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 Post subject: stainless steel
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 4:15 pm 
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Has any one here worked with stainless steel or plain steel? Whats the best way to cut a picture into it(i want to make a custom fan grill)? I have a lot of tools available to me: Plazma cutter, drill presses, saws, grinders, polishers, ect.(NO lazer cutters or C&C machines, damn!)


EDIT: Some thing like this only not that picture and not round mine would be sqaure edges


Last edited by sflshooter on Wed Jan 19, 2005 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: stainless steel
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 6:20 pm 
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[quote="sflshooter"][/quote]

I will try to reply tomarrow (to both threads).

SS is a PITA

Manta


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 Post subject: Re: stainless steel
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 6:31 pm 
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MantaBase wrote:
SS is a PITA
Manta

what is PITA, im assuming Pain In The A$$


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 Post subject: Re: stainless steel
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 6:33 pm 
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sflshooter wrote:
what is PITA, im assuming Pain In The A$$


Ding Ding!

http://www.acronymfinder.com/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 6:45 pm 
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im just wondering because im new to SS and but my dad works with it and has for the last like 25-30 years. he has all the tools at work and he knows how to use them pretty well, i asked the same question im asking you and he gave my the smart ass answer of "the only way to get to look good at all is a C&C machine"

oh yeah, i should give you guys more info:

small piece of 1/16 inch or maybe a little thinner
the piece will be just a little bigger than a 120mm fan


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 Post subject: That depends....
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 6:50 pm 
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If you are talking about cutting a picture into a mild-steel side panel, then I would start with Wiss Aviation Snips (get the complete set of 3, about $13 each). There are metal-cutting saws, such as hack saws and smaller ones that don't have the big arch holding a blade. There is also the Dremel tool, and a wide selection of bits. Choosing the right cutting bit is very important, because some will wear out right away, while others can last long enough to cut an entire window in a side panel.


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 Post subject: Re: That depends....
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 6:56 pm 
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Bigal wrote:
If you are talking about cutting a picture into a mild-steel side panel, then I would start with Wiss Aviation Snips (get the complete set of 3, about $13 each). There are metal-cutting saws, such as hack saws and smaller ones that don't have the big arch holding a blade. There is also the Dremel tool, and a wide selection of bits. Choosing the right cutting bit is very important, because some will wear out right away, while others can last long enough to cut an entire window in a side panel.

no just a 120mm fan grill cover


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 7:07 pm 
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You would paint the metal, and then sand blast it. Or just sand blast it. Another thing you could do is but the pattern out with the plasma cutter and behind it weld wire mesh. That would look sweet.


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 Post subject: Well then...
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 7:08 pm 
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I would focus on the Dremel tool. You need something that can get into small places, and this is the tool. :P

By the way, this tool doesn't require painting or sandblasting..... :D


Last edited by Bigal on Wed Jan 19, 2005 7:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 7:10 pm 
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gamerfreak wrote:
You would paint the metal, and then sand blast it. Or just sand blast it. Another thing you could do is but the pattern out with the plasma cutter and behind it weld wire mesh. That would look sweet.

no paint and no sandblasting(i have this on the side window,witch is acrylic)

just raw metal


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 Post subject: Almost forgot...
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 7:16 pm 
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...can you handle an arc welder? Some welding rod and a fan hole could be turned into......well, something..... :?


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 Post subject: Re: Almost forgot...
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 7:27 pm 
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Bigal wrote:
...can you handle an arc welder? Some welding rod and a fan hole could be turned into......well, something..... :?

pretty much only tig welding, and im still learning, im not very good(i go to fast and dont get enough penitration)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 7:49 pm 
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You haven't given us an example of the picture, so we don't have any idea how intricate it is. I would say, cover the work piece with masking tape, draw the picture out on the piece of metal and shade in all the areas you want to remove. Start removing metal from the center most part and work your way outward. after the inside was cut the way you want, then cut the grill perimeter out.

There are several different tools you can use for this, but again, you haven't indicated the intricacy of the design, so I don't know whether to recommend a jigsaw, rotary tool or what. Maybe a combination of both, finishing up with filing and sanding the edges smooth.

Stainless will polish up pretty nice with some elbow grease (that's not really grease, it's hard work). Just be careful cutting it. Excess heat may discolor it.

Be sure to take pictures and post them here for us to see how it turned out.

Grump, The Mad Modder


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 12:55 am 
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Stainless is a PITA. Period. It's hard, tough, and bites you with every chance you give to it. I started making a reservoir out of SS, and by the time I was almost done, I had exhausted my patience enough to just throw it into the corner and drop the idea of ever working with it again.

Cutting it: Get that plasma cutter out! It's the only thing I'd mess with. The stuff is hard to work with, and cutting it will eat up most of your media. The only drills that lasted with my SS adventures (recently and in the past) are some very expensive Ti coated Snap-on thunderbits. Thin sheets are one thing, but anything that is more than foil is a booger.

Bending it: Good luck. I ended up using a break in someone elses garage. No bend I could make without turned out good. 'Bout cut my wrist off too:p

Weld it: Go to school. I still can't weld that stuff, and I won't touch anything galvanized+heat.

It does polish up nice, but it'll still need maintence. The stuff is magic if you read into what Stainless stell is and it's properties. The top layer of atoms heal scratches! Weird...
---------------------------------

Mild steel: Has to be covered. It'll rust in the desert even.

It's so awesome to work with mild steel. You can do anything you want to it! You could even harden it and quinch it for a blued look. It powder coats nicely, and nothing chromes as nice as good 'ol US steel. Drill it, sand it, cut it, bend it...it's fun stuff.

Everyone has CNC machines...they just have to go look for them. Maybe I was lucky to go to a high school that had a great trades selection, but we did a lot of CNC work for free. I still take them projects that I think the students can handle. Colleges also have metal trades, and more than likely should have a CNC machine if they want to ready anyone interested in that field. Minor fee's here as well, and should only charge material fees.

And then there's the good ol' yellow pages. I found a shop here that did some decent work, and just recently another. But I still have a favorite in Bakersfield (3 hours south) called American Fabrication. They make AWESOME stuff for me (PC's, motorcycle, 4x4...you name it) and it's always spot on. I even impressed my old managers with their work and they signed a nationwide contract. This place is back where you'll never see it, I never heard of it, and one trip to the place and I was hooked. Anyway, the point is that if you look around, you may hit the jackpot!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 2:20 am 
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A wire EDM machine can do that but trying to do it by hand is next to impossible. The Dremel tool runs to fast for stainless and even if you can control the speed the stainless is too tough. The plasma cutter will cut it but the edges will look like crap and it will be hard to control. I've worked with stainless for 30 years, there's just not a easy way to do it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 7:09 am 
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sflshooter wrote:
im not very good(i go to fast and dont get enough penitration)

lol that has to be the quote-taken-out-of-context of the year!!! :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 3:55 pm 
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hotshotjosh wrote:
sflshooter wrote:
im not very good(i go to fast and dont get enough penitration)

lol that has to be the quote-taken-out-of-context of the year!!! :wink:

yeah i know but any welders will know what i mean


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 3:57 pm 
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a dremel tool will not work with SS(to hard of a metal), ive decided to scrap the idea of SS(bing a PITA) and steel, im going to go with aluminum(soft metal so a dremel will work)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 7:47 pm 
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i may end up powder coating it if i go with aluminum


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 Post subject: Copper anyone?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2005 6:46 pm 
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Hey, I have a few fan grills that were made out of copper. You could get a sheet of copper and do some Dremel cutting. It's soft and looks nice when polished. Coat it to prevent oxidations though. :P


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