PDA

View Full Version : Good tools for cutting soft sheet metal like copper



BCRider
11-20-2018, 08:19 PM
So one of my buddies today was asking me about a good way to cut copper and brass sheet in different thicknesses of up to around .050" thick.

Seems he has a customer that does art things in metal and thin copper sheet components is a big part of his work. The usual aircraft snips work but he does a lot of it and his hands apparently get tired. A shear is too straight for much of the things he does. Ideally it should be something that allows for cutting some larger radius but reasonable curves. At least for the initial reducing from larger sizes to near the final size.

And before anyone suggests it there's no room for a big 4ft floor shear.

He just about hooked a 24" bench shear but it got sold before his reply to the local CL add was made.

I was thinking of a throatless shear for some of the initial reducing to size and perhaps even for final size trimming. But man does not live by one tool alone. So along with his aircraft snips and possibly a throatless shear was thinking perhaps a nibbler. I already suggested a band or scroll saw. But apparently he does enough stuff at his real job and would rather aim thls hobby side to mostly hand tools for their quietness.

Any other thoughts?

754
11-20-2018, 08:31 PM
Electric shear will do up to 16 th inch steel a but more in copper.... chipless. The more you pay the tighter a radius they cut .
I had a metabo it could cut 5/8 radius. Princess Auto sorta junk can only cut 2 inch radius. And sucks at trimming a small sliver off. I have been using a Hitachi of late it cuts about inch rad, and can trim a sliver off nicely..
They are not real cheap for good ones but they are fast.
I will post a few part numbers.
Hitachi CE16SA.........Makita JS1602
I have never seen them on sale but got a good deal on a new in box Hitachi on ebay..

3 Phase Lightbulb
11-20-2018, 09:13 PM
Plasma

Joel
11-20-2018, 09:36 PM
I was thinking of a throatless shear for some of the initial reducing to size and perhaps even for final size trimming. But man does not live by one tool alone. So along with his aircraft snips and possibly a throatless shear was thinking perhaps a nibbler.

Any other thoughts?

Sure sounds like an electric shear might be the ticket (noise be damned, but quieter than air power), but a Beverly shear certainly has advantages. Nibblers make a huge mess and I rue using mine. I would think a straight shear is practically mandatory - they are just so fast, easy and accurate.
Some of Grizzly's offerings:
http://www.grizzly.com/search/?q=(shear)

Regarding the 'one tool alone' axiom, does he have any offset shears? They often work much better than the standard fare and I would hate to be without mine.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Wiss-9-1-4-in-Metalmaster-Offset-Snips-M6R/303851201

alanganes
11-21-2018, 06:54 AM
I would second the Beverly shear. I have a Beverly "Junior" shear that I got in a lot of stuff I acquired. I was not actually looking for such a thing but find I use it all the time. It is small and super handy. I just clamp the base in my bench vice when I need to use it. Cuts great and no noise!

BCRider
11-21-2018, 12:59 PM
The story I got from my buddy is that the guy is doing this as a hobby. And his regular job already has enough noisy power tools. So the focus is more on the use of easy and quiet. Fast not so much.

I'll pass along the recommendation for the Hitachi and Makita shears but I think the Beverly shear from watching a couple of YT videos is really going to be the ticket.

The other option I'm seeing from related videos in the sidebar is rotary shears on a throatless frame. There are videos for Eastwood and Woodward which shows cutting small radius cuts from the one side and long pleasing radius cuts in the other direction. That might be another option. Grizzly seems to have a version of the rotary cutter as well. And if it works as well as the Eastwood and Woodward options I think the guy might be tickled pink.

EDIT- I quickly looked up the Woodward by Redline option and for another $120 and for what looks like a much better quality blade I think I'm going to suggest the Woodward option.

Thanks again to all of you. I can see why the Beverly is a hit with some of you but the rotary looks like a great option too. Or perhaps it'll be one of those situations where the guy will want both because each has it's good points. But there's options galore here now.

754
11-21-2018, 01:24 PM
The Beverly is good and works wel, on smaller pieces. You have to move around it a lot.
But here is the tricky part,
If you are working with 1/2 or 1/4 of a sheet, it will be hard to move it around a Beverly.
Then the electric will be much easiet. Not super noisy, sort of like an electric drill..
I think a lot faster than the Beverly..

Doozer
11-21-2018, 01:30 PM
TRUMPF shear will get it done.



