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Posted: 1/12/2010 9:35:05 AM EDT
How tough would it be to cut it into 10 sections with a hacksaw?

Should I invest in a cut-off (or chop) saw?

Do you think the 14" 2HP at Harbor Fright for $69 would last through this job?

Link Posted: 1/12/2010 9:35:38 AM EDT
Steel or Stainless Steel?
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 9:36:12 AM EDT
Just mild steel. Stuff you find at Lowe's.
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 9:37:21 AM EDT
Do you think the 14" 2HP at Harbor Fright for $69 would last through this job?


yes..
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 9:37:44 AM EDT
I used a hand-held "angle grinder" with metal cut-off wheel. It wasn't pretty, and it made some serious sparks, but it worked well. It would take 2-3 wheels to make that many cuts though.

Can you ask around with your neighbors and see if anyone has a torch or something? Might even be cheaper (than buying an essentially 1 use tool from HF) to call around local fab shops and see if they'll cut it for you for $20 or something.
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 9:38:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By VBC:
Just mild steel. Stuff you find at Lowe's.

A hacksaw and some elbow grease will cut through that fine.



Oh damn, Lowes. You going to get raped on the price......



Can't they cut it for you there?


Link Posted: 1/12/2010 9:38:41 AM EDT
It can be done with a hack saw if you're in decent shape. Skill level will dictate how square the cuts are. Couple of new blades would help.

For $70 I'd buy the chop saw (unless money is tight). You'll likely use it again.
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 9:39:41 AM EDT
Skil saw with fiber blades....Dont forget saftey glasses
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 9:41:54 AM EDT
Originally Posted By AJ-IN-JAX:
Oh damn, Lowes. You going to get raped on the price......



Can't they cut it for you there?





I thought it was a little expensive too. Lowes wants $21 and some change for a 4-foot piece.


Link Posted: 1/12/2010 9:43:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/12/2010 9:44:03 AM EDT by Claybrook]
Originally Posted By fosters:
Skil saw with fiber blades....Dont forget saftey glasses


No reason this won't work. I have been building a driveway gate and have been using a regular chop saw with a metal cutting blade. Cuts through it with no problem at all.

Edit to say the blade was about $10 at Home Depot.
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 9:45:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/12/2010 9:45:17 AM EDT by TheGunCollector]
Is this a one time thing, or you plan on doing it frequently?


Frequently: Torch or plasma cutter.
1x: Chop saw, or last resort hack saw.
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 9:48:11 AM EDT
Got a reciprocating saw? They make metal cutting blades there. Clamp wood to the metal to guide the blade.

Or use a circular saw with metal cutting blade. It might kick back, use care.

Link Posted: 1/12/2010 9:52:17 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Claybrook:
Originally Posted By fosters:
Skil saw with fiber blades....Dont forget saftey glasses


No reason this won't work. I have been building a driveway gate and have been using a regular chop saw with a metal cutting blade. Cuts through it with no problem at all.

Edit to say the blade was about $10 at Home Depot.


If you have a cheap Mitre saw like I do ($80 10" Refurb Hitachi) that is fine but if I had an expensive one I would get the Harbor Freight chop saw to keep my motor from dealing with the stress. Much higher torque load involved.
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 9:53:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By RRA_223:
I used a hand-held "angle grinder" with metal cut-off wheel. It wasn't pretty, and it made some serious sparks, but it worked well. It would take 2-3 wheels to make that many cuts though.

Can you ask around with your neighbors and see if anyone has a torch or something? Might even be cheaper (than buying an essentially 1 use tool from HF) to call around local fab shops and see if they'll cut it for you for $20 or something.


This for the cheap method if you have no suitable tools.
$10-20 angle grinder from harbor freight,and a $5 package of 10 cutoff wheels (which I might add last considerably longer than their dewalt equivalents).

It's the poor mans plasma torch. I've used an angle grinder with cutoff wheels to cut up ridiculously large sections of 1/8" sheet and 1/4" plate. The HF wheels are cheap and durable.

Link Posted: 1/12/2010 9:53:54 AM EDT
Originally Posted By fosters:
Skil saw with fiber blades....Dont forget saftey glasses


This
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 9:54:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By VBC:
Originally Posted By AJ-IN-JAX:
Oh damn, Lowes. You going to get raped on the price......



Can't they cut it for you there?





I thought it was a little expensive too. Lowes wants $21 and some change for a 4-foot piece.



No buddies in the manufacturing field? Maybe you can have them add a stick on their next order?

I can buy that in 20' lengths for $2/ft......

