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Stainless steel sheet Metal working questions???

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Forum topic by Jerry posted 09-27-2012 10:01 PM 6365 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jerry

2196 posts in 2201 days


09-27-2012 10:01 PM

I just accepted a job after a down period. It is not my perfect choice in work but I cannot be choosy at this time and if done correctly this job will be profitable for us.

I am building 10 workstations with 3 sides and a desk top. The units will be 3’ X 6’ X 4’ tall and I am purchasing 4’ X 12’ Stainless Steel 14 gauge sheets. The specs indicate 14 g Stainless to be laminated over 3/4” cabinet plywood. So the interior of the workstations will have a wilsonart laminate and the exterior will all be Stainless steel.

At the ends of each part the stainless steel will bend around the plywood as such: “U”. So using angle iron I will build my own “brake” to make nice even bends.

My one issue will be cutting the Steel. Since they are 4X12 there will be an issue with cross cutting.

The way I want to cross cut is using our newly acquired Vertical Panel Router. If I am able to find a router bit that cuts metal, similar to bits for a Rotozip, I can cross cut with high accuracy.

I have considered maybe simply mounting my jigsaw to the Verticle Panel Router sled and use a fine metal cutting blade and let the sled make the cut very straight.

Then I have also considered mounting my circular saw to the Panel Router sled and using an abrasive blade. But that would mean some fairly moderate modifications to the Panel Router sled. I am thinking the jigsaw will mount very easy just using a few self tapper screws.

I don’t have the funds available to buy any Shearing machinery and the initial draw will not be enough to outsource any shearing services so I hope to do all of my own cutting.

-- Jerry Nettrour, San Antonio, www.topqualitycabinets.net


25 replies so far

View wiswood2's profile

wiswood2

1101 posts in 2350 days


#1 posted 09-27-2012 10:09 PM

I was a sheet metal worker for 40 years and you better take a look at the 14 ga.ss be four you buy it and see what you are getting your self in to . there is no way you are going to bend it with a home made break out of angle iron .14 guage is a little under 1/8 in thick.I wish you luck.
Chuck

-- Chuck, wiswood2 www.wisconsinwoodchuck.com

View Charlie's profile

Charlie

1017 posts in 940 days


#2 posted 09-27-2012 10:23 PM

The problem you’re going to have with cutting it is that you need a thin blade and you have to cut fast. Any dilly dallying and you’ll blue the stainless and you won’t be able to just polish it out. I’ve cut it with an angle grinder and a thin abrasive wheel. You could probably find a thin wheel that’d fit a circular saw. A fine blade on a jig saw will probably work, but it will look like crap and you’ll have a lot of cleaning up to do.

Keys are thin and fast.

You could also run this to a sheet metal shop and have them shear it and it would probably cost you less than buying an angle grinder and wheels :)

AND you’d have a nice clean cut. Heck, get them to brake it for ya. Cheap and fast and you concentrate on what YOU do best and have the equipment for.

Adhering the stainless to plywood…. clean that stainless REAL well. Get any oil off of it and then rinse it and dry it and then wipe it all down with DNA or Isopropyl. Liquid nails makes a polyurethane adhesive version and that works great bonding stainless to wood. You could use Sika Flex or 3M 5200. You want a true poly adhesive. These are not gorilla glue. Oh and abrade the stainless with 60 or 80 grit.

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Jerry

2196 posts in 2201 days


#3 posted 09-27-2012 10:25 PM

Thanks Chuck. Approx what thickness is 20 gauge? I am going to ask if 20 g can be used as 14 g seems over kill. This will be for the border patrol.

-- Jerry Nettrour, San Antonio, www.topqualitycabinets.net

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Jerry

2196 posts in 2201 days


#4 posted 09-27-2012 10:36 PM

I use a commercial grade contact cement spray that comes in a large propane style tank. I am not at the shop right now and I cannot remember the name but I can say it is some of the strongest glue for laminate and other types of glueing together. The glue is sprayed to both mating parts and air dry a short period of time and the two surfaces make immediate contact. Very easy stuff to work with and sprays on nicely with the gun we own.

I was hoping this glue would work out since we have about 50 lbs of the glue, plenty for this job.