I have one of these. and it is a PLEASURE to use.

--Doozerhttp://www.engineernewsnetwork.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/TMT877-TRUMPF-C200-slitting_shear-1.jpg

754
11-21-2018, 01:40 PM
What is the capacity Will it cut 16 guage ?
Once you price copper sheet, you may reconside the waste it makes, what hind of radius does it cut ? Can it trim 1/32 of an edge tapering to 0 ?

BCRider
11-21-2018, 02:12 PM
The Beverly is good and works wel, on smaller pieces. You have to move around it a lot.
But here is the tricky part,
If you are working with 1/2 or 1/4 of a sheet, it will be hard to move it around a Beverly.
Then the electric will be much easiet. Not super noisy, sort of like an electric drill..
I think a lot faster than the Beverly..

I do believe you're right and that it would be a good option for sizing down large sheets to get to workable sizes.

I've used one of the finger nibblers Doozer is suggesting and the key advantage is that it doesn't deform the edge other than a slight burr from the cutting finger. A typical shearing action by definition pushes the edges apart and leaves a touch of a curl on each edge. Or at the very least on one edge. For some cases the waste curl is worth the cost if it leaves both edges flat and non distorted.

Again, this isn't for me. I'm asking for options that will be forwarded to someone for them to decide.

Illinoyance
11-21-2018, 04:11 PM
I have a question about the Beverly and other throatless shears. How much do they distort the metal? Will it still be flat after it is cut? If retaining flatness id essential then the Trumpf shear shown in post 8 would seem ideal.

rjs44032
11-21-2018, 04:24 PM
That looks cool as hell! Now I have another thing I want. Doozer thanks for posting that Trumpf. :)

Best Regards,
Bob

BCRider
11-21-2018, 04:45 PM
I have a question about the Beverly and other throatless shears. How much do they distort the metal? Will it still be flat after it is cut? If retaining flatness id essential then the Trumpf shear shown in post 8 would seem ideal.

YouTube is your friend for this. There's easily 6 or 8 good videos just from a YT search for "beverly shear" that show them in action. And I'm sure a second search for "throatless shear" would have similar results although I didn't run that one. One in particular shows a guy cutting off 1/8x1 flat bar stock which gets a bit of distortion just at the end.

The rotary shear seems like it produces a touch less distortion from what I can see. And it cuts a tighter and cleaner to boot. The Beverly style is great for fairly tight convex shapes. But at the expense of nicking the concave side of the stock. The rotary shear just rolls on through both convex right and convex left shapes very easily and cleanly.

I've actually recommended the Woodward/Redline stand rotary shear for my buddy to forward on to the guy that's thinking about better ways to cut his metal. It's not quite double the cost of a similar rotary from Grizzly but the shear wheels look like they are far better ground and the frame is better shaped and the roller axle bearing housings seem longer and more burly. And at just under $300US it won't break the bank. Heck, I'm thinking of getting one for myself as well. Up to now my only sheet metal cutting is with snips or with saws.

Click to the "Videos" tab at THIS LINK (https://www.redlinestands.com/catalog/shop-equipment-c-327/general-shop-equipment-c-327_335/metal-working-c-327_335_288/woodward-fab-sheet-metal-throatless-rotary-shears-p-2213) and see it in action. And consider that he's running the ratchet handle from off to one side which is the hardest way to do so yet it cuts with no major effort from what I can see.

PStechPaul
11-22-2018, 12:34 AM
I just found this in my Facebook Marketplace feed. Looks like a good deal for $28:

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/deals/item/2207431019330152?referral_story_type=deals_repeata ble_deals_upsell

https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t45.5328-4/c0.0.420.420a/45117349_2038546686204013_7398105111802675200_n.jp g?_nc_cat=106&_nc_ht=scontent-iad3-1.xx&oh=24603e9266c80c5983450d15fe3c4f47&oe=5C6C843F

https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t45.5328-4/c0.0.420.420a/45034858_1097135497077885_1104008076282822656_n.jp g?_nc_cat=101&_nc_ht=scontent-iad3-1.xx&oh=456ec2ecfe6d64cbf5a5048e52c7d0d0&oe=5CB11989

https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t45.5328-4/c0.0.420.420a/45178804_1994051327382506_1077517697253638144_n.jp g?_nc_cat=110&_nc_ht=scontent-iad3-1.xx&oh=10e8d0c0809469ff9eac32e6de899d97&oe=5C80DD05

754
11-22-2018, 01:00 AM
I take it you will show him this thread..

