How to cut brass plate
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  1. #1
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    Default How to cut brass plate

    Cutting .093 260 brass plate into 1.5 inch x 12 inch strips.

    Awhile back I purchased a bench shear and it does most of what I need. But it is not ideal for brass. It works but the cutting action pulls the brass slightly and gives it a little twist.

    I think cutting with a saw would be better. I have a woodworking bandsaw and table saw. Hand grinders, circular saws, saws all.

    My current best method of cutting is carefully with grinder and cut off wheel...

    How would you recommend I cut my brass plate? I want to do several repeated cuts in the future.

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    Farmers Copper in San Antonio supplied brass similar brass cut in strips for me a couple of years ago. Very flat with no issues.

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    Might be able to do this in the table saw, since its only .093 thick. Bandsaw would probably work too, but need a low count tooth blade and need to slow down the speed. I haven't really cut much brass with those tools, but have done a fair amount of alum. Go slow, brass likes to grab.

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    A sheer it will twist the brass do to the sheering action of the blade on a rake, a bandsaw would work,...Phil

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    If nothing like a guilotine available sandwich between mdf or ply and saw, bench shears are a bit gnarly for precision work,
    Mark

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    A high quality table saw, with a fine pitch triple chip zero rake blade. Feed it slow
    Your bench shear is probably at its limit at 093 brass, if you have a buddy with a real man's shear you might try to see if it works better

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    Thanks for the replies so far.

    My bandsaw is not a variable speed.

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    The last time I had to rip a bunch of thin brass I was looking more for speed then accuracy. I tried my table saw but as someone has already said, it can be grabby. What I did was take a a blade (not carbide) and turn it around backwards on the table saw. It cut the brass very nicely and did not grab.

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    Quickest: Table saw. Carbide 60T or more blade, run normal direction and raise the blade as high as it will go. A lot of people lower the blade to just through-cut height. This is a mistake. With the blade high, nearly all the cutting force is straight down against the table. With the blade low, nearly all the force is right back at YOU! Not to mention that the cut surface is 3 or 4 times longer, resulting in high heat, kickback, noise and whatever else you can think of.
    A sabre-saw also works fine, but won't yield a smooth, straight edge and takes a lot longer.

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    I have cut some brass and an awful lot of aluminum sheet on my wood cutting bandsaw.

    Slide a chunk of scrap wood (I like Pallet hardwood) up on the blade so as to provide support right to the cutting position, and make sure the material sits in contact with the support.

    Then it's pretty much about slow feed in to the teeth.

    Works for me, with what I have. If you gronk the material in to the running saw blade, you may strip some teeth off, or may not, it sure won't sound or feel very good, but with some care it works pretty well.

    If I wanted a decent flat square edge on the stock, as opposed to just cut off, I'd look at building a sled for the table saw that would allow me to clamp the material down while cutting. I suggest a full face guard, as well as safety goggles, as the chips will be warm, and can end up zipping around everywhere.

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    I've cut a lot of brass with both woodworking bandsaw and table saw. Very fine tooth blade on bandsaw works just fine, no need to slow down saw, especially with bi-metallic blades. Table saw gives a smoother cut, I use inexpensive non ferrous blades. Backing up the brass with plywood or masonite helps to control cut and reduce burrs.

    This was before I knew much about metalworking, just thought to try it and it worked! I've also cut brass and aluminum on a woodworking shaper, with hand ground lock edge knives - not for the faint of heart! Chips come flying off like shrapnel.

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    [QUOTE=richard newman;3758819]I've cut a lot of brass with both woodworking bandsaw and table saw. Very fine tooth blade on bandsaw works just fine, no need to slow down saw, especially with bi-metallic blades. Table saw gives a smoother cut, I use inexpensive non ferrous blades. Backing up the brass with plywood or masonite helps to control cut and reduce burrs.

    I recently did exactly this--24t blade, 3500fpm blade speed, .075 brass sheet. Only thing I would add is that I used a "zero-clearance" false table top with integrated fence.

    Regards
    Bob

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    I did some stuff with a trophy shop involving brass plate once. They engrave and cut up display quality brass parts all the time. They had a cute little hand-operated shear and it cut the brass perfectly. I think it was a 12" DiAcro shear.

    I suggest checking the sharpness and clearance of your shear blades before abandon ship.

    metalmagpie

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    If you have anyplace nearby that does waterjet, it's usually fast and not too expensive. No warping at all and very close to size.

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    Quote Originally Posted by metalmagpie View Post
    I did some stuff with a trophy shop involving brass plate once. They engrave and cut up display quality brass parts all the time. They had a cute little hand-operated shear and it cut the brass perfectly. I think it was a 12" DiAcro shear.

    I suggest checking the sharpness and clearance of your shear blades before abandon ship.

    metalmagpie
    Yeah I've got one of these made for cutting up brass, copper, plastic, aluminum etc. It's made by a company called New Hermes, they used to be a big manufacturer of engravers and pantographs, don't know if they are still around under a different name or not. Little bugger cuts like a sonofagun, and nice and straight too, no curling. Max width of cut is 12" IIRC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eKretz View Post
    Yeah I've got one of these made for cutting up brass, copper, plastic, aluminum etc. It's made by a company called New Hermes, they used to be a big manufacturer of engravers and pantographs, don't know if they are still around under a different name or not. Little bugger cuts like a sonofagun, and nice and straight too, no curling. Max width of cut is 12" IIRC.
    What is the maximum thickness it can handle?

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    1 or 1000? Stating the quantity should be request SOP. Maybe you did....i see you want to do several in the the future. is several 2 or 2000

    if one, probably a jig saw or band saw if available. Slow, but I have it and know it works. Usually you want to shear strips, but its a bit narrow. You could try a plate on top of the brass between clamp an shear - basically extend the clamping force right up next to the blade. For quantity, send it out for waterjet cutting....accurate and saves you the second op milling the saw cut edges (if required)

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    Quote Originally Posted by richard newman View Post
    What is the maximum thickness it can handle?
    Not sure what it's rated for. It readily cuts 1/16" copper with no issues. Thinner brass and steel shim is mostly what I use it for because it cuts so straight and leaves the cutoffs nice and flat.

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    Thropy shops use the little shears. Hemes? Diacro, alexandra? As others have mentioned a table saw works well. I have cut lots of .060 copper and zinc on mine for intaglio printing. I find a sled makes it alot easier, especially for your smaller parts. Avoids scratching too. I use a general purpose carbide blade . I need to bevel so first i cut square then re cut a incomplete 45 so i dont have a knife edge.

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    For that thickness, I would most likely use the tablesaw, with a triple-chip carbide blade like others have mentioned. Unless you have good clamping of the sheet stock on the shear, it will perform as observed on most average-condition small shears. I have a 24" DiAcro manual shear, and it tends to pull material in the course of cutting thicker sheet. The cutting force is simply stronger than the minimal clamping that sort of machine has.

    As Gordon Heaton notes, running the blade higher is good practice, although you need some sort of hold-down for the strips assuming that you would run the strip dimension set up between the blade and the rip fence. At least I would. And a zero-clearance table insert is a great idea, as well as making sure the material is well-supported by the insert (insert co-planar to saw table)


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