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Father Kit Cool Gun Garth

Any Heavy Metal Artists out there?

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Posted (edited)

Not Metallica, Judas Priest or Iron Maiden, but someone who works with heavy metals!

My wife is interested in doing some attorney artwork with various types of sheet metal of varying gauges.

She has had me save sections from several pieces of scrap items such as the casing of an old microwave, or the side panels of our last dishwasher.

I've got tin snips, but have been looking online at metal cutters such as:

 

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I also know there are nibbler attachments for a drill, but would like to get her something she is comfortable with.

Looking for suggestions if you have dealt with this issue.

Also, when working with cut sheet metal and it's sharp edges, are there a pair of specialized gloves that are work to protect yourself from cuts?

Edited by Father Kit Cool Gun Garth
OTTO correct, thanks Pat

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Electric shears like those will work for straight cuts, but they don't leave a super clean edge. Nibblers work well, but they are much slower. If you have an air compressor, a good air saw is about the best tool I've found for cutting sheet metal. When we replace panels on vehicles, that is what we use. You can change blade types (width, cut radius and tooth count) to match the material you are working with. 

As far as gloves go, a good pair of leather gloves is about all you need to protect your hands. Personally, I like the mechanix brand. 

 

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I'd use a light duty plasma cutter on the lowest setting that would cut smoothly. My wife loves cutting metal with my portable 120 volt machine. She has no interest in the 50 amp 220 volt unit. Probably the easiest way to cut metals with the fewest moving parts, that's if you don't consider sparks moving parts.

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51 minutes ago, Father Kit Cool Gun Garth said:

My wife is interested in doing some attorney with various types of sheet metal of varying gauges.


I assume you mean “artwork” :D
 

Well, I will run from any job that requires cutting and manipulating tin sheets. My Dad was a contractor when I was a kid and I worked with him from 7 until 17 when I finally ran away from home and it stuck (I wasn’t caught and brought back). We used tin in roofing, building custom gutters and other jobs that required tin. Also, I took Auto Body in high school and we used a lot of tin in body repairs. I also utilized tin on a smaller scale building breakout boxes and test units in Aerospace. 
 

Gloves: get snug fitting thick leather or I would try “Chef’s Gloves” for knives and kitchen work. 
 

ChefsGrade Cut Resistant Safety Glove - Protection From Knives, Mandoline and Graters - Soft Flexible with Stainless Steel Wire - One Glove https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GU1RD2G/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_749WEbE87T0P5

 

Tools:

First off, go cordless with electrical tools if this is going to be a long term hobby. Cords get caught on tin and either damage the cord (Zap!) or cords get caught on tin while manipulating the tool and could put bends where bends are unwanted. Cordless is definitely more expensive but if a variety of tools use the same battery it can be very convenient. 
 

Buy good quality tin-snips, left and right hand cut. 
 

You can also buy hand Nibblers which are good for more precise work. 
 

I cannot recommend specific electrical tools because I have never used them. I did most tin work by hand. 
 

You may want to get her a leather or heavy cotton apron so she doesn’t cut herself when handling tin sheets. 
 

Check these out:

https://www.bangingtoolbox.com/best-nibbler-tool/
 

Scroll through Amazon’s offerings. They have a lot of inexpensive sheet metal tools and many of the same types of tools that are manual, electrical and pneumatic. 
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=sheet+metal+tools&ref=is_s

 

BUT FIRST AND FOREMOST, SAFETY!

I put at the end because it’s the last thing to read so it’s fresh in your mind. 
* Gloves - hand protection

* Safety glasses or goggles - Eye protection
* Apron - body protection

* Leather shoes - foot protection

 

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Sheet metal can go through gloves like a knife through a tomato. There are tools out there for manual cutting sheet metal that are inexpensive. Hand shears will do but you'll usually need to straighten the edges afterwards. A plasma cutter would be a nice tool to have and range from hand held units to CNC types. The jobs to be done will ultimately determine what would be a good solution.

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I've done a bunch of metal artwork. Have you ever seen the cactus handles on the doors at Qdoba Grill restaurants, I cut a bunch of those on my big CNC table. I was a sub contractor, all I did was cut the billets. Someone else added the fasteners and peened the surface. The coolest stuff I did was with old rusty, steel sheets that had the patina look. Sold a bunch of stuff, paid for the equipment, materials, and then some. If the piece looks too good people will think it's made in a factory. Don't go overboard with fine finish, just make sure all sharp edges are filed smooth and people don't cut their hands when touching corners or points. Get a couple good grinders. I sold a bunch of stuff at EOT in Calfornia when I was a vendor there in 1998 and 2001. People went crazy for the old galvanized bucket lampshades, I made holes in them with my sharp welding hammer in the shape of stars, horse heads, etc. It's fun until others start copying your ideas.

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, Assassin said:

I've done a bunch of metal artwork. Have you ever seen the cactus handles on the doors at Qdoba Grill restaurants, I cut a bunch of those on my big CNC table. I was a sub contractor, all I did was cut the billets. Someone else added the fasteners and peened the surface. The coolest stuff I did was with old rusty, steel sheets that had the patina look. Sold a bunch of stuff, paid for the equipment, materials, and then some. If the piece looks too good people will think it's made in a factory. Don't go overboard with fine finish, just make sure all sharp edges are filed smooth and people don't cut their hands when touching corners or points. Get a couple good grinders. I sold a bunch of stuff at EOT in Calfornia when I was a vendor there in 1998 and 2001. People went crazy for the old galvanized bucket lampshades, I made holes in them with my sharp welding hammer in the shape of stars, horse heads, etc. It's fun until others start copying your ideas.

I remember your artwork from EOT 2001. Very nice pieces. The bucket lamp shades were very cool. My wife liked them. 

Edited by Pat Riot, SASS #13748

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1 nice tool is the Eastwood throatless shear, about $200. Straight or curved cuts are easy. There are also nibblers and shears that are pretty cheap. Check out online for what might work for her. You'll see examples of what they do and prices.

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9 hours ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

I remember your artwork from EOT 2001. Very nice pieces. The bucket lamp shades were very cool. My wife liked them. 

Thanks.

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11 hours ago, Go West said:

1 nice tool is the Eastwood throatless shear, about $200. Straight or curved cuts are easy. There are also nibblers and shears that are pretty cheap. Check out online for what might work for her. You'll see examples of what they do and prices.

Throatless shear for the win

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11 hours ago, Mister Badly said:

Throatless shear for the win


You, Sir, have one of the funniest/ coolest aliases that I have seen in a while. :D

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4 hours ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:


You, Sir, have one of the funniest/ coolest aliases that I have seen in a while. :D

I call my wife Misses Badly. Thanks

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