-- Jerry Nettrour, San Antonio, www.topqualitycabinets.net

View Charlie's profile

Charlie

1017 posts in 940 days


#5 posted 09-27-2012 10:48 PM

14 gauge stainless is .0781
20 gauge is .0375

For reference, I have an 18 gauge stainless steel sink and that’s considered a heavy gauge for a stainless sink.

View Loren's profile

Loren

7554 posts in 2302 days


#6 posted 09-27-2012 10:50 PM

Stainless is harder to bend and cut than regular steel.

How wide do you need to bend on a brake?

You can get these thin cut-off wheels and mount them
on an angle grinder. I do it all the time. They are thin
and flexible so they don’t cut straight all on their own,
but being so thin they cut fast and cut cooler. Assuming
you need just one clean edge I suggest making a
straight edge jig out of angle iron or steep bar to run
the wheel against. You put the bar on top of the metal
and use it as a guide to cut and grind the edge at the
same time. If you carve up the guide bar too much you
can flip it or grind and file it straight.

I guess you could do the same sort of thing with a
circular saw but as mentioned, heat can be an
issue. You might call Dino at Eurekazone and
ask him about cutting stainless with his track saw
system. He probably knows what works.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

2196 posts in 2201 days


#7 posted 09-27-2012 10:55 PM

Thanks Charlie. I doubt they will approve 20 g. I do think 14 g is likely thicker than needed since 3/4” plywood will be the substrate.

I wonder what dictates they need 14 g. I wonder since it is Border Patrol maybe they feel that this workstation might somehow offer some protection from would be violent people.

-- Jerry Nettrour, San Antonio, www.topqualitycabinets.net

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

2196 posts in 2201 days


#8 posted 09-27-2012 10:58 PM

Loren, who is Dino at Eurekazone?

-- Jerry Nettrour, San Antonio, www.topqualitycabinets.net

View WoodKutter's profile

WoodKutter

29 posts in 2121 days


#9 posted 09-27-2012 11:40 PM

Jerry, Stainless is very difficult to work without the right tooling. Also you didn’t say what series of SS you will be using. You would be much better off finding a local sheet metal shop. They would be able to shear the sheets to size, bend the brakes you need and if there are any holes, they can punch them also. The savings in time, tooling and scrap ( not to mention hair ) will most likely be to your advantage. Contact a couple of shops, supply your needs and get a quote. If they do the work, they may even have the material you need on hand.

Gary

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14746 posts in 2330 days


#10 posted 09-27-2012 11:41 PM

Jerry, Fed specs are always over kill! ;-)) My policy is not to do business with the Feds unless I am sub to a contractor who will pay me in 30 days whether they get paid or not. That policy has served me very well for over 20 years. Don’t ask why I established it. I hate remembering stuff like that ;-))

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View rockindavan's profile

rockindavan

283 posts in 1290 days


#11 posted 09-27-2012 11:54 PM

I second finding a place to shear and bend the metal for you. Its simple with the right tools but miserable without.

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

2196 posts in 2201 days


#12 posted 09-28-2012 12:30 AM

Guys I think I am leaning towards letting the shop do the shearing and bending for me. They said they woould and they recommended that I let them do it. Thanks for the advice.

-- Jerry Nettrour, San Antonio, www.topqualitycabinets.net

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

4919 posts in 1231 days


#13 posted 09-28-2012 12:41 AM

I would make the “U” shape 3/4 plywood and take it over to the sheet
metal place and have them fit a sample piece so everyone’s
on the same page.

Excellent advice on going to the sheet metal shop and have them do what
they do best.

View KayBee's profile

KayBee

1007 posts in 1900 days


#14 posted 09-28-2012 01:48 AM

I work around stainless. Have the shop do it. You really can’t sort of ‘jerry rig’ this and have good, consistent results. You might get lucky on some of the cuts or bends, but not all of them on all the pieces.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

View wiswood2's profile

wiswood2

1101 posts in 2350 days


#15 posted 09-28-2012 03:15 PM

I have delt with the feds and they dont like to pay for at list 60 days. Have a shop do it is your best bet. at least if they screw on up they have to deal with it.good luck
Chuck

-- Chuck, wiswood2 www.wisconsinwoodchuck.com

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