http://www.carbideprocessors.com/fer...evoaAj6X8P8HAQ. Hopefully others with stailnless experience can offer more/better blade options.

    I'd be careful to make sure the saw is completely empty of chips and dust, and not connected to a dust collector that's been used for woodworking, so as not to start a fire. I'd also be careful about handling during the cut - the metal is likely to get hot during the cut, so some kind of gloves to protect your hands, and if you have a plastic ZCTP, it could possibly melt and stick.
    Bill in Buena Park

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    • #3
      How about an auto body shop ?
      Ken in Cincinnati

      Pretend this line says something extremely witty

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      • #4
        Thanks. The idea of using a table saw for stainless steel is beginning to scare me. I'm going to call a couple of body shops first.

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        • #5
          If I am reading correctly the 30 inch edge is already done. Three good sides. So you only need to make a 24" straight cut 10" from the 30" edge. Lots of material to practice on.
          25 ga.sheet metal is 0.022" thick. SS is harder than steel and aluminum but .022" is pretty thin.

          Have you considered marking the sheet real well and using a pair of metal tin snips with the offset handles that come in three flavors for making right, left and straight cuts?
          Or perhaps a HF pneumatic metal cutting shears for about $30 bucks or so that cut 18 ga steel. Not sure how good an edge.

          90718 long straight metal snips
          Pittsburgh® 90718 Heavy Duty Straight Cut Aviation Tin Snips


          62157 aviation snips


          Cheap enough to try and see - I think they cut a clean straight edge, not sure about thinner SS sheet,

          To bad a 30" metal shear/brake is $399; $260 with coupons.




          Loring in Katy, TX USA
          If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
          BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

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          • #6
            I wouldn't cut metal on my table saw because I don't want to have to clean up the mess. I have a 7 1/4" metal cutting blade made for use in a regular circular saw. I use to cut 12 ga ss regularly with it, I've even cut 1/2" thick steel with it! The first time will scare you to death but it doesn't really throw metal chips everywhere like you would think. For your 25 ga ss, to get a straight line, I'd clamp it between 2 pieces of plywood, transfer the lines you want to cut and use a straight edge or saw guide for the saw, use a piece of styrofoam underneath to keep from cutting your table. Safety glasses are a must. HD sells metal cutting blades. If I didn't want to buy a blade just for this job I'd probably use a new 40 tooth carbide tip circular saw blade.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by newbie2wood View Post
              I need to cut a 30" x 24" stainless steel sheet for a kitchen back splash. The size I need is about 30" x 10". I have no metal cutting tools, and I can't find a local sheet metal shop willing to do this small job. The only tool I have available is a table saw and a bench top band saw. No jigsaw. Can I cut it with a table saw with an all purpose blade? Can I mount a 7" metal cutoff disc on the saw and attempt to cut it? I need the the edge straight since it will be visible.
              Do you have a TechShop or similar place in your area? They would have the tools to do it. Can the metal supplier cut it to size for you? Can you get the metal from someplace that will? Do you have a local high school or votech school or university that could cut it? Have any friends that work at a manufacturing plant?

              If you have to do it yourself, I would not use snips, it's hard to cut a straight line and they tend to curl the metal. I would use an abrasive blade in a portable circular saw. Clamp a straight piece of wood or other straight edge as a guide for the saw, clamp the piece securely to a workbench, and cut it slow and easy. Should work pretty well, I have done this before.

              --------------------------------------------------
              Electrical Engineer by day, Woodworker by night

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              • #8
                I wouldn't cut it with any kind of circular saw blade and as mentioned, sheet-metal shears don't make for a nice clean edge.

                My Dad used to be in the heating and plumbing business way back when I was a teen and with my uncle they had a lot of sheet metal equipment for making their own duct work. For cutting sheet metal stock, they'd use a metal shear which is a stationary piece of equipment with a long blade which slices down through a fixed bed. At the factory where I spent 30 years, they had a large industrial shear, although it was hydraulic. Also when I was in High School, I took 'metal shop' and we used a mechanical metal shear there also. The point is that metal shear equipment used to be quite common and I suspect that it still is for anyone using sheet metal.

                Check your local heating supplier, body shop, high school shop, etc. I would think that most hot-air heating installers probably don't make their own duct-work today, but they must have a local supplier I would think. (That was the case when I had a new furnace installed in my Corning, NY area home a few years ago.)

                If a local service is not available, then CapnCarl's suggestion sounds like a viable alternative... however, I've never seen that done myself and I'd be concerned about what the edge would look like.

