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Cutting Ss Sheet?
18 replies to this topic
Posted 28 May 2010 - 02:22 PM
So I recently came across some nice 1mm thick stainless steel panels which I "borrowed" from an old water distiller. Looks like good material for small/medium sized diving lips, tail rudders, etc. Problem is I can't figure out how to cut it!! I already found out that the scroll saw is NOT the way to do it; went through 3 blades & only got a quarter inch cut to show for it. Not to mention it sounded like a machine shop in my basement lol. Also tried tin snips but all that did was hurt my hand & create some horrible angular cuts which bent the material all along the edge! Any other suggestions?
Posted 28 May 2010 - 03:23 PM
take it to someone with a laser and ask them to cut you out some shapes. Givem a case of beer. You'd be surprised what that'll do for you LOL
Posted 28 May 2010 - 04:20 PM
you will need a bi-metal blade and lots of coolant, coolant is oil or soapy water to keep the blade from heating up and lubricated.
use a slow speed NOT FULL SPEED
Its best to cut the stuff sandwhiched between 2 pieced of thin plywood.
Get a fine blade also. Speed is what kills when cutting Stainless.
I have cut ss material on my scroll saw years ago doing this. I have a varible speed one that I kinda mickey moused up for blade speed.
a bi metal blade is the most important item. them lubrication and speed.
Posted 28 May 2010 - 11:17 PM
Wow, that sounds like a lot of work! My scroll saw has only one speed- super fast so I guess I'm hooped I guess I need to take Salty's advice & then go find someone who can do the cutting for me. All that wonderful free material might end up costing me anyway!
Posted 29 May 2010 - 12:14 AM
Stainless steel sheet of 0,5 mm thickness one can still cut with ordinary shears(without leverage handles) , for 1,0mm and 1,5 mm thickness I use bench shears , that I purchased from a supermarket sale ,............ industrial grade bench shears still can handle thicker sheets .
1,5mm to 2,0mm sheet I cut by hand with an ordinary metal saw , thicker stuff than 2,0mm is impossible to beat to a cupped shape by hand anymore for spoonmaking , anyway !
To smoothen your saw , -or shears cuts , you need to file on the sheet metal(with lots of elbow grease involved) , unless you do have access to industrial grade grinding wheels , ........just hobby belt ,-or disc sanders won't take you that far , .........stainless steel is a real tough stuff .
I find it pretty heavy for diving bills , anyway ,.............takes real big , voluminous and buoyant blanks to handle these and still float up , ...............I'd rather go for aluminium lips .
good luck , diemai
Posted 29 May 2010 - 05:05 AM
The problem with SS is that it work hardens under abrasive operations.
When I was an apprentice, my forman caught me working a piece of SS on the grinder. He went nuts at me. When the wheel stopped turning, I could see why, the grinding wheel was nearly gone, worn away.
I cannot remember the process for annealing SS, but a google search should bring some information.
Posted 29 May 2010 - 08:59 AM
Diemai knows very well what he is saying, because he works in this field, and he has made many fishing spoons.
I also made many in line spinners, still making some, but I used 0.5 mm ss sheet for the blade, and also copper and brass sheet with the same thickness. I can tell you that I can cut copper or brass sheet much easier than I can cut ss sheet. Still, cutting out shapes of 0.5 mm ss sheet is a job for tin snips. And I think you do not need thicker ss sheet for the lips, because they are very heavy, and difficult to process. So maybe you have some luck again, and go across some 0.5 mm ss sheet?
Posted 30 May 2010 - 12:08 AM
Yeah, I hope to be that lucky lol. Is 0.5mm material stiff enought to use as a diving lip on a 7"-9" crankbait with a lip size @ 1" X 1.5" or would there be too much flex on 0.5 material to use as large lips?
Posted 30 May 2010 - 12:16 AM
Ah, so maybe it's my snips that are not up to snuff then! Maybe I'll keep an eye out for aluminum instead then, sounds easier to deal with, just that stainless looks so cool it mesmorizes me!!!! Thanks for that
BTW, I have not spoken to you much but I want you to know that I've seen lots of your lures & I really admire your experimental nature that goes into most of your lures, very unique & thought provoking! I dabble with some pretty "off the wall" stuff as well but most of my ideas end up in the bottom of a drawer somewhere lol It is definitely fun though!
