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Old 03-12-2004, 07:25 PM   #1
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Question Cutting Aluminum

Just a quick question what is the best way to cut this stuff. I have a skin repair to do and need to pay more attention when backing up.
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Old 03-12-2004, 08:01 PM   #2
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Small cuts use aviation snips, Like These larger cuts work well with a power shear like the Kett Power Shears

Aaron
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Old 03-12-2004, 09:48 PM   #3
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Aviation snips work well and don't warp the metal.
I guess it really comes down to how careful you are, take your time. Be sure to mask and cover the sheet well to prevent scratches.
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Old 03-13-2004, 09:03 AM   #4
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Stinky, the aviation snips on that link appear identical to the 3-pack sold by Wal-Mart that I bought last month for about $9. They seemed too crude for the delicate work I needed to do, but perhaps that's my lack of skill. Last week I fitted a second battery box inside the front of my trailer. I needed to cut out a piece about 1 foot by 9 inches from both the inner and the outer skin, and the outer skin hole needed to be very accurate and smooth. I had brought over from England a tool for cutting sheet metals and plastic laminates. It is called an Eclipse 2000, and I have owned it for perhaps 30 years. It is no longer produced, unfortunately. It is a one-handed tool which cuts aluminum by pressing a blunt blade between two plates, and a strip of aluminium about 1/16th of an inch wide curls up into a tight roll. I start cuts in the centre of a sheet by chain-drilling 3 holes about 1/8th diameter. There is zero distortion of the remaining aluminium. If there is no such tool available in the USA I can mail you mine. I have the tool here in Maryland, and will not be needing it back until the Fall, when I come back to the USA. Nick
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Old 03-13-2004, 09:07 AM   #5
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Nick,
I have the same tool that I bought about 30 years ago along with a couple sets of spare blades. Seems to me I remember that it was made in France. Too rainy right now to go out to the shop and look.

Like you, I have found that it makes great cuts without distortion.
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Old 03-13-2004, 09:14 AM   #6
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John, mine was made in England, and it also has the extra blades. They were different shapes for different materials, and a slim blade for cutting curves. It is ideal for counter-top laminates such as Formica, as well as sheet aluminium. The blades are color -coded. At current prices, I would expect it to sell for about $10. Surely something similar is available in the USA? Nick.
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Old 03-13-2004, 09:37 AM   #7
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If you have air....

I use these:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=36567

and these for the tight, small pieces:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=46061

and this for the first few rivet holes:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=44060

and something similar to this for putting rivets back in:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...itemnumber=167

No way would I go back to hand riveters, or hand shears, unless it's a tiny job.
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Old 03-13-2004, 01:37 PM   #8
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John or Nick would it be possible for either of you to poat a pic of the tool you are describing? Along with any other pertinant data like patent numbers etc. (Don't know if the Eglish used a patent system, but they probably invented it .

Oh could you lay a ruler next to the tool if you choose to photo it please.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-13-2004, 03:27 PM   #9
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Jaco, pics taken. I will send them in a couple of hours when I have the download cable to hand. The tool was made in England by a company called Goscut, of which I can find no trace. The model is an Eclipse 2000. There are no patent markings. Nick.
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Old 03-13-2004, 04:59 PM   #10
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Jaco, click on "photos" on this post and you will see 4 photos of the tool. The black hand grips are a hard plastic, and the metal jaws are electro-plated steel. The knurled knob adjusts the gap between the side plates. A close fit for straight cuts, and looser for curves works best. Nick.
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Old 03-13-2004, 07:26 PM   #11
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Metal shear

If you want truly flat stock after the making straight cuts, use a sheet metal shear. They are too expensive to buy for a small repair, but a local shop will do it for a reasonable charge if not free.

I f you do happen to have access to one, and want to cut really thin stuff (like Airstream skin), sandwich the stock between two layers of thicker, scrap stock or else the shear may leave a bent edge.

Got the Tee shirt,
Tom
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Old 03-13-2004, 10:39 PM   #12
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Nick,

The one I have is quite different, although it works the same in principle. Mine is all chrome and much more in the form of a pliers. It has a latch to keep the hand grips together when not in use. When unlatched, a spring spreads the hand grips apart and you squeeze to cut.

The blades on mine are about the same.
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Old 02-15-2006, 06:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickcrowhurst
Jaco, click on "photos" on this post and you will see 4 photos of the tool. The black hand grips are a hard plastic, and the metal jaws are electro-plated steel. The knurled knob adjusts the gap between the side plates. A close fit for straight cuts, and looser for curves works best. Nick.

Nick ( I presume ), I have just read your post re the Goscut brand ' Eclipse 2000 ' sheetmetal cutters, ( March 2004 ! ) and wondered if you have any other info re those cutters. I have a pair? set? whatever?' and cannot get it to work properly, as I suspect a spring is missing. For the life of me I cannot determine what shape it should be for me to be able to fabricate one. Reading the posts in that forum, I do not have much faith finding out either.

Here in Australia, I cannot find anyone who has knowledge of the tool, though I bought it here in Sydney, maybe because it is old, that it may have been an import, ( on a small scale or with its owner! ) and that I bought it at a second-hand store or used tool market. I now know what the embossed '3' is though— just one of the available (?) blades.

If you have any info etc I would appreciate it, in the meantime I think there may be some evidence that the New Zealanders ( from the forum ) may have had more exposure than we in Aust. Whatever, I just need to know the shape of the spring.

By the way, Aust. motor homes and/or trailers, known here as ' Caravans ', are apparently on a big increase in numbers, particularly for the Retired, and others who just like to get out and about the country without the restrictions of other transport or accommodationworries, not to mention cost. In fact my daughter recently bought one from her partner's uncle, a purpose built, strengthened and well appointed, large, double-bogied unit sleeping six comfortably, hauled by their Toyota LandCruiser v8. They have already travelled twice from Adelaide in South Australia to Sydney, with a still less than twelve month old baby, about 1400 Km ( 900 Miles ) each way. I, personally, would prefer an actual motor home if necessary with a trailer to shift a separate little vehicle to run around town after setting-up at the desired camp site. But that is wishful thinking!

Sorry I got carried away, but who knows, it may be interesting to somebody.

Ivan.
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Old 02-15-2006, 09:07 AM   #14
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I have a tool similar to what Nick describes. I've had it for about 25 years. Mine is an American made tool labeled, Bernz-O-Matic. It has a blade for metals, one for plastics, and one for shaping.

Gene
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