Right tools for projects?

Discussion in 'Other Toys/Hobbies' started by Revenger, Jan 25, 2021.

  1. Revenger

    Revenger Member

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    Looking at possibly getting a small table saw for projects that can do both sheet metal and cutting up various things for projects to go with my 3d printer for parts etc etc.

    Was thinking of making I've for my rotary tool bit with the cost and work involved may be easier just getting one of the shelf.

    One thing I'll need it for to start is to cut metal for finishing add-on my arcade panels for the admin area and other things.

    So any ideas?
    Would be operated to get something that I can use long-term for making cosplays cutting pipes, foam etc and various DIY metal work, projects etc etc.
     
  2. caspian

    caspian Member

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    small bandsaw. you will need to select an appropriate blade for what metal you are cutting - steel or aluminium, so make sure you get the blade you want *before* selecting the bandsaw!

    use the appropriate lube or you will kill blades quickly.
     
  3. oculi

    oculi Member

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    Table saw is good for wood and that's about it, a bandsaw that will cut wood and metal will be pretty expensive. Angle grinder is a good way to go for steel but has a steep learning curve, a router works well for tidying up the edges of aluminium.

    Hacksaw and files will get you far, drilling and cutting to glued on paper templates can work well.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Revenger

    Revenger Member

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    I read table saws are basically for wood.
    What I want to do is finish cutting arcade panels then use it to cut other things and various projects foam, wood etc etc

    So cutting accurate is a thing.
     
  5. mad_mic3

    mad_mic3 Member

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    Wood and aluminium are good on the table saw if you use the right cutting blade with lube while doing alloy
    As for cutting steel with it you it's the wrong tool
    As above use a bandsaw or jigsaw with the right blade for steel
    People over look the basic hand and power tools such as a grinder, holesaws, files etc etc
     
  6. miicah

    miicah Member

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    Table saws excel in ripping, cutting dados and squaring up edges. Other types of joints I would just invest in good hand tools and a nice workbench.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Revenger

    Revenger Member

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    Changed the thread title as we're getting into other tool discussions now.

    I need a good workbench here don't have one.
    caspian said a bansaw but pricey.
    I read about electronic nibblers and shears though the latter being expensive also.

    So cutting straight steel would be manual etc I take it and I guess I can look for a room of needed for other projects as needed.
     
  8. caspian

    caspian Member

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    cutting nonferrous materials is relatively easy. cutting steel is hard.

    if you're looking to other alternatives, then the next problem is getting a decent finish to the piece. tools like nibblers or shears will put a lot of little crinkles and ripples into thin sheet metal, they're great for cutting roof tin but not for a presentation panel. you can get decent quality bimetallic blades for a jigsaw (look at Lenox Lazer) but there will be a fair bit of additional finishing required - I wouldn't want to approach it without something like a desktop linisher. more money and space.

    if you can restrict yourself to aluminium life becomes a lot easier. up the thickness of the panel a little if need be for strength, and spend the money on a small router and rebate the panel if you need a flush finish. aluminium can be cut on a table saw with a standard TCT blade, good for getting dead straight cuts, but there are some considerations for safe operation. backing the sheet up with a timber topper helps a lot.

    for bandsawing, a standard fine tooth (like 14TPI) timber blade will be fine. WD40 is the ideal lubricant for aluminium cutting but it would be very messy. I just use normal cheap bar soap, rub it on the blade before cutting. go slow and reapply lube regularly. keep that blade for metal work only, I find they tend to wander if used for timber or plastics afterwards. you can get a decent small bandsaw from Carbatec or Hare and Forbes for $550, the latter has a better rip fence IMO.

    regardless of the saw used, watch the swarf - it's very sharp and will mark up your workpiece if not controlled. use vacuum extraction and tape your workpiece with blue or green painter's tape first.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2021
  9. apsilon

    apsilon Member

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    How much steel vs other materials? Might be worth outsourcing the steel parts and have them cut via water jet etc
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Revenger

    Revenger Member

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    Prices for small one of jobs are usually expensive.
    So looking for a solution for a casual home use workshop for various things.
     
  11. apsilon

    apsilon Member

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    They're not all the same so you could have a batch done at a time? If not then I think the bandsaw suggestion is your best bet. Jigsaw is cheaper. Both you'll likely have issues with the finished cut. If you're material is thin enough, parts small enough and cuts simple enough I guess you could look at a mini guillotine but you're likely looking at a similar cost to the bandsaw which is far more versatile.
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Revenger

    Revenger Member

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    Only thing is where to invest in a decent priced snap bansaw for the occasional project.

    If you view my threads you'll see my arcade project I'm making the inner box currently for the admin panel, plus I want to get into making cosplays and wherever little things brackets etc I come across as needed.
    So a tool that is useful.
    Price as long as it's semi affordable and a worthwhile investment I'm good.
     
