What to use for cutting 1/4" steel plate
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Charlottesville. Va
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    What to use for cutting 1/4" steel plate

    I have been given a old 5th wheel hitch plate to use for whatever. The plan is to cut it into smaller pieces and I will be using this for weight on the back of my garden tractor for traction.
    I have a beefy angle grinder, beefy sawzall, and a circular saw at my disposal.
    Am I wasting my time thinking I can get this cut into sections without having to buy any new toys?(that won't happen, it's pre-christmas and I can't get my wallet back from wife until January )

    new blades I can get away with, but cheap is the key word here, no plasma purchases will be in my future..
    new blades for the sawzall and just keep to cool? That is the best plan I can think of so far, short of renting something possibly, but I don't think I'm going to have that much in the budget.

  2. #2
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    Aug 2010
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    Re: What to use for cutting 1/4" steel plate

    you can do it with the sawsall or the angle grinder with a cutting disk, but it wont be very much fun with either.
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  3. #3
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    Re: What to use for cutting 1/4" steel plate

    Rent an oxy/fuel cutting rig, you'll cut it in no time flat and have some fun playing with fire too. Just don't blow yourself up.

    Otherwise, a couple packages of zip discs from Harbor Freight on an angle grinder and a dust mask will get you there, eventually.

    Sawzall blades are so expensive, I wouldn't waste so many of them on that.
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  4. #4
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    Re: What to use for cutting 1/4" steel plate

    Quote Originally Posted by DesertRider33 View Post
    Rent an oxy/fuel cutting rig, you'll cut it in no time flat and have some fun playing with fire too. Just don't blow yourself up.

    Otherwise, a couple packages of zip discs from Harbor Freight on an angle grinder and a dust mask will get you there, eventually.

    Sawzall blades are so expensive, I wouldn't waste so many of them on that.

    the oxy setup was a good thought for sure, the cuts don't need to be precise by any means, they're just going to be weight"slabs"

  5. #5
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    Re: What to use for cutting 1/4" steel plate

    if you dont care what it looks like you can always cut it with a stick weldor. 6010 or 6011 at double normal amperage works pretty well. keep the tip of the rod about flush with the bottom of the plate as you progress through the cut.
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  6. #6
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    Oct 2007
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    New Hampshire
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    Re: What to use for cutting 1/4" steel plate

    Make friends with someone with a Hypertherm hand plasma.....have your part all marked, and spend the 2 or 3 minutes cutting it up. If you were in N.H. I'd let you use one of mine. Help clean up the mess afterward....and offer to buy the beer.

    Jim

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Los Angeles
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    Re: What to use for cutting 1/4" steel plate

    Here's a video of a circular saw with a $20 steel cutting blade. Very easy to cut.

    Jack Olsen
    My garage website

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    98

    Re: What to use for cutting 1/4" steel plate

    Is THIS the blade he's using?

  9. #9
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    Oct 2006
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    Re: What to use for cutting 1/4" steel plate

    I have two 7-1/4" circular saws made for cutting metal with a carbide tip blade. They're both Evolution's, a Rage 1 and a Steel 1. I have a few Freud Diablo and Steel Demon blades, an Evolution steel blade and a Steel Max blade for these saws that all work very well.

    I also have a very nice Skil model 77 high torque worm drive framing saw, 7-1/4", for cutting wood. I owned the Skil before I bought either of the Evolutions and could easily have put the Skil into metal cutting service if I'd wanted to. The Skil has plenty of torque, but it the problem is it doesn't spin at the right rpm for the metal cutting blades, too fast. Although it probly could cut with them, I prefer not to use the saw for that as well as not wreck the blades spinning them too fast.
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Re: What to use for cutting 1/4" steel plate

    if you dont take this opportunity to buy an oa setup, shame on you..

  11. #11
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    Feb 2005
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    Re: What to use for cutting 1/4" steel plate

    If you have a local vocational technical school, take your material down there and offer the instructor to let his students do "practice" cuts on the material to your specs. O/A or plasma cuts, his or your choice. Just make sure you offer it as a free service.
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  12. #12
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    Nov 2009
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    Ningi, Queensland, Australia
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    Re: What to use for cutting 1/4" steel plate

    I used metal cutting blades ( a 7 1/4" blade and a 10" one) when I built my garage. The smaller one went in the wood saw and the 10 inch in to the 14" metal drop saw. I couldn't find a 14" in the speed rating of my drop saw. With both of them, they cut through thick steel almost like it was wood. I don't think the ones I used like cutting thin steel, The 7 1/4" one lost a few teeth when I was cutting some thin angle and the teeth got jammed when the angle steel bent just before going right through. The bigger one in the drop saw cut brilliantly on the 3/8" & 1/2"mm flat bar. But when I started to cut the 100mm x 50mm Galv RHS, it went blunt real quick. I suspect that when it cut through the RHS weld seam (which probably was hardened/tempered by the seam welding process) that was when it got blunt.

