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Author Topic: Kinda OT - Power tools to cut hardware cloth?  (Read 5012 times)
belfert
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« on: May 04, 2011, 05:48:07 PM »

I need to cut approximately 300 lineal feet of hardware cloth to width to fit various width window openings.  I also need cut it into about 40 pieces so I need to make lots of cuts.  I am reinforcing screens on shelters at a Scout camp.

I have done this in the past with an ordinary pair of wire cutters.  Making 24 or more cuts per foot is slow and hard on the hands.  Is there a power tool that I could use for cutting hardware cloth?  It needs to be either a cordless tool or a pneumatic tool as I have no power at the site.  (I do have a gasoline air compressor.)

Would either an air shears or a die grinder with cutoff wheel work?  Other ideas?

I'm sure many of us, myself included, have used hardware cloth in their bus, but probably not 300 feet worth.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
robertglines1
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« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2011, 07:26:30 PM »

I have had luck with a hugh pair of sewing scissors. I thought they would dull but they didn't. The big heavy black ones.Judy says they call them dress makers shears. I even cut light sheet metal with them.  off the wall I know.    Bob
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
boogiethecat
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« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2011, 08:46:49 PM »

Ever seen a dual blade saw?  Check ebay item 260776122984
A buddie got one recently and he's absolutely raving about it.  Apparently it has two counter-rotating blades that run right next to each other, so it cuts thru almost anything, doesn't kick, doesn't vibrate, doesn't do much at all except eat thru whatever you want to cut.  maybe it'd work well for hardware cloth too!!
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1962 Crown
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eagle19952
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« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2011, 09:02:40 PM »

http://www.harborfreight.com/18-gauge-sheet-metal-shear-92148.html

http://www.harborfreight.com/14-gauge-swivel-head-shears-92115.html

Your welcome..... Smiley
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Donald PH
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chev49
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« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2011, 12:15:27 AM »

i probably wouldn't use my metal shears. If it is the thin stuff like for screens, i would use my big sissors.
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belfert
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« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2011, 04:26:31 AM »

Hardware cloth is a lot heavier than insect screen.  It has 19 ga steel wire.  I doubt it could be cut with a scissors, but I have never tried.  I have tried a tin snips, but it doesn't work well due to the hardware cloth wanting to roll up.  The best hand tool I have found is a wire cutter, but that is hard on the hands and slow.

There is no electricity at the site, but I do have a gas powered air compressor.  The best suggestion so far is an air die grinder with cutoff wheel or a 4" air grinder with cutoff wheel.

I have a attached a picture of the material I am using.  Maybe someone has a better idea for cutting this stuff.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
robertglines1
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« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2011, 04:39:49 AM »

Brian ,if you got a cheap pair of the little ones try it. then get a pair of the heavy ones. the reason we suggested them was they are tighter than metal shears  wear gloves the sharp edges will eat your hands up. Don't know wether a old paper cutter would do it or not -the ones that you cut big sheets with.
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
bevans6
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« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2011, 04:49:07 AM »

metal shear like this: http://cgi.ebay.com/12-Sheet-Metal-Shear-Steel-Aluminum-Copper-Hand-Cutter-/370506911320?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5643eece58

I would use my B3 Beverly shear, but that's just because I have one.   It's way OTT for one job.  The above one will do a great job.

Beverly shear:  http://www.tinmantech.com/html/beverly_shears.php
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« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2011, 04:54:22 AM »

I was referring to one you cut paper and poster board with-a old diguarded one maybe up to 36inches blade .
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
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« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2011, 06:31:42 AM »

I would just use an angle grinder......but then I use an angle grinder for everything.......don't forget your safety glasses.
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eddiepotts
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« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2011, 06:40:48 AM »

 die grinder will work great but a large chisel and hammer will make fast work of it if you don't want to drag allot of tools out. Lay out a piece of flat bar and run right down it. You will find you don't have to beat on it to get it to cut.
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belfert
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« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2011, 06:50:22 AM »

I think I have a chunk of hardware cloth at home I can test with.  I don't have any large scissors, but I do have some stainless steel dollar store scissors I could test with.

I have to cut 300 feet worth of this stuff to width so dragging out a few tools would be worth it.  I have five days to work on this project and I'm not sure if that is even enough time.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2011, 06:55:37 AM »

hardware screen, in this case i would use my harbor freight shears.. However, the deWalt 4" angle grinder with the 8" blade is what I would probably use as it is what i grab first....
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eddiepotts
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« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2011, 07:27:54 AM »

If you have two pieces of angle iron c-clamp them together on the cloth where you want to cut and it will hold the cloth from rolling on you. use a cut off wheel and cut at the iron. For $5 you can get two pieces from HD or Lowe's.
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trucktramp
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« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2011, 07:34:19 AM »

Use a cut off wheel.  It should buzz through just like a knife through hot butter.  Or for overkill (my motto is go big or go home) use an oxy acetylene cutting torch Grin Grin
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Dennis Watson
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