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wierdscience
05-06-2010, 10:36 PM
Years ago I had a set of hand nibblers,the kind that work from under the sheet so the layout line can be seen easily.

Those have walked off and I'm looking for a new set,but a set of good ones with a max capacity of .025" mild steel.

Anybody know where to look or if they are even made anymore?

darryl
05-06-2010, 10:46 PM
That's one of the handiest tools I've used on sheet material. What you had probably puts mine to shame, but anyway I got this one at Radio Shack. I've been tempted a couple of times to duplicate this one in a heavier duty configuration, and also in a finer nibble tip. This one cuts 1/4 inch wide and takes out about .080 or so per chip. I'd like to go maybe 1/8 wide and 3/16 long, and also use a round tip like I've seen on power nibblers. I'd love to have one that would take a bite out of thicker material, say up to .1 or so- probably have to be hydraulic and have a tip made from unobtanium.

Anyway, I'm not helping you except to say you can get, or at least used to be able to get, a cheap one at RS.

wierdscience
05-06-2010, 10:56 PM
That's one of the handiest tools I've used on sheet material. What you had probably puts mine to shame, but anyway I got this one at Radio Shack. I've been tempted a couple of times to duplicate this one in a heavier duty configuration, and also in a finer nibble tip. This one cuts 1/4 inch wide and takes out about .080 or so per chip. I'd like to go maybe 1/8 wide and 3/16 long, and also use a round tip like I've seen on power nibblers. I'd love to have one that would take a bite out of thicker material, say up to .1 or so- probably have to be hydraulic and have a tip made from unobtanium.

Anyway, I'm not helping you except to say you can get, or at least used to be able to get, a cheap one at RS.

Darryl,that's what pains me,the ones I had took out a curl 3/32" wide.Brass plated forged steel handles.I got them in a Military auction along with some airdrills.No mfg name on them either.

I can find plenty of the fender nibblers and the Klien nibblers,but those are more for ductwork mechanics where all that's needed is something quieter than a .38 pistol and about as accurate.

If somebody was gonna run off with one of my tools,why couldn't they pick something easily replaceable?:(

dp
05-07-2010, 01:31 AM
I have one of those I bought in the late 1960's and used for cutting out sheet steel for making expansion chambers for my dirt bikes. It worked great then. I still have it but it's a lot harder to use now. Some of it is because it's a but dull but the main reason is I can't grip the handlebars like an ape any more :)

One of the most useful tools I've ever owned, btw, and nothing can do what it can do, especially in tight places like a dash board.

The most recent task was to cut out a rectangle on a Square D breaker panel so I could add a breaker. That is some pretty thick sheet metal but it did a fine job. Hope you locate yours.

Paul Alciatore
05-07-2010, 03:17 AM
I have a pair of those. They are called nibblers. Look in electronic supply houses, that's where I got mine, years ago.

This might work but it is a bit expensive:

http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Greenlee/720/?qs=lMjwnp86ZeOmCyA1XAWW%252bw%3d%3d

Or this one is more reasonable:

http://www.newark.com/gc-electronics/12-1806/nibbling-tool/dp/31C1001?in_merch=Popular Products&in_merch=Popular Products&MER=PPSO_N_C_EverywhereElse_None

This page has one that looks like mine. It is the one at the bottom, not the one in the middle. I used one like the one in the middle once and it was horrible. Don't waste your money on it.

http://www.mcmaster.com/#nibblers/=6zcg53

Only bad thing is they leave a trail of marks on both sides of the cut.

Black_Moons
05-07-2010, 05:32 AM
I bought some hand nibbler from eastwood awhile ago.
what a peice of #%#!.
the blade doesnt match the anvil at all, wayy undersized, so it has potential to bind, unlike my air nibbler that never binds, but using a round die.. I wanted one with a square die so I could cut square inside corners.

While im sure a quality built one is just as awsome if not moreso as my air nibbler, a cheap manual nibbler sucks.
also the chip it cut out would spiral around ontop and often get sorta 'stuck' in the tool due to poor design.

An air over hydrolic one would likey just gnaw through massive metal.

Maybe start with one of the $60~100 air panel crimpers/pump (air over hydrolic) and modify the head attachment to be a nibbler and the trigger to be automatic insted of manual.. (or not)
Warning: change the oil on these when you get them, mine is full of metal savings suspended in the hydrolic oil, Can't be good for the seals.

MotorradMike
05-07-2010, 06:57 AM
The nibblers we had 30 years ago worked really well. I haven't seen a decent one since.
If you pay less than $100, I suspect you won't be happy with it.

Bruce Griffing
05-07-2010, 07:07 AM
Here is a link to the good old nibbler - I bought my first one in 1964.

http://www.adelnibbler.com/

Ries
05-07-2010, 12:21 PM
The Adel nibbler looks good, but tops out at 18gage.
Which probably means its really best at up to 20 gage.

A good place to find quality tools like this, not cheap, is where the airframe mechanics shop-
US Tool-
http://www.ustool.com/store/cart.php?m=content&page=6

They usually have the better brands, and the hard to find stuff- like Clecos- since Boeing Surplus closed their retail store, they are hard to find, but these guys have em, in all sizes.

They stock the Adel, and spare punches for it.

winchman
05-07-2010, 07:16 PM
Surely you're not talking about the Bernz Cutter.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/winchman/Mowermods006.jpg

I got mine back in the '70s. I think there was another blade for shapes, but I couldn't find it.