Link Posted: 1/12/2010 9:59:32 AM EDT
Reciprocating saw with metal cutting blades will do fine.
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 10:00:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/12/2010 10:00:50 AM EDT by VBC]
Originally Posted By QwikKotaTx:
Originally Posted By Claybrook:
Originally Posted By fosters:
Skil saw with fiber blades....Dont forget saftey glasses


No reason this won't work. I have been building a driveway gate and have been using a regular chop saw with a metal cutting blade. Cuts through it with no problem at all.

Edit to say the blade was about $10 at Home Depot.


If you have a cheap Mitre saw like I do ($80 10" Refurb Hitachi) that is fine but if I had an expensive one I would get the Harbor Freight chop saw to keep my motor from dealing with the stress. Much higher torque load involved.


I was wondering what would keep one from putting a blade on a mitre saw.

I think I might just get the chop saw from HF. I could've used one before.

I'm trying to fabricate brackets to replace the brackets that bolt the bunk boards to a trailer.

Thought about stainless, but regular steel should last until the boards need to be replaced again. Original are just painted steel.

Can't find pre-made galvenized the right size and don't know where I can find galvenized angle iron locally.

Contacting the trailer manufacturer would probably be the easiest, but I want to tackle this project with custom (better) brackets.
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 10:02:05 AM EDT
I have a chop saw and still use a angle grinder with cut off wheels for small jobs. Wear eye protection.....
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 10:03:23 AM EDT
Originally Posted By fosters:
Skil saw with fiber blades....Dont forget saftey glasses


This for cheap.

Chop saw for $69 ain't horrible. Got a Clarke for $99 at Tractor Supply, cut a shit-ton with it.

Then got a HF metal cutting bandsaw for like $250 5 years ago, one of the few tools they sell that is worth it.
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 10:07:56 AM EDT
my limited experience with hack saws has taught me cutting straight lines is next to impossible.
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 10:09:57 AM EDT
Originally Posted By yumbeef:
my limited experience with hack saws has taught me cutting straight lines is next to impossible.


That's what I'm thinking too. These don't have to be perfect, but they have to be better than hacksaw straight.

I'll touch them up with the grinder/wire wheel but still.
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 10:13:16 AM EDT
Another vote for 4.5" grinder with a cutoff wheel.
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 10:17:26 AM EDT
Find a local machine or fab shop and tell them what you want. Most shops around here will cut to spec for a small fee if you buy the material from them. Materials like angle iron have a horrible mark up at places like Lowes and HD anyway.
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 11:35:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Poodleshooter:


This for the cheap method if you have no suitable tools.
$10-20 angle grinder from harbor freight,and a $5 package of 10 cutoff wheels (which I might add last considerably longer than their dewalt equivalents).

It's the poor mans plasma torch. I've used an angle grinder with cutoff wheels to cut up ridiculously large sections of 1/8" sheet and 1/4" plate. The HF wheels are cheap and durable.


This.

Of course, I like having both the angle grinder AND the chop saw :)
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 11:50:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/12/2010 11:52:57 AM EDT by goodoleboy]
Buy theHArborf reight chop saw, they last abnd work well enough and will save you a bundle..I have a milwuakee only becuase the barhorfreight did not have em on sale at the time and mine was $139 new vs. $99 for HF version.Just buy decent blades after the one it comes with where down.DOtn force the balde down to much when cutting and it will last a while..


Also you can buy a metal cutting blade for a circlular saw for $3 at HD or lowes.
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 11:51:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/12/2010 11:52:53 AM EDT by VBC]
I have a pneumatic grinder and I'm seriously contemplating going to HF and plunking down $5 on the barrel head for a pack of cutoff wheels.

I will wear my safety gear and watch out for kickback.

Also, watch out for fire hazards.
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 11:55:47 AM EDT
You can buy a better used one on Craig's List for the same price and it might come with extra blades. The problem with the cheap ones they will not the material well and the angle you are cutting is heavy which could cause the motor to bog down. When you are finished you can sell the saw if you don't need it. I find a portable band saw to be more useful
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 11:57:35 AM EDT
the pneumatic grinder will work fine, i use grinders with cutoff wheels a lot for stuff like that, i have a full machine shop and for small jobs normally just grab the old dewault with a cutoff wheel, less trouble most of the time.
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 11:57:41 AM EDT
Hack saw and take your time for a square cut
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 12:07:01 PM EDT
Originally Posted By kingston_fisher:
Find a local machine or fab shop and tell them what you want. Most shops around here will cut to spec for a small fee if you buy the material from them. Materials like angle iron have a horrible mark up at places like Lowes and HD anyway.