    It did state on the blade that it was only for cutting mild steel. In fact I just sent the 10" to be sharpened up on Friday and will pick it up tomorrow morning. Looking forward to using it again. This time I will only use it on the flat bar, solid and round, my band saw will take of the rest. Hopefully it will last much, much longer than the last time. (3 days) It really is quite unusual in the way it just rips through steel almost like it was wood and leaves a slightly warm cut piece of steel.

    For cutting steel plate sheet, I would use the smaller sized one in a power saw just like in the video and you shouldn't have a problem, only thing is I would make sure that the cut piece can't close in or bind on the teeth by bracing/clamping it up, so that it doesn't fall down when you complete the cut. By the way, file down the cut edge as it may be sharp, it will probably cut faster than Plasma and wont have any dross to clean up afterwards.
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  13. #13
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    Mar 2007
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    Re: What to use for cutting 1/4" steel plate

    bcrewcaptain,

    I'm in Deltaville, VA, (about 3hrs from Charlottesville).

    If you wish, bring it to me and well knock out your cuts with the Hypertherm 1250 plasma.

    PM me if interested.

    This would be my preferences for the task you describe (in order).

    Plasma cutting
    Ox/Ace cutting
    Carbide metal cut blade on the skilsaw. (I prefer/use the Milwaukee Metal Cut Saw)
    4 1/2" grinder (Slow, dirty, risky if not handled properly)
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  14. #14
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    Mar 2007
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    Re: What to use for cutting 1/4" steel plate

    Oops. Duplicate
    Syncro 250 DX
    Dynasty 200 DX
    MM 251 w/30A SG
    XMT 304 w/714 Feeder & Optima Pulser
    HH187
    Dialarc 250 AC/DC
    Hypertherm PM 1250
    Smith, Harris, Victor O/A
    Smith and Thermco Gas Mixers
    Access to a full fab shop with CNC Plasma, Water Jet, etc.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    Charlottesville. Va
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    Re: What to use for cutting 1/4" steel plate

    Thanks for the offer Sundown...it looks like things are changing up a bit after I actually get to see the thing..it's a homebuilt hitch made out of 1/2" plate, I'm just dropping it at a local welding shop and they're going to do 8 cuts for $50, it's worth it to me I think over the hassle of trying to do it myself

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Winona, Minnesota
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    47

    Re: What to use for cutting 1/4" steel plate

    Saw-z-all should work fine. I cut up into small sections a 1000+ gallon steel water tank. Wall thickness was 3/16 to 1/4. Seem to recall that I used about 10 or 15 blades to get it into pickup truck manageable pieces to haul to the scrap yard.

    Also, you can use an abrasive masonry blade in a standard circular saw. Cuts steel fine. Lots of sparks everywhere.

  17. #17
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    Nov 2009
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    Re: What to use for cutting 1/4" steel plate

    After reading this thread I have put this on my wish list: http://www.amazon.com/Milwaukee-6370...d=6V7ZCCSNW5ED

    However I was in Home Depot today and picked up a Frued Diablo Steel Demon 7-1/4" blade made for an ordinary skil saw ($40.00). I got it home and stuck it in my saw and cut five pieces of 1/4" plate six inches long each, it was amazing. The blade is rated at 5800 RPM and my skil saw turns @3800.

    One discrepancy I noted, on the package it says you can cut flat bar and angle up to 1/4", however inside the package where you can't see it until you rip it open it says not to exceed 1/8"!

    I still plan to get the Milwaukee as I don't know how long it will hold up at 3800 RPM. It does warn you not to attemt to sharpen it but to discard it when dull.
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  18. #18
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    Re: What to use for cutting 1/4" steel plate

    Quote Originally Posted by bcrewcaptain View Post
    Thanks for the offer Sundown...it looks like things are changing up a bit after I actually get to see the thing..it's a homebuilt hitch made out of 1/2" plate, I'm just dropping it at a local welding shop and they're going to do 8 cuts for $50, it's worth it to me I think over the hassle of trying to do it myself
    I would be happy to help also. In Midlothian VA. For future reference that is...

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