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Tips on cutting angle iron?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 49 Fastback, Mar 25, 2007.

  1. 49 Fastback
    Joined: Jun 24, 2005
    Posts: 500

    49 Fastback
    from Ohio

    I'm making some stuff for the garage and I'm having a deuce of a time getting nice cuts in 1/8" angle. Any tips for making a nice square, smooth cut?
    Am I using the wrong tool? I'm using a 4 inch grinder with a cutting wheel. I have a jigsaw I could throw a metal-cutting blade in, and a hacksaw. but I was looking for "easy". Apparently I may have to rethink that.

    And I'm not going to go out and buy a plasma cutter, so don't suggest it! :rolleyes:

  2. 2manybillz
    Joined: May 30, 2005
    Posts: 827


    I have a lot of hacksaw experience (too much). I had the most success starting the cut at the point of the vee and cutting both sides equally. Is this clear? I'm low on coffee. I'd try it this way with the grinder.
  3. .one word.........chopsaw!
  4. 47bob
    Joined: Oct 28, 2005
    Posts: 625


    Chop saw is best but with a hacksaw: mark the outside of the piece well then cut on the lines almost half way through both sides. These previous cuts will help guide the blade and keep it straight. .....Bob

  5. We were taught not to push down on the saw, but to lets its own weight do that. If you push too hard, the blade bends in umpredictable directions and steers the cut off course.

    Nowadays, I push a little and it seems to be ok. You can always leave a little extra and then clean it up with a grinder or sander.
  6. monzadood
    Joined: Sep 10, 2006
    Posts: 1,033


    i cut all angle with a chopsaw. there are good to have around. its a tool most of my freinds don`t have in their garage. they seem to think, why buy one ? we can use keiths....
  7. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,480

    dana barlow
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    If all ya got is a hacksaw,be sure it is a good strong frame and a new good blade,many cheep saw frames/handles are junk,they let the blade walk and twist,and strong hand hacksaw frame and shairp blade cuts very strait. It is wroth your $$ to get better frame and new blades.:rolleyes: :cool:
  8. Brad54
    Joined: Apr 15, 2004
    Posts: 6,015

    from Atl Ga

    Yeah, chop saw. I bought one specifically for cutting angle and box tubing for garage equipment projects.

    Shop around, you can get a really cheap one, or a very good one in the $150-$180 range. I like HEAVY shop tools and equipment, so I went for a cast base. Also, a cast base won't dent like the stamped metal bases will. True, if you drop something REALLY heavy on it, the cast could break, but I've never seen a broken cast steel base, but have seen dozens of dente metal bases.

    Also, another tip someone told me was to get one with the motor offset from the shaft of the cut-off wheel. If the cut off wheel bolts right to the motor's shaft, as the wheel gets smaller from wear, the motor will hit your part. You go through less wheels that way, because you get to use an extra inch of the wheel before it needs to be replaced. Cutting tall pieces will also get hit by the motor as you cut through them.

    I bought the one from Craftsman, and have been very, very happy with it. Good solid piece, doesn't vibrate itself across the floor like a light-weight one does, one of the strongest motors I could find (I checked them all), and it has the offset motor shaft. I think it was $159. The cheapest you'll find one for is $99, so I was happy to get a much better tool.


    Oh yeah, another thing about it I just remembered: The miter on it is set with an allen head bolt. The machine has a spot on it to hold the allen wrench--other machines require you to go find the right size box wrench. It makes the work go a little quicker when the tool is totally self-contained. It also came with an attachement on the miter to make holding angle a little easier. Finally, the lock that keeps the head/motor/wheel in the down position is a sliding bar, rather than a piece of chain. Makes it a little more solid when carrying the tool. Plus, it's easier to use, and you never have to worry about that little chain breaking off (which I've seen more than once) so the machine can't be locked in the down position for transport.
  9. roddinron
    Joined: May 24, 2006
    Posts: 2,677


    You could try clamping a piece of angle iron with a nice straight edge where you want to make the cut, then use it as a guide for your cutoff wheel. I've never actually done it, but it seems like it might help.
    But a chop saw would be the best way to go, or , a friend of mine has one of those twin blade cutters sears sell and says it'll cut 1/4" steel like a circular saw through plywood!
    Oh yeah, I just remembered, I have a radial arm saw for wood work, but I sometimes put a chopsaw blade on it to cut steel, if you don't have a radial arm saw, you could probably do it with a table saw, though I've never tried it, they also sell metal cutting blades for hand held circular saws which I have used.
  10. 49 Fastback
    Joined: Jun 24, 2005
    Posts: 500

    49 Fastback
    from Ohio

    So chopsaws seem pretty popular. Keith--can I borrow yours? I can be there by sundown! lol

    roddinron, I'll try the "guide method" first, and if that doesn't work, go get me a chopsaw! Everything I do seems to be an excuse to buy more tools! I love it!

