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  1. #1
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    Sep 2006
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    Default Best way to cut colourbond channel

    Guys,
    I have bought some of the plastic lattice kit from Stratco, here in WA. I need to cut the framework down in order to fit the location I need it for.
    My question is how do I cut the metal channel , with relative ease, in good time, without damaging the colourbond coating and spoiling the look?
    The only options I can come up with are Hacksaw ( slow and ugly non-square cuts) or Drop Saw ( fast, will give square cuts but will probably damage the finish.)
    I only