Thruthefence
05-07-2010, 08:14 PM
I have an old surplus adel nibbler, that's getting long in the tooth, as well as one of those radio shack versions, and I prefer the adel version. They say it will cut 18 G steel; that'll get you carpel tunnel fired up, I bet.

Paul Alciatore
05-07-2010, 08:35 PM
Here is a link to the good old nibbler - I bought my first one in 1964.

http://www.adelnibbler.com/


Yes, that is a good one: the one I have. Well made. I believe the McMaster link I posted above is for one of those. At least it looks like it.

wierdscience
05-07-2010, 08:48 PM
The Adel nibbler,how wide a kerf does it make?

The nibbler I had looked like a handsaw set,it had a single tooth that bobbed up and down and cut a ribbon out instead of cresent shaped chips.

What I liked about it was the thing allowed my wrist to stay straight,yet give full view of the cut line.It was great for cutting out slots in machinery shims.

Bruce Griffing
05-07-2010, 08:58 PM
I don't know the width, but the Adel makes small rectangular chips. It will cut a slot (is this what you meant by ribbon?). When I purchased mine first one in '64, they were mostly being sold into the electronics industry for making odd shaped openings in aluminum chassis boxes.

wierdscience
05-07-2010, 09:09 PM
I don't know the width, but the Adel makes small rectangular chips. It will cut a slot (is this what you meant by ribbon?). When I purchased mine first one in '64, they were mostly being sold into the electronics industry for making odd shaped openings in aluminum chassis boxes.

Ahh,the one I had made a continous ribbon which was nice for electrical work since there were no tiny little pieces of metal to keep track of.

lazlo
05-07-2010, 09:28 PM
I purchased mine first one in '64, they were mostly being sold into the electronics industry for making odd shaped openings in aluminum chassis boxes.

Bruce, I've been doing a control box with the Allen-Bradley 800E series buttons, which use a round hole with a square slot to prevent rotation. I've been drilling the holes and doing the square slots with a broach, which is really time-consuming.

The Adel nibbler looks great, but like Ries says, the 18 - 20 gauge is a problem -- all the common panel boxes (Hammond, Hoffman et al) are 14 - 16 gauge.

Is there such a thing as an air nibbler with a square punch-out?

wierdscience
05-07-2010, 09:42 PM
Robert,I've done those by the ton with a Bosch jig saw and a layout template.Masking tape up the foot on the saw to avoid scratches,then just layout the notch with a scribe and whittle it out with a 24t bimetal blade.

Takes about 1 minute per after the first one.

Or you can buy the $210 tool that's made for the purpose:D

http://www.mcmaster.com/#knockout-punches/=6zqqc4

wierdscience
05-07-2010, 09:47 PM
Surely you're not talking about the Bernz Cutter.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/1003/winchman/Mowermods006.jpg

I got mine back in the '70s. I think there was another blade for shapes, but I couldn't find it.

Similar concept,but the ones I had the fixed handle was in the palm,the working one in the fingers.The blade was also only about 3/8" high and 1/2" long by about 3/32 wide.

lazlo
05-07-2010, 09:50 PM
Robert,I've done those by the ton with a Bosch jig saw and a layout template.Masking tape up the foot on the saw to avoid scratches,then just layout the notch with a scribe and whittle it out with a 24t bimetal blade.

That's bloody brilliant Darin! :) The notch doesn't have to be perfect -- there's still a lock ring...

rdfeil
05-07-2010, 11:18 PM
Robert,

I do many control switch holes like you are talking about. The Greenlee punch in one of the earlier posts is made to do what you want, but the price is high if you are only doing a few. I have the Greenlee and I seldom dig it out from under the bench :rolleyes: . Another thing that works great, fast and easy is a rat-tail file. Like you mentioned, it doesn't have to be perfect it is just an index stop. A fairly aggressive file and you are done in 4-5 swipes.

Robin

J Tiers
05-08-2010, 12:50 AM
Even the Adels, of which I think I have two, are prone to jamming (I bought mine new).

If you cut 18 ga, you are going to know you did some work....... and the Adels like to pinch parts of your hand.... this is most noticeable when really squeezing as with 18 ga metal...... snap-pinch-OUCH!

They cut a kerf about a quarter inch wide or so.

BudB
05-08-2010, 08:20 AM
Malco Products, who makes sheet metal shears, offers a 3 blade hand shear that cuts sheet metal with little distortion and the pointed center shear allows plunge cuts in duct work. Don't try to resharpen them or you'll end up with a yellow handled paper weight.

AlleyCat
05-08-2010, 11:49 AM
I use several types of nibblers almost daily. The hand held Adel works ok for small jobs and I use them often. My favorite tool is the Heinrich 4-A which is a shear, rod parter and nibbler.

http://www.heinrichco.com/metalwork.htm

I also have the Heinrich 5-A which is no longer made. It's a combination unit that has the 4-A nibbler and #6 punch on a swivel base. I modified the 1/8" square punch by grinding a flat half way through and 1/8" or so up from the cutting edge. This allows the punch to nibble .062" x .125" slugs. The unground edge of the punch enters the die before cutting the slug which keeps the punch from trying to push away from the cut. The only down side is the need to drill or punch a starting hole for inside cuts. I've nibbled 11 gauge steel with this setup.

Some of my work requires template nibblers so I use a Heck Trace-a Punch or Campbell nibbler. The Campbell works the best since it has a lever that releases the punch to allow positioning for inside cuts. I use one of those big magnets on wheels to clean up the mess!