Posted 30 May 2010 - 12:21 AM
Dave, I think you are right about the sensitive nature of stainless. I use carbide tipped chisels at work all the time & I do my own sharpening which is a process that takes much care & a special grinding stone, we just call it a "greenstone". Maybe this type of stone would work for stainless as well?
Posted 30 May 2010 - 12:44 AM
I can only guess that 0.5 mm ss sheet would not be the best material to use for the lips on large crankbaits. Just my feeling, On the other hand, I think you should try it at least once, to see how it works. And you have a great advantage here. You can bend the lip as you like, to see how it will affect the action of the lure.
Posted 30 May 2010 - 01:15 AM
Sadly 0,5 mm stainless sheet is not suited for crankbait lips of that size(probably unless it would be cupped and glued into a lipslot , a kinked screw-on lip won't work out) , it bends and warps too easily , .........this material thickness is only suited for making spinner blades , .....due to the hammered cupping it stays reasonably stable .
As far as for aluminium , .........for baits of your planned size you can use 1,5mm , better 2,0mm or even 2,5mm sheet , .........the 1,5 mm still cuts with ordinary hand shears , the thicker is better cut with a metal saw or quality bench shears . Filing and sanding with hobby sanders also comes a lot easier .
When done , you might sandblast the lips or treat their surface with a softer bristled machinery wire brush for an even surface look .
I have caught my PB pike scratching 47" on an approx. 6" teakwood bait(Cisco Kid Style) with a kinked screw-on aluminium lip 1,5mm , that had the line tie mounted on it . The lip nor the line tie bent a single bit under the strain of that fish , did not have to re-tune at all(guess , that I've uploaded this bait amongst my earlier gallery uploads) .
good luck , diemai
Posted 30 May 2010 - 02:08 AM
Thanks for those tips as well! 47" eh, wow I would love to see one of those up close!!! My PB is 41" caught on a rainbow trout coloured #11 Countdown Rapala. By the time I got the fish netted she had torn through my steel leader & one of the trebles had pulled right off the split ring!
Posted 31 May 2010 - 11:55 AM
You would probably be better off using that SS on a project for your vehicle, Alu is the way to go, You could probably sell it for a bit to some machine shop though, I would weld it into a Bed-liner for my truck. But I'm not lucky enough to get it for free
Posted 31 May 2010 - 12:20 PM
I'm not sure all stainless work hardens. It seems I recall when I was making snap hooks for another project that 17-7 would weaken when bent rather than harden like the 302, 304, 308 would.
Posted 31 May 2010 - 11:14 PM
Interesting... this is starting to sound more like a study in chemistry & alchemy every day!!! I am definitely leaning towards aluminum lips now
Posted 01 June 2010 - 12:26 AM
Yeah , ........it's a lot about the single elements containing in the alloy , .......I am sometimes annealing my stainless steel spoons to give them a blue/brown/purple color(great for clear water and sunny conditions) , some stainless materials work fine , some loose their rustproof features and some don't switch color after having heated them to a cherry red glow .
Your 41incher PB pike must have been a real fierce fighter to do that , ..............after my experience the bigger ones do not fight as much as the ones around 30" to 36" , with these it's rather more the sheer weight one has toss in .
good luck with aluminium sheet , .......greetz, diemai
Posted 01 June 2010 - 01:23 AM
304 316 work harden very easy, you can cut them with a griner extreamly easy just like in a lathe or mill. however you need the correct wheel. shop I worked at years ago we did tons of 304 and 316 on grinders making lead screws and other precision threaded pieces, I like cutting 303 it doesnt work harden but is very grainy and prone to cracking.
17-4 -15-5 dont work harden they are not true stainless steels either like 300 series , they have chomoly in them. you generally harden them to cut hem as they are extreamly soft and gummy. They tend to rust when heat treating them. a true stainless will turn blue like nickle alloys when heat treating them..
Posted 09 March 2011 - 10:08 PM
If you have a lot of bills to cut maybe look at finding someone who has a waterjet that can do it for you.