  11. HemiRambler
    Joined: Aug 26, 2005
    Posts: 4,208


    Mark each side and cut one at a time. Piece of cake.
  12. Chopsaw or Port-a-band and a vise in a pinch.
  13. leon renaud
    Joined: Nov 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,936

    leon renaud
    from N.E. Ct.

    around here you can rent a chop saw pretty cheaply from tool rental houses.[Taylor Rental ]is one of the chain stores don't know if they are national .rent the saw for a day or weekend and buy a few blades.I think Home Depot also rents tools.Get all your layout done in advance and you can get a shitload of cutting done in a dayand yes if the cut allows place the open side down so your cut starts at the point of the angle.whenever it's possible present the thinnest surface to the saw 1/4 x2 stock you want to clamp on edge so the saw is only cutting 1/4 thick use only light pressure on the saw so the blade doesent deflect and you will get best blade life and you'll get a cleaner straigher cut.
  14. Bluto
    Joined: Feb 15, 2005
    Posts: 5,113

    Member Emeritus

    Please wear safety glasses!!!!
  15. GTS225
    Joined: Jul 2, 2006
    Posts: 1,199



    And hearing protection!!:eek:

  16. screwtheman
    Joined: Mar 24, 2005
    Posts: 845


    If you're on a budget and want the most tool for your buck, get a decent reciprocating saw (aka Sawzall) and a pack full of metal cutting blades.
  17. 49 Fastback
    Joined: Jun 24, 2005
    Posts: 500

    49 Fastback
    from Ohio

    The straightedge trick worked like a charm! Nice butt joints for welding!:cool:

    It is kinda pathetic I obsess about a welding cart this much...considering how bad my welds are still! :D

    Bluto--not only do I wear safety glasses, but a grinding mask (has anyone seen the one from Garrett Wade--it's mesh with a lens insert at eye level--I may have to get it), gloves, hearing protection, long sleeve shirt, and I keep a condom in my pocket. Because, hey, you never know when your creeper fantasy might come true! :D :eek:

    Thanks for the tips guys.

  18. PLASMA CUTTER! bust out the credit card and treat yourself.
  19. gerrald meacham
    Joined: Oct 23, 2006
    Posts: 134

    gerrald meacham

    i have all the tools mentioned but you can still do it wrong, measure many times and look and think cut only once
  20. 39 Ford
    Joined: Jan 22, 2006
    Posts: 1,558

    39 Ford

    Get a 7" Metal Cut-off Blade for your Skil saw. Norton makes a good one for a little less then $5.00. Use eye protection and do it where sparks will not cause a fire or a mess. I do it in the middle of my drive on a small table. Try it it works great.:)
  21. strombergs97
    Joined: May 22, 2006
    Posts: 1,888

    from California

    Me and my masking tape can make excellent cuts..Use the tape for line to follow, easy to see and follow..
    Theres 7 cents info.
  22. Shifty Shifterton
    Joined: Oct 1, 2006
    Posts: 4,964

    Shifty Shifterton


    Mount in vice, cut one side, remount in vice turned 90, cut other side.

    As long as your blade is straight, when you lay it flat across the line, it cuts the line.
  23. roddinron
    Joined: May 24, 2006
    Posts: 2,677


    Glad to hear that.
  24. Scarebird
    Joined: Sep 26, 2006
    Posts: 892

    Alliance Vendor
    from ABQ, USA

    Get a Sawzall before the chopsaw; you will wonder how you lived without it... and spend a bit on blades: steel, wood, etc.
  25. BenW455
    Joined: Feb 9, 2007
    Posts: 417


    Sears makes a saw called the twin cutter. Has 2 blades running in different directions cuts metal really good. About $150.00

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