  13. caspian

    caspian Member

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    both Carbatec and Hare and Forbes have stores in Perth and do good quality small desktop bandsaws.

    https://www.carbatec.com.au/10-bandsaw-speed-old-code-bas-250b-blade-length-1785mm

    https://www.machineryhouse.com.au/W950?Store=60

    I have the Carbatec unit and it works well, but if I had the choice again I would go for the H&F unit. it has a better fence, a work light, a dust tray, onboard tool storage, and the table tilt trunions look a little better done. they each take their own length blade, but they are freely available. I have mine bolted down to the end of a workshop trolley.
     
  14. OP
    OP
    Revenger

    Revenger Member

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    Not too bad I guess, will need to save a little and have a think bit of they are going to be great and a investment.
    What else do you guys recommend?
     
  15. caspian

    caspian Member

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    Total Tools do a Metabo unit that is reasonably priced. I have never seen one but trust the brand. https://www.totaltools.com.au/metabo-bas-261-precision-400w-band-saw

    Get Tools Direct have it cheaper and are offering free shipping at the moment. https://www.gettoolsdirect.com.au/metabo-swift-band-saw-bas-261-619008190.html

    below that you're into the cheap seats. Bunnings do a Full Boar unit that looks like the same rebadged Rikon that Carbatec sell, and it costs more too. they also have Ryobi and Ozito units for less again. IMO the Ryobi is not cheap enough to be worth the risk of what's probably an inferior tool, and I wouldn't waste my money on the Ozito. decent power tools cost a certain amount of money, and cheap ones are often more of a liability than no tool.

    https://www.bunnings.com.au/ryobi-350w-230mm-bandsaw_p6210455
    https://www.bunnings.com.au/ozito-200mm-250w-bandsaw_p0035836
     
  16. apsilon

    apsilon Member

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    I saw that one myself recently as I have a project idea that may require one. Agree that Metabo have a decent rep (which along with the cheapish price is what got my attention) but I have no idea baout that particular unit or bandsaws in general really. I'm trying to find an alternative way of doing what I'm after as I really don't have room currently to be buying more tools.
     
  17. caspian

    caspian Member

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    then you're pretty much down to a jigsaw, or hand hacksaw. rotary tool can handle some light metal and plastic cuts, but you'll go through a lot of blades, still have to clean up the cut, and plastic is horrible to cut with an abrasive blade because it just melts.

    you can get small toothed blades for rotary tools, but it's very difficult to stabilise the tool. you get a rubbish cut and the propensity to grab and kick is waaay higher than is commensurate with my desire to keep all of my fingers. at the rippems you'd need to get enough torque of of the motor to do anything useful, the disc perimeter speed would fire the thing at you far faster than you could react.

    [edit] if you're feeling brave, you could try one of these. it says it's capable of cutting aluminium but nowhere on the manufacturer's web page or in the manual does it say to what thickness. to me that is not a good sign. https://www.bunnings.com.au/ozito-89mm-600w-plunge-pro_p6290303

    same with the Dremel Saw Max. you can watch AvE shred one here:



    or if you just want to hack the end off something wood or plastic, you could always go for https://www.amazon.com.au/Bosch-Cordless-NanoBlade-EasyCut-Battery/dp/B07J3Q3J9H

    prepare for a finish that looks like an orthodontically challenged beaver chewed it off though.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2021
  18. apsilon

    apsilon Member

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    In my case I only need to make straight cuts but the issue is very small pieces. I'm thinking of trying the mitre saw if I can make up a zero clearance plate but that'll still be an issue when getting to the end of the material and proximity of hand to blade. Have to finish current project before I worry about that though. Other option is rig up some kind of table and mount for the jigsaw but that seems even less safe and too much trouble.
     
    Revenger likes this.
  19. OP
    OP
    Revenger

    Revenger Member

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    In the same boat with my arcade project, making a steel plate cutout to fit inside this 3d printed box then fold up the sides 10mm on 3 corners for lighting to sit on the edges.
    I think scribe pen + hacksaw and be carful may be ideal but will take a bit plus not sure on the bending corners so would need something to qwuickly cut strips acurate to square the sheet hence thinking of a tool + other future projects.

    caspian and others what would be your best pick?
    That Ryobi while cheapest is a wood bansaw and wouldn't be suitable.

    Here is a repost image of the box where I want to cut with some basic soft tin as a mockup I did once.
    You can see why I want som,ething that does good cuts on tronger metal sheet.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2021
  20. caspian

    caspian Member

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    could just buy a secondhand Triton table and use the jigsaw as a poor man's bandsaw? there's always some going on Gumtree or Marketplace for not very much. make a small sled to run up against the fence for small pieces.

    compound mitre saw works well if you buy a fine tooth blade (80TPI or more) and cut slowly. zero insert plate is always good, but it's amazing the results you can get just running a layer of painter's tape over the piece beforehand. also, do a scoring cut on one side, flip over, and complete the cut from the other side to minimise tearout. even just scoring the edges of the cut with a craft knife to shear the surface fibres can improve the quality of the cut finish a lot.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2021

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