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Cutting up iron

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  1. #1
    SKWrapper started this thread.
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    Cutting up iron

    Any ideas besides using a corded angle grinder to cut a 3 foot high 12 foot long 5 foot wide metal platform - six legs, to fit into a pickup bed? The steel for the "floor" is about 1/4 thick. I already killed 2 angle grinders trying to cut through it too fast.

    This is the kind of work I am moving away from (recycling metal in general) - I will ask if someone wants to take over my customer pretty soon - might be better suited for a heavy hauler anyway. I am only doing this (after hours) because they also had very valuable items that I already picked up, and it would not be goodwill to just leave all the ferrous.

    Turn & Burn

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  3. #2
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    When all else fails, Use fire...... This is where a cutting torch comes in handy.

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  5. #3
    SKWrapper started this thread.
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    Thank you. I knew there was something I was looking right past. I might just have to get one anyway even if I don't do this kind of work much longer, I know I will use it for something else later on - just like when I originally bought my angle grinder seven years ago just to work on suspension for my old pickup thinking that I would use that later - and glad I had it.

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    If the question is just the fit and not the weight, why not lay it across the top and strap it down? Or at an angle or on its side? But yes a torch will go right through it and the set-up is useful if you do any welding anyway.

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    A Plasma cutters great for this sort of work. One with its own built in air compressor.
    Thats if you intend do be doing a fair amount of work.

    Otherwise its either a oxy/acetylene or oxy/propane gas cutting torch.

    If you use a angle grinder it would need to be a 9 inch cutoff disc or a larger gas powered demolition cutoff saw.
    You can rent a demolition cutoff saw just for one job. If the jobs recycling the steel it would be worth it, or if you are getting paid to remove it.
    For the price of scrap steel it would have to weigh a lot.

    Find out the hire price anyway, that info is handy & always gives you another option.
    [ After edit ] you might as well get the hire place to quote the rental on the plasma cutter too.

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    Maybe you can line up a friend with a cutting torch and kick him a few bucks ? It's a bit of an investment. Can't remember the exact amount, but i think it was at least 600.00$ spent to for the torch, regulators, welding mask, tanks, and first year's tank lease. The tank lease is another 100.00$ per year. It's not bad if you use the torch on a regular basis in your work and you're making money with it. Otherwise, it's hard to justify the expense.

    It would be a lot cheaper to hire in somebody with a torch to do the cutting work for you.

    Maybe it's just one of those sucky jobs that you just have to muddle through. You get bogged down with em' from time to time when you're scrapping. You just have to take the bad with the good and resign yourself to the fact that it's gonna take awhile to get through it. The harder you push it .... the more the job fights you. Tools get destroyed and people get hurt.
    Just relax and go with the flow.

    Stop ... take a few minutes ... and think it through. Use your noodle and not your back. Make a plan. A cut here and a cut there. Break it down into bite sized pieces.

    Question: Are you dealing with steel -or- Iron ?

    Big difference between the two. Iron is hard and brittle. Steel is softer and easier to cut.

    You would definitely want the blue dragon for iron.

    You might try a 7 1/4" circular saw with a metal cutting blade set to just the right depth if you're cutting steel. ( For 1/4" steel plate set it to 3/8" or 1/2".) That way the blade is peeking out just a bit below the thing you're cutting. Don't try to cut it all at once. Instead, make a series of score lines, each one getting progressively deeper till you're all the way through.

    Support the work that you're cutting. That way it doesn't fold in and bind your blade. Maybe even put just a bit of upward pressure so that the metal parts as you're cutting it.

    It would be pretty much the same thing with a sawzall and some good metal cutting blades. The job might go a bit faster that way cause you can cut all the way through in one pass.

    The main thing is : Don't bind the blade. It will ruin your blade and damage whatever tool you're using.

    Use finesse not force.

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  12. #7
    SKWrapper started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hills View Post
    Maybe it's just one of those sucky jobs that you just have to muddle through.
    indeed

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    Use a trailer.

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  18. #10
    SKWrapper started this thread.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChildhoodDream View Post
    Been using that too - not a Bosch but using a Milwaukee Sawzall Torch metal cutting blade along with the angle grinder

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    I bought a new saw last year as I hadn't had a working one I could use for many years and I had a few hundred new blades of many types from years of collecting them up for cheap or free.

    My most used tools are screwdrivers, plyers, adjustable wrenches, hammers and prybars. And I also use razor/utility knives ALOT and have many as well as pop rivet guns and tin snips.

    Corded drills and 7 1/4" circular saws are my most used power tools and I have MANY of them as with most wanting the cordless power tools, there are MANY nice corded tools available for a bargain. I have been buying the 7 1/4" saw blades at Menards for years when I can get them for the price of tax or a dollar or less each with the rebates they offer. I have a stack of new blades that I have been slowly using, but have some projects that will require the cutting of wood that I will be working on this year.

    I also have a nice hoard of drill bits as well as well as a lot of the small drive bits that wear out and need replacing.

    AND I have a nice selection of safety glasses, dust masks and gloves. I don't like wearing gloves unless it is best. Same with shoes :-)

    I do like collecting and hoarding many things as that is part of who I am.
    Last edited by ChildhoodDream; 02-20-2020 at 02:04 PM. Reason: missing word

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  22. #12
    SKWrapper started this thread.
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    I was able to cut - slowly with my 4 1/2 angle grinder (my old 7" angle grinder is one that I killed being impatient) and Sawzall with the torch blade. It's steel not iron, and the table/platform base is diamond plated steel sheet and is stronger than the steel in the legs and supports and took a long time to cut. Thanks for the suggestions and advise.

    It's funny I now recall telling them "no" several months ago on taking these items because of their size and time required to cut etc... Even with a trailer one of the items would have still required a little cutting. Not sure how I got talked into taking them anyway - but I said I would do it this time so I didn't back out.

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  24. #13
    SKWrapper started this thread.
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    update

    It was worth it after calculating the hours and fuel (~3 miles from home) - here's one of the 2 loads from this customer from Sunday before last - a few days after all the big stuff was gone/sold - must have been 5 or 6 loads (same customer that had all the big transformers). This is from the only yard open on Sundays near me.

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    Last edited by SKWrapper; 03-09-2020 at 01:11 PM.


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