Working With Brass, Part 1 – Cutting Brass – Dug’s Tips 13

Brass is a metal that looks good with wood, is easy to work with, and can be welded. You can use it for specific parts or create an entire automaton with it! If you’re going to use brass, perhaps the first thing you’ll want to do is cut some. It comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Let’s take a look at some of the more common formats and how to crop them. Remember to wear goggles when using any of these techniques. How to cut copper barRead: how to cut brassWhen using wire cutters, pliers or bolt cutters, insert the wire or rod deep into the jaws of the toolCut the bar with cutting pliers For smaller sizes of wire and rods, a wire cutter will do the job. For larger gauges, you may need to use a pair of larger cutters or bolt cutters for really large things. With any of these tools, position the bar as far away from the jaw as possible to make the cut. Some cord cutters leave the cutting bar with a sharp, unsightly tip. You’ll probably want to file, sand, or grind the end of the freshly cut stick so it’s flat.Use a hacksaw to cut both hands. Extending the index finger of the hand holding the handle seems to help.Cut the copper bar with a hacksaw Place the bar to be cut onto a sturdy pad. Try to cut as close to the surface as possible to minimize vibrations. The hacksaw is a two-handed tool. Place one hand on the handle and your second hand on the end of the hacksaw frame. The saw cuts when you push the tool away from the body. Start cutting with short strokes using the part of the blade closest to the handle. Once you have a groove to place the blade, use both your arms and shift your body weight to make each cut. Doesn’t need much pressure down and only when pushing the saw. A long, steady shot using the full length of the blade is preferable to short, frantic shots. Pay attention and slow down as you get close to cutting through metal so the saw doesn’t cut what it shouldn’t.How to cut brass pipeA small hacksaw and a small box are used to cut copper pipesBrass pipe saw You can use small and large metal saws to cut copper pipes. I recommend making it in a small hobby box or a groove that you have cut into a piece of wood. Place the tube in one of the small box grooves and start cutting. As the saw goes through the pipe, it will start cutting two walls at once. This can cause the saw to constrain, making sawing difficult. To avoid this, slowly rotate the tube away from you so that you are only sawing through one wall of the pipe at any given time. Read more: How to draw a ribbon banner.Use a pipe cutter to cut copper pipes. Tighten the tool slightly and rotate it several times before repeating the process.Using a pipe cutter You can purchase special cutters designed for cutting metal pipes. The tool is clamped to the tube and a circular blade advances through the metal. Fasten the tool where the cut is to be made. Rotate the tool around the tube several times. Turn the knob slightly to bring the blade into the tube and turn it back. Repeat this until the tube is split. Do not tighten the knob too much or the tube may kink. If this happens, a tapered reamer can be used to widen the hole. File the folded end or use a fixed belt grinder to finish the edges. Cut a bit long to account for any amounts that may need to be deposited or sanded away.Copper plate cuttingCut plain sheet with non-straight row cuttersCut brass plate with scissors and cutters Brass sheet can be cut with scissors and metal cutter. The one I usually use is called aviation snips. They come in three types: right cut, left cut and straight cut. They usually have green, red, and yellow handles respectively. Despite the name, the straight cut can be used to cut curves – at least the outer curves. When cutting a circle, cut the corners of the cake several times until it starts to look like a circle made up of straight cuts. Then make the final curved cut using the inside of the two jaws. If precision is needed, you should cut outside the desired line, then use the file to get the job done.Cut the brass sheet sandwiched between two thin sheets of plywoodCut copper sheet with hacksaw Straight cuts on brass plate can also be made with a hacksaw. Place the brass between two sheets of scrap plywood and clamp all three pieces in a vise. Wood supports the metal during the cutting process. If you need to see a line marking on the surface of the brass, place only a sheet of plywood on the back of the brass. Note that only downward pressure is applied when pushing the saw.A jewelerCutting brass plate with a jeweler’s saw and table pin In fact, a jeweler’s saw used in combination with a table pin will allow you to cut very intricate shapes out of brass sheet. The V-shaped notch on the fixing pin is used to support the metal on both sides of the blade. The saw is held upright, with the handle at the bottom and the cog facing away from you. Basically, you look down at the saw as you make a cut. Here are a few little rules of thumb that I’ve found helpful: First, make sure the blade is taught in the saw frame and the pitch of the cog is down towards the handle. Rub beeswax or a commercial lubricant such as ‘Cut Lube’ onto the back of the saw blade. Lay the metal flat on the tape pin, start cutting with the saw at a 45-degree angle, the top of the saw frame facing away from you. Once the saw blade has been slotted, position the saw vertically so that it is perpendicular to the material being cut. Use long, slow, smooth strokes and don’t force the saw. When cutting curves, rotate and direct the metal to the blade. Never put a finger in front of the blade – even if it is at a distance. These thin blades often break. Read more: Are Chrome Buffers Paintable?Cutting brass with rotary tool A handy motorized rotary tool can also cut copper rods, tubes and plates. See articles #6, 21 Rotary Tools Tips and Tricks for Automator Manufacturers, for details on how to use this tool to cut metal. Make sure you grip the bar firmly in a cover, wear heavy gloves, and wear eye protection. This article only covers some of the many ways to cut brass. There are more techniques to discover used in many trades and crafts! I hope you will find and share them.04 Pipe cuttersDug Automata Tips, Techniques, and Tricks A quarterly column by automaker and enthusiast Dug North Copyright 2014 Dug NorthWarning: Topics covered in this column include the use of tools and materials that have the potential to cause property damage and/or bodily injury. Your safety is important and it is your sole responsibility. Always read and follow the safety instructions that come with the tools and materials you use. Wear goggles, use protective gear and other forms of safety equipment, follow safety precautions, and use good judgment. Seek guidance from experienced outside sources whenever required.Read more Complete Metalsmith: Professional Edition by Tim McCreigh: Amazon UK – Amazon US Tools and Their Uses by US Naval Personnel: Amazon UK – Amazon USMaterial Brass Bar: Amazon UK – Amazon US Brass Tube: Amazon UK – Amazon US Brass Plate: Amazon UK – Amazon USATools Cutter: Amazon UK – Amazon US Hacksaw: Amazon UK – Amazon US Mini Hacksaw: Amazon UK – Amazon US Hobby Saw Miter Box: Amazon UK – Amazon US Tubing Cutter: Amazon UK – Amazon US Aviation Snips: Amazon UK – Amazon US Jeweler’s Saw and Blade: Amazon UK – Amazon US US Bench Pin: Amazon UK – Amazon US US Cut Lube: Amazon UK – Amazon USRead more: how to make your own brake line

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