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Working with sheet metal

 
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Pocono John



Joined: 22 Aug 2011
Posts: 115
Location: Stroudsburg, PA

PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:33 pm    Post subject: Working with sheet metal Reply with quote

I'm using a metal cutting bandsaw with 24 TPI since the metal is thin. It seems it would be much easier with a bench shear, which local stores don't sell. Any other way to cut the sheet?

Once the pieces are cut, what's the best way to shape them (round corners for example) and smooth the edges? Bench grinder or bench sander (what grit)?

What worked for you…and is there anything you'd do different?

Thank you!

John C


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John Cronin
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tkreiner



Joined: 06 Aug 2009
Posts: 180
Location: Spring, TX

PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 6:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Working with sheet metal Reply with quote

John,

ASS has a set of A/C snips; Left Hand, Right Hand and straight. If the description isn't completely clear, the L H snip shears a circular cut in the counter clockwise direction, the R H in the clockwise. This is done freehand while wearing gloves... With a bandsaw, you'll probably need to provide some suitable backup material to prevent distortion of the sheet while cutting. (Don't wear gloves when working with a bandsaw - or any other machine tool.)

Practicing on scrap, you'll be able to make nice radii on all of the pieces, as well as smooth cutouts around cylinders, etc.

Working the metal around features on your plane might require an English Wheel, which, with practice, may be used to make cowling, and associated items, like brackets, baffles, etc.

Cutting manila folders might save you a fortune, as cheapo materiasl will allow you to make the parts over and over and prevent the production of high cost scrap. Fit the pieces carefully, and when they fit the way they should, then make them out of metal.

The alloy most commonly used in AC work is 2024 0, but some folks like T3, although other alloys may be used. 5052 H32 can be used in non structural applications, where formability is important, as well as cost. 5052 is roughly half the tensile strength of 2024.

One final note... Scotch Brite wheels & discs do an excellent job of smoothing edges, and in the process create EXTREMELY SMALL PARTICLES (~ 1 um), which may be inhaled. My 3M Rep always wore an expensive face mask, and when I asked him why, he just said "to keep from breathing that stuff." Meaning the material being removed with the wheel or disc. There is some speculation that aluminum may be a contributing factor in Alzheimer's disease. My take is that 3M might not be divulging sufficient information about these products to the end users.


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Tom Kreiner
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Pocono John



Joined: 22 Aug 2011
Posts: 115
Location: Stroudsburg, PA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:09 am    Post subject: Re: Working with sheet metal Reply with quote

Thank you Tom…I appreciate your time to help me out. I like the manila envelope idea. My sheet metal is 4130.

John C


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John Cronin
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tkreiner



Joined: 06 Aug 2009
Posts: 180
Location: Spring, TX

PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 5:59 am    Post subject: Re: Working with sheet metal Reply with quote

John,

OOPS! Sheet metal conjures up images of formed aluminum in my old mind....

So, working with the bandsaw, and some hi rpm tools, i.e. die grinders, for reducing to final shape is the best course. After they're to shape, you'll need files, and sandpaper to remove ALL tool marks, cut marks, etc., from EVERY edge, as these are called notches. During flight, normal working stresses may induce crack propagation from one of these sites.

Have fun with this...


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Tom Kreiner
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bdewenter



Joined: 30 Jul 2013
Posts: 125
Location: Dayton, OH

PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:08 am    Post subject: Re: Working with sheet metal Reply with quote

John,

I've read a lot of posts that the metal cutting band saw is one of the favorite tools for cutting the 4130.

I used two tools myself. The first a simple handheld hack saw for "strip" 4130 for the simple straight and L brackets etc.

All my shaped parts were water jet cut.

Bob


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Bob 'Early Builder' Dewenter
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echobravo4



Joined: 09 Apr 2010
Posts: 179
Location: Downingtown, PA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:47 am    Post subject: Re: Working with sheet metal Reply with quote

Hi John

i cut out the blanks with a metal cutting bandsaw-
get the shapes close with the grinder, then draw file the edges and finish
with fine grade wet or dry sandpaper


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Pocono John



Joined: 22 Aug 2011
Posts: 115
Location: Stroudsburg, PA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:42 am    Post subject: Re: Working with sheet metal Reply with quote

Thank you Tom , Bob and Earl. Got it.

JC


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womenfly2



Joined: 31 Jul 2007
Posts: 224

PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:50 am    Post subject: Re: Working with sheet metal Reply with quote

One of the best tools I have ever purchased for cutting 4130 and other metals ...

SWAG V4.0 Portaband Table


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