A buddy of mine is making broadleaf plants out of stainless and copper, very beautiful.
3 to 5 feet high...never need watering..
Pricey though.. bring G notes..

BCRider
11-22-2018, 01:34 AM
I've already sent a link for this thread along with links for the Beverly and rotary shears plus suggestions of the "hand drill shears" to my buddy who is likely going to pass it along.

Like so many threads that start out with only one goal this one has grown and I know I've gotten some great ideas for a couple of sheet metal specific tools for myself too.

Mr Fixit
11-22-2018, 01:45 AM
OK BCRider, How about a bead roller with the sheering dies? This way he has the shearing tool for larger pieces and then can add shapes to his hobby with beading dies and maybe even get into making panel wall art of some kind.

OK me thinking outside of the box on this one, as usual!

TX
Mr fixit for the family
Chris :)

mattthemuppet
11-22-2018, 03:06 AM
I just found this in my Facebook Marketplace feed. Looks like a good deal for $28:

https://scontent-iad3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t45.5328-4/c0.0.420.420a/45117349_2038546686204013_7398105111802675200_n.jp g?_nc_cat=106&_nc_ht=scontent-iad3-1.xx&oh=24603e9266c80c5983450d15fe3c4f47&oe=5C6C843F


got mine from banggood for $15. Works well but makes a hell of a mess.

BCRider
11-22-2018, 11:48 AM
OK BCRider, How about a bead roller with the sheering dies? This way he has the shearing tool for larger pieces and then can add shapes to his hobby with beading dies and maybe even get into making panel wall art of some kind.

OK me thinking outside of the box on this one, as usual!

TX
Mr fixit for the family
Chris :)

That would be a whole other level and an interesting idea to boot. But I'll leave that for him to read and ponder for himself.

754
11-22-2018, 01:12 PM
If I never get near another nibbler that cuts crescent shaped swarf I will be happy.
The electric shear can cut a foot or so in about 30 seconds... with a pretty clean edge..

lugnut
11-22-2018, 01:51 PM
I do a lot of copper artsy things and mostly use aircraft snips. But I did buy one like PStechPaul posted and he is right about the mess it makes, thousands of sharp, half-moon chips. I made a mount for it and attached drill motor and control it with a foot switch. works great but it does make a 1/8 inch wide cut.

BCRider
11-22-2018, 02:31 PM
Lugnut, sounds like you have a feel for this side of things. What did you think about the rotary shear linked to earlier in terms of this art side of things? I understand that the local fellow this is intended for mostly uses snips as well at present.

lugnut
11-22-2018, 04:27 PM
BCR, I've never used one. I don't have room for one. use snips most all the time. in fact I just ordered a set of new Klein snips yesterday from Amazon.

754
11-22-2018, 08:18 PM
BC rider where is he at ? If he is up this way he can test cut my shear.,

BCRider
11-23-2018, 02:23 AM
He's down here in Chilliwack. But if he reads this and would like to try your shear he'll know how to contact me and I know how to contact you. And thanks for the offer on his behalf.

We metal shop guys really are enablers, eh? ANYTHING to spend someone else's money..... But I really do mean this in the best possible way.... I think....:D

PStechPaul
11-23-2018, 05:08 AM
AliExpress has a power nibbler attachment for $13:

https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/HTB19imMIeOSBuNjy0Fdq6zDnVXan/Nibble-Metal-Cutting-Double-Head-Sheet-Nibbler-Saw-Cutter-Tool-Drill-Attachment-Free-Cutting-Tool-Nibbler.jpg

And also a radius attachment for about $4:
https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1QS_zd8fM8KJjSZPiq6xdspXax/360-Degree-Nibble-Metal-Cutting-Double-Head-Sheet-Nibbler-Hole-Saw-Cutter-Drill-Tool-Tackle-Car.jpg

Also a power shear attachment for about $30:
https://ae01.alicdn.com/kf/HTB1bj6mqNWYBuNjy1zkq6xGGpXae/Milda-New-Metal-Cut-Nibble-Metal-Cutting-Sheet-Nibbler-Saw-Cutter-Tool-Drill-Attachment-Cutting-Tool.jpg

https://www.aliexpress.com/wholesale?catId=100006906&initiative_id=AS_20181123002017&SearchText=nibbler