This if it's a one time deal , most shop I've delt would just shear from drops with a iron worker for very little $
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 12:07:04 PM EDT
The Harbor freight chop saw will zip through each cut in seconds. If you decided to use the hack saw, have no doubt that in the time it takes you for one single cut the job would already be done with the chop saw. That and you get the keep the saw for future projects.
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 12:12:06 PM EDT
Sawzall with metal blade.
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 12:17:06 PM EDT
Local machine shop / lunch break / 12 pack / watch them argue about who gets to cut it first / sawed angle iron.

Link Posted: 1/12/2010 12:31:14 PM EDT
I would use a porta-band or find someone with a floor mounted band chop saw.

A reciprocating saw with metal blade will work. If the cut doesn't need to be smooth a torch would make quick work of it.

A metal chop saw will work too.

I would not want to make that many cuts with a hacksaw, even though it will work it will take forever.
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 12:32:02 PM EDT
If you use an abrasive wheel on a machine, be it a cut off saw or grinder, just let the wheel do the work and don't force it. You can use a sawzall with metal cutting blade too. Look for industrial metal supply houses instead of Lowes. Not only will it be cheaper, but they can probably cut it for you and will offer it in different lengths and possibly galvanized.


If you'd gone with stainless I would have said cut it with an abrasive wheel for sure. SS work hardens and it can be a real bitch to cut with a toothed blade.
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 12:32:56 PM EDT
Originally Posted By comp1911:
Another vote for 4.5" grinder with a cutoff wheel.


And another
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 2:32:42 PM EDT
I got my thermodynamics cutmaster 39 plasma for right around 1000 bucks. 2 minute job. ;)
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 2:33:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/12/2010 2:34:32 PM EDT by CessnaDriver]
For like 20 bucks you could just take it somewhere and have it done. Hell for 20 bucks you could have bought it already cut at a fab shop.
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 2:37:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By comp1911:
Another vote for 4.5" grinder with a cutoff wheel.

Grab one from Harbor freight.

I have beat the living shit out of my HF grinder and have yet to manage to kill it. Think it was $20-30.
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 2:44:21 PM EDT
I made 6 cuts in 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" x 3/6" angle with my hacksaw on Sunday because I was to lazy to drag out the hacksaw.

Scribe straight lines and stay on them. It helps to have the hacksaw blade tight.

Don't bear down, let the saw do the work.

It's not that hard.
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 2:47:55 PM EDT
The Rigid abrasive chopsaw they sell at the Lowes and HD stores is a tough unit .
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 2:53:35 PM EDT
Buy a Milwaukee Porta-Band saw. You will use it forever and it will make short work of any metals. Cutting 2" angle iron with a grinder or hacksaw is a poor choice. The porta-band is worth every cent. Get a couple of extra blades and you will be set for years.


Work smart, not hard.
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 3:09:29 PM EDT
Just a thought. If you need to make 10 cuts on a four foot section you are dealing with small sections. I would check the local fab shops as they wiil have a scap bin. I would bet that you will find metal that is already cut close to your needs for next to nothing in price.
That being said, buy the chop saw if you will use it again and have room for it. If not, angle grinder and cut off wheels are quick and easy and you can use the grinding wheels to dress up the ends.
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 3:19:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/12/2010 3:22:47 PM EDT by VBC]
Originally Posted By JohnnyP:
Buy a Milwaukee Porta-Band saw. You will use it forever and it will make short work of any metals. Cutting 2" angle iron with a grinder or hacksaw is a poor choice. The porta-band is worth every cent. Get a couple of extra blades and you will be set for years.


Work smart, not hard.


I think you hit the nail.

HF and Northern Tool have their own versions of porta-bands with good customer reviews. Might be the winner. I bet the cuts will be cleaner and less waste.

ETA: It was also mentioned earlier.

Originally Posted By Bunn19:
I would use a porta-band or find someone with a floor mounted band chop saw.

.


Thanks everybody.

Link Posted: 1/12/2010 3:30:26 PM EDT
call your local metal supply companies they will cut to size for you.
about 2 weeks ago i ordered some 2 x2 1/4 angle and paid $86.00 for a 20 foot stick
Link Posted: 1/12/2010 3:46:19 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/12/2010 3:50:10 PM EDT by IIRC]
Originally Posted By Sharpshooter540:
call your local metal supply companies they will cut to size for you.
about 2 weeks ago i ordered some 2 x2 1/4 angle and paid $86.00 for a 20 foot stick


Ouch, that's steep.
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