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Cutting thick metal (3/8 and up) ?


Active Member
Okay I am starting to make the engine/trans/steering mounts for my frame. I am using the CCR plans and they call for 3/8 steel for most of the pieces.

What are you all using to cut the metal, I do not own a plasma cutter or torches so those are out.

I would really like to do these myself and not farm them out for the "I made those" factor. That and its going to be a long winter up here so I need something to do!
I have made brackets before. For what Ron charges, my time is worth way more than that. Otherwise bandsaw or hacksaw is the way to go.
Check out your local Rental and welding supply places. Some have Plasma Cutters you can rent by the day, usually for a daily rate plus consumables. Or, as stated before, just order from Ron - Good parts at a good price.
Do you have an ARC WELDER ? If so, you could ruff cut them using the arc of the electrode, crank up the Amps.
This is a really messy job (most of the time....) and you will spend hours with a grinder cleaning up the edges.
If you are really stuck on this "I Did It Myself "mode, you could take the material to a "friends" shop that has a torch and ask to use it to burn out your brackets....
Just a couple thoughts...."BH"
When i built my T RPM was not set up like he is now. So i cut all my brackets with a 41/2 grinder with a cut off blades even 3/8 steel i had no other way of doing it but this is very dangerious. if i build another one i would buy all of the brackets from RPM also making them yourself you will have alot of waste. :eek:
Duke said:
Check out your local Rental and welding supply places. Some have Plasma Cutters you can rent by the day, usually for a daily rate plus consumables.

Ditto ^^^^^^
I've been building my bucket for 3 years now. I bought an O/A setup and an AC/DC arc welder. Big investment, but I've used them a lot and you can always get some of your money back and sell them later. I've cut all my brackets out with the torch, as well as bending, welding, and brazing things. I use a hacksaw or cutoff wheel on my 4" grinder for everything else. If you want to do most of it yourself, you have to invest in some tools.
As much as I like to do stuff myself you reach a point where you have to take the reasonable approach. If you lack the tools to do the job. Have a local shop rough cut the brackets and you can then finish them.
Another approach would be to look into the cost of farming the job out then buy either a bandsaw or plasma cutter and mentaly subtract the cost of having the brackets made from the cost of the tool. Then you have a new tool at a cheaper price because of the money you saved. It comes from explaining years of tool purchases to the other half.
Thanks for the ideas.

I have a 4.5 grinder, I was going to use that as a last resort. I also have a jigsaw that went through a nice Bosch metal cutting blade in about 2 inches!! I think I need some cutting oil to go along with it.

I have a couple buddies with plasma cutters but they are only rated to 1/4 inch though I may try that anyway to see how it goes.

I would love a band saw for the wood shop but then I need to kit to slow it down for metal cutting.

Only issues with ordering from RPM or anyone in the US is the exchange on the dollar, shipping and duty charges at the border. When youngster made me my jag brackets the duty at the border cost me $45 and now with the exchange being .30 on the see where this is going.
all very very good suggestions. if i were to pick the best one it would be Tex T's. sometimes hard to justify 2or 3 hundred in tools for a build but once you have them, you'll be patting yourself on the back for years for having bought them when you did. i have a $150 horz./vert. band saw that has given me exceptional service for over ten years. that works out to 15 bucks a year. one hell of a bargin in my book! i think the same saw is like 250 now and i wouldn't hesitate to run out and buy one right now if mine died.

I have shipped parts to Canada before. You get around the import duty by having the sender mark it as antique parts. No import duty. At least that is what I am told. You might want to check into that.
Keeper said:
lol..I usually build her something and its alright. Helps that she is a car chick as well!


I've had friends ask me how I could be so damn ugly and be married to such a cute wife! I just reply with a quote from Red from the Red Green Show:

"If she doesn't find ya handsome, she better find you handy!"

i resemble that quote Dave!!!

Well now the real toss up is....plasma cutter or bandsaw. hmmmm

I guess its time to start tool shopping!

As for the "Antique part" thing I have never tried that one. I have used the "Gift" one and that works as well.

I have also looked at the welder series stuff, they are only about 45 minutes from me. One of these days I will head out there and take a look.
Think used. If things up there are as slow as they are down here there ought to be a lot of people cleaning out their barns and sheds looking for cash. Go over to the lounge and look at the vertical mill that I just got for $500. The guy has been unemployed for a while, the mill hadn't been used in years, and he was looking for anything that he could sell. I found that on Craigs list, but there are fire sales going on all over.

As far as plasma cutter or band saw........they are both still on my list, plus maybe a few other things if the deals are right :welxome:
I have had a band saw for years as I do a lot of wood work, and have the pullys to slow it down and a metal cutting blade. If I could have only one it would be a band saw. If you are going to continue to have projects you need to invest in tools.:welxome:...Francis

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