Cutting W-I-D-E aluminum

Anything to do with mechanical, construction etc

Cutting W-I-D-E aluminum

Postby asianflava » Mon May 15, 2006 11:36 pm

Got back from Lufkin trailers in San Antonio with my aluminum. I got one continious roll of sheet metal 18ft long and 102in wide.

My question is, How did you cut it without having to walk on it?

The entire drive back, I was thinking about it. I think I have a plan, maybe you can tell me if it will work.

I am going to get 2 2X4X10s and run 2 carraige bolts thru them. I will stick one inside the roll and one outside and clamp the roll by tightening the bolts. Then I can cut off a piece by standing behind the roll. I can add another "Clamp" and loosen the first one so I can pay it out without releasing the tension on the roll. I'm also afraid of the entire thing springing open if I cut the band.

Am I being too parinoid about this whole thing?
User avatar
asianflava
8000 Club
8000 Club
 
Posts: 8410
Images: 45
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 5:11 am
Location: CO, Longmont

Postby madjack » Mon May 15, 2006 11:51 pm

Rocky, your plan is sound but keep in mind that you may also scratch it up by doing what you are describing(mill finish AL is just soooooo soft)...if you have a nice open area of lawn, you might wanna just let it open out on the grass and then cut it....tricky anyway ya do it....I believe McTeardrops faced the same dilemma...I am not sure how he ended up solving it...Doug is fixing to do the same also...
madjack 8)
A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history - with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.
most all personal problems can be solved with the proper application of high explosives
User avatar
madjack
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15099
Images: 177
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 5:27 pm
Location: Central Louisiana

Postby asianflava » Tue May 16, 2006 12:15 am

I knew I'd forget something, that's why I wanted to bounce it off the board. I guess I can spray glue some felt or some kind of padding to the 2x4s. I already know about the scratching. The sheets I got for the sides are scratched, thought I'd use the sides that were facing each other but they were worse. Add to that, I think I caught a chip while cutting with the electric shears.

If I open up the entire roll on the lawn, I'll have to walk on it to cut the center.

BTW: the Cheapo HF shears are more like a jigsaw with cutting jaws. They do shear, but it is done in a reciprocating motion. In other words, they aren't the kind that makes one continious curly-q when you cut. Which is what I thought I bought.
User avatar
asianflava
8000 Club
8000 Club
 
Posts: 8410
Images: 45
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 5:11 am
Location: CO, Longmont
Top

Postby Sonetpro » Tue May 16, 2006 4:19 am

Rocky I got some tin snips at Lowes. They look like giant scissors. They cut through .040 like paper and cut around the radius just as easy.
}><)))'> ~--------------·´¯) SteveT
You don't know what the limit's are until you take it there.ImageImageImage
User avatar
Sonetpro
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2038
Images: 107
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2005 8:11 am
Location: Plantersville, TX
Top

Postby Larwyn » Tue May 16, 2006 5:41 am

Rocky,

I have contemplated this problem, but have yet to get to the point of actually buying the aluminum.

My first thought is to add aditional bands to the coil if needed and try to cut the entire length to width with a jigsaw or maybe even a recip or skill saw, while it is still in the coil. I know this would result in some damage, but I would have some margin for waste. If this would not work, I'm not sure how I would manage ripping such a large piece without cutting trees and clearing an area large enough to unroll the whole thing.....My first choice for cutting tools for this attempt is the Porter Cable worm drive bayonet saw (model 548). It is vibration free and can be used at a very slow speed. Probably cost more than the aluminum but I already have the saw.

Of course if you need to rip the length to more than one continous dimension then this would not work at all.

Keep us informed, I will have this problem myself sometime this summer......Good Luck....!!!!!!!
Larwyn

Keeper of the Most Out Of Control Shop (2005)

I feel bad for the man that cannot spell a word more than one way. Mark Twain
User avatar
Larwyn
Mad Kilted Texan
 
Posts: 1658
Images: 210
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2004 12:06 pm
Location: Kerrville, Texas
Top

Postby asianflava » Tue May 16, 2006 6:24 am

Here is a visual representation of what I was trying to say. If you need more metal, you can undo the top clamp and re attach it after it unrolls. Tedious, yes but I prefer it to flying sheet metal uncoiling on you when you cut the band.
Image

This is part of my arsenal, I also have a Sawzall and jigsaw with a metal cutting blade, Click for larger pic:
ImageImage

The Dremel gave up the ghost last week, Click to see the smoke:
Image

This is how I brought it home
Image
User avatar
asianflava
8000 Club
8000 Club
 
Posts: 8410
Images: 45
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 5:11 am
Location: CO, Longmont
Top

Postby McTeardrops » Tue May 16, 2006 7:05 am

Here's how I did mine, using Harbor Freight air shears (two actually). If you do your layout carefully, you should be able to get by with just one rip cut. I put cardboard on the work table, got naked, climbed up on the aluminum and cut away! Cross cuts you can reach from the sides.

Remember you're going to have to wash off the oil film and scuff the glue side with a sander, so just pick the best faces to expose.

Image
Image
Image

Rough cuts only with the shears, trim to final fit with the router. If you got enough material to do the doors from seperate pieces, pre-cutting the door opening makes it much easier to clamp on the sides. Watch your color match though!