                Harbor Freight sells a mechanical shear for about $400 (http://www.harborfreight.com/30-inch...roll-5907.html). Unfortunately, it probably costs more than your project. But, maybe someone in the area may have one of those (ask at your local HF store). They also sell a hand-held 'swivel-head sheet metal shear for about $50. I don't know what kind of edge it would leave though. It seems to have fairly good reviews though. (http://www.harborfreight.com/catalog...vel+head+shear)

                Good luck,

                CWS
                Last edited by cwsmith; 11-21-2016, 08:57 PM.
                Think it Through Before You Do!

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                • #9
                  Any sheet metal shop can cut this metal. Heating and air conditioner shops might not make their own duct but they can tell you who makes theirs.

                  To cut a piece of ss sheet metal my go to tool is a dewalt grinder with a 5" razor disk. Photo attached. The problem with what newbie2wood is requesting is an extremely straight cut for a kitchen backsplash. Any wiggles in the cut will show up like a sore thumb. If you could hide the cut end against the top of the counter backsplash with a bead of caulk, maybe a bit of wiggles would be ok. Cutting with avation snips won't get the cut desired and most likely will distort the edge. My metal cutting blade looks exactly like a woodcutting blade, I don't take it out of the saw because i know it will get mixed up with my wood blades, this saw is dedicated to metal only. It provides a crisp, razor sharp edge that is better than cutting with a hydraulic shear. Clamping between plywood keeps the sheet metal flat and keeps the blade from grabbing the edge. ( this is thin metal and might bend if the blade catches) The blade don't care if the wood is there or not. Set the saw guide on the keep side of the sheet metal in case you let the saw wander, that way it won't cut into your good metal. Be careful, the cut edge of stainless steel is razor sharp. Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_3494.PNG Views:	1 Size:	94.7 KB ID:	828251

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                  • #10
                    Photo of my steel saw blade and dedicated steel cutting saw.
                    Click image for larger version

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ID:	828256

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                    • #11
                      I noticed today on a Northern Tool add a metal shear reasonably priced. This basically an electric drill motor driving a heavy duty pair of scissors. It says it is rated for 14 ga steel so it should handle 25 ga ss. If you used a guide it would cut,reasonably straight.

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                    • #12
                      I used to be a sheet metal worker 40 yrs. ago. The shop I worked for specialized in SS work. We had power shears to cut the sheets but, when working in the field we used Bulldog snips for straight cuts and or aviation snips for curve cuts (yellow handle straight cutting). The aviation snips has a little serrated edge blade, Bulldog snip blade will be non serrated. I would use the Bulldog snip for what you want to do. Only thing with cutting SS sheets, once you use your snips on it, it'll become dull fast. You can not resharpen the aviation snips but could possible sharpen the bull dog snip blade. 25 ga. is thin so it wouldn't be that difficult to cut with the bull dog snips, scribe a cut line on the sheet and just follow it with the snips. When cutting do not close/shut the blade completely on the sheet it'll curl the edge of metal. Leave the bottom jaw of the bull dog snip on the work bench open the jaws slide the sheet in and cut/close the jaws until 1/2 to 3/4 of the jaw length then open the jaws up and slide the sheet in further and continue this till the end of the cut. You should have a clean cut, you can file or sand the cut edge to dull it so no one gets cut. Bull dog snips are heavy and the handles are long so lots of leverage. I would not cut SS with a table saw or circular saw thats an accident waiting to happen.

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                      • #13
                        That is pretty thin stuff.
                        We cut all our stainless with a plasma cutter here, but even that is not the right tool.
                        The shear would be optimal.
                        You can cut it with a circular saw easy enough though and expect good results since it is so thin. Sandwich it between two pieces of plywood and cut as normal. You will be getting rid of all the heat quickly, so it will not work harden. Carbide teeth will certainly handle stainless. No problems there.
                        I have done this with steel sheet metal that needed a nice edge in the past and it works surprisingly well. I would not use your newest blade, but one that is on it's way out. Eye protection, hearing protection, long sleeves and gloves are recommended.Those tiny chips coming off will be very hot.
                        Lee

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                        • #14
                          Thanks for all the suggestions. I decided to sandwich the steel sheet between two pieces of plywood and use a circular saw to cut it. Using a ferrous metal blade, the first attempt did not go well. It would not cut the ply and got hung up when it hit the steel sheet. On my second attempt, I used the old carbide blade and it was smooth sailing. I thought the metal blade would have worked better but this was not the case. Maybe a stainless steel bade would have worked but I wanted to go cheap. Luckily I had extra material to work with.

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                          • #15
                            I'd be careful to make sure the saw is completely empty of chips and dust, and not connected to a dust collector that's been used for woodworking, so as not to start a fire. I'd also be careful about handling during the cut - the metal is likely to get hot during the cut, so some kind of gloves to protect your hands, and if you have a plastic ZCTP, it could possibly melt and stick.

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