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Old 12-01-2015, 11:18 AM   #1
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Cutting Patches

What is the best method to cut patches from aluminum sheets? I have a HF 18 gauge 3.5 Amp Heavy Duty Metal Shears , but don't know if I should be using these, nibblers or something else. I'm concerned about the edges curling.
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Old 12-01-2015, 11:21 AM   #2
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We used a dremel with small cutting wheels to cut out, then sanding drum on dremel to smooth edges and finally wet/dry sand paper for final edge finishing.....look ma no curls


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Old 12-01-2015, 11:26 AM   #3
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Here is a sample of what we could do with the Dremel


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Old 12-01-2015, 12:09 PM   #4
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We used a dremel with small cutting wheels to cut out, then sanding drum on dremel to smooth edges and finally wet/dry sand paper for final edge finishing.....look ma no curls


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So you used cutoff wheels. Did you free hand it or did you use a pattern (specifically around the curved sections)?
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Old 12-01-2015, 12:12 PM   #5
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I have done many. Your metal shears will work great for cutting larger sheet aluminum patches. Use a belt sander on the edges and to radius the corners. It is also helpful to have an equal spacing tool like this one.

ADJUSTABLE RIVET SPACER from Aircraft Spruce

Unless they are small and intricate like DFloes shows in his photo. Then use a Dremel tool, cutoff wheel and sander.

Practice makes perfect. Have fun.

-Dennis
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Old 12-01-2015, 01:15 PM   #6
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So you used cutoff wheels. Did you free hand it or did you use a pattern (specifically around the curved sections)?

What we did was get an image from the Internet and save to PDF or something then print onto a sticky backed paper or clear sheet. Stick onto aluminum sheet and hack away with Dremel, you will find that you can stay pretty close to pattern by cut from top down into material around corners.

The key is to get your pattern adhered to aluminum sheet


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Old 12-05-2015, 02:07 PM   #7
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For the moon patch I spray glued paper template from CAD program and cut with tin snips. For door handle patch I glued template and cut with jig saw with fine metal blade loaded with candle wax. Sanded edges to finish.
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Old 02-23-2017, 11:00 PM   #8
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cutting patches

I used a Jig saw with metal blade for cutting most of it. Then a manual nibbler for tips and edges. Edges are a little jagged but will smooth out with a dual action sander. Practice on some scrap pieces. I used 2024 aluminum in .032 thickness.http://www.airpartsinc.com/28_Aircra...t_and_Coil.htm
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Old 02-25-2017, 07:22 PM   #9
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I used the shear too, borrowed from work. I like making round parts, then I can put the right curve in them on the English Wheel. I like the way the round part blends in.
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