Check out my library: http://www1.snapfish.com/photolibrary/t_=46828648
Lenny

McTeardrops@valornet.com
I've reached the stage, in life, where my foam has more memory than I do!
User avatar
McTeardrops
The 300 Club
 
Posts: 340
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2004 12:08 pm
Location: Texarkana Texas
Top

Postby McTeardrops » Tue May 16, 2006 7:38 am

Rocky

The tension on the roll is nothing to worry about, not like the time you took apart a measuring tape or mom's alarm clock, and the spring unwound and lept out to attack you.

Using the airshears, you lift up at the cutline, so you don't have to force it down to smooth the cut like you would with a jigsaw... makes less scratches. I'll send you mine, if you want to try, but seems like HF shears only have 3/4 teardrop lifespan, and mine are down 1/4!
Lenny

McTeardrops@valornet.com
I've reached the stage, in life, where my foam has more memory than I do!
User avatar
McTeardrops
The 300 Club
 
Posts: 340
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2004 12:08 pm
Location: Texarkana Texas
Top

Postby doug hodder » Tue May 16, 2006 9:18 am

Rocky, I've always got a sheet of styrofoam laying around, in this case 2 of them...put them under the material, laid a blanket on top and a few pieces of ply to kneel on, so I wouldn't dent it...cut it with a circular saw and a carbide blade, the foam allows you to cut all the way through and not damage the blade, just adjust the saw depth accordingly....just my approach to it....Doug
doug hodder
*Snoop Dougie Doug
 
Posts: 12624
Images: 562
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2004 11:20 pm
Top

Postby Mark » Tue May 16, 2006 10:17 am

Rocky - I bought the same HF sheet metal snips that you show. They really worked good on the .040" aluminum I used. There is a set screw right next to the blade that would scratch the aluminum when I would cut it. I covered the screw with masking tape and never had any other problems. It is very important to adjust your blades to the thickness of the material you are cutting to get a clean cut without bending the edge over. Good luck, when your done you'll think it wasn't as bad as you thought it would be.

Mark
Mark
Teardrop Advisor
 
Posts: 63
Images: 1
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2005 10:36 am
Location: abilene, texas
Top

Postby s4son » Tue May 16, 2006 11:05 am

I'm curious how they cut it at the trailer place? Did they use shears or did they run it threough a brake? I'm going to ask them to cut it in 4'6" section then I can use it lenghth wise on my 8' sides. I don't know if they will do it if they are cutting it by hand.

Scott F.
Are we there yet?
ImageImage
User avatar
s4son
Donating Member
 
Posts: 1399
Images: 180
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2005 12:29 am
Location: Smithville, MO
Top

Postby mbader » Tue May 16, 2006 11:55 am

I cut mine with a Skill saw using a carbide tiped plywood blade.
I did it with it layed out flat but I bet you could cut it while it was still
rolled up. Put some duct tape around the roll near where you are going to cut.
Malcolm
User avatar
mbader
Teardrop Advisor
 
Posts: 62
Images: 9
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2005 3:28 pm
Location: Redlands, CA
Top

Postby asianflava » Tue May 16, 2006 2:54 pm

McTeardrops wrote:I put cardboard on the work table, got naked, climbed up on the aluminum and cut away!


I guess you have to be extra careful. :lol: I remember your pics, I searched for them but I guess you moved then because they were dead links.

Mark wrote:Good luck, when your done you'll think it wasn't as bad as you thought it would be.


That happens a lot. When I really dread doing something I do all I can to avoid it. When it is done I say, "Hmm, that wasn't nearly as bad as I thought."

s4son wrote:I'm curious how they cut it at the trailer place? Did they use shears or did they run it threough a brake?


As straight and square as the cut line is, I'll bet they used a hydraulic shear. There is no way you could cut something like that on a jump shear, the treadle would have to be like 4ft off the ground to get enough travel.

Thanks for the tips and suggestions! The metal will live in the back of my truck till I can get to it this weekend. Besides, I really don't have anywhere to store it. This week I have to work at a factory across town, it's further away so I'll be driving the Civic anyway.
User avatar
asianflava
8000 Club
8000 Club
 
Posts: 8410
Images: 45
Joined: Mon Aug 02, 2004 5:11 am
Location: CO, Longmont
Top

Postby Keith » Tue May 16, 2006 3:18 pm

Don't let the aluminum get wet. I found that one out the hard way.

Keith
User avatar
Keith
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 196
Images: 5
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2005 4:52 pm
Location: Northern California Wine Country
Top

Postby Melvin » Wed May 17, 2006 4:24 pm

Keith wrote:Don't let the aluminum get wet. I found that one out the hard way.

Keith


what happens?
Commandant Louis Joseph Lahure has a singular distinction in military history - he defeated a navy on horseback. Occupying Holland in January 1795, the French continental army learned that the mighty Dutch navy had been frozen into the ice around Texel Island. So Lahure and 128 men simply rode up to it and demanded surrender. No shots were fired.
Melvin
Teardrop Master
 
Posts: 220
Images: 14
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2006 3:04 pm
Location: Kamloops BC Canada
Top

Next

Return to Teardrop Construction Tips & Techniques

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: pieeater and 0 guests