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Thread: How to cut 1/2" thick Naval brass

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2,078

    Default How to cut 1/2" thick Naval brass

    I have had this 4'X8' sheet of what is apparently salt water corrosion resistant Naval brass(or bronze) for years. This could be aluminum bronze. I am sure it is salt water corrosion resistant stuff. Came out of a Navy yard auction years ago. The guy who bid on it thought he was buying a pile of sheet metal,and this 1/2" sheet was inside the pile.

    It has a beautiful golden color to it,and it is tough to cut.

    I made a cannon out of a 5" bar of the same gold colored brass(or bronze).

    Do I have to invest over $300.00 in a Milwaukee metal cutting circular saw and blade to cut it,or would a cheaper saw of similar amperage and RPM be suitable? After I get the brass sawn up,I'd have no further use for it,so I hate to spend a lot on it.

    I'd obviously have to put suitable guards over the open side of the blade.

    This sheet weighs about 800#. All I need to do is get it cut into more manageable size pieces so I can get it onto my Roll In bandsaw,where I have HSS tipped blades.

    Any suggestions? Years ago I bought a good saber saw to try to cut it,but after quite a while,I only made it about 9",and stopped,afraid I'd ruin the new saw.
    Last edited by gwilson; 08-06-2011 at 07:56 PM.

  2. #2

    Default

    A HF sawsall and a good quality metal cutting blade.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Kansas City area
    Posts
    3,253

    Default Brass Plate

    Find someone with a plasma torch that is rated for 1/2 inch or more. A plasma torch will cut anything that conducts electricity. It is as easy to use as drawing with a magic marker. You can clamp a straightedge on the plate and make any size of squares or strips you want. It is a way better option than a circular saw.

  4. #4
    Dr Stan Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Toolguy
    Find someone with a plasma torch that is rated for 1/2 inch or more. A plasma torch will cut anything that conducts electricity. It is as easy to use as drawing with a magic marker. You can clamp a straightedge on the plate and make any size of squares or strips you want. It is a way better option than a circular saw.
    Exactly what I'd recommend.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    52N 122W Western Kanuckistan
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    40,418

    Default

    Sell it and buy what you really need.
    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Origin now settable to bottom left! All values positive. Click Here

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    1,515

    Default

    Moving it to and from will be the killer. How about a water jet?
    Duffy, Gatineau, Quebec

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    2,078

    Default

    If I sold it,I'd only get scrap value,and pay full price for what I bought!!

    Normally,I just saw up what I need,but this plate is way too heavy to get up onto a saw,if I had one with a huge ball bearing table.

    Probably,I'll get a Milwaukee metal saw and saw it into manageable pieces using a clamped on fence to stay in the same kerf if multiple passes are needed.

    There is an Arcet store not too far away. I might ask what they'd charge to plasma cut it. I think there will be some damage to the material near the cut,though,and probably fumes to stay away from,too. The brass is out of doors.

    I just hate to buy an expensive saw that I'll only use once.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    269

    Default

    Zero rake on the blade. 800 pounds is worth probably over 2 grand as scrap. Red brass spot prices are up around $3/pound. Unless you can actually use most of it, sell or trade and get what you can use.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    273

    Default

    There will likely be a BIG difference in cutting aluminum bonze and naval brass. Aluminum bronze is designed to resist wear in bearing applications. Naval brass is more to resist corrosion. Aluminum bronze is a very light gold color, Naval bronze is darker gold color.

    I've cut 1/4 " engravers brass with a hand held skill saw and a wood cutting carbide blade. Worked nice, and it threw chips every where. If it is aluminum bronze you probably won't want to make much out of it anyway. Me, ifI neededto cut I would just use a skill saw and full protection. Most it would cost you is a blade. A lot of the secondary scrap resellers I;ve dealt with in the past use a skill say for the same thing. Proceed with caution.Cut 1/2 way through and flip if your nervous about it.

    FYI, scrap value may suprise you. I have not checked in a while but was about $1.70 lb about 6 months ago. For 1200-1500 bucks you probably could get what you want.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Winchendon MA
    Posts
    769

    Default

    I have the metal cutting saw from Northern Tool and for $130.00 I'm really impressed, when I bought it I also got a spare blade which I still haven't used. The only thing you have to watch for is the random escaping chip they are really hot, the saw has a chip catcher built in but some escape. They say that it has a capacity of 1/4" but I've cut 3/4" steel just don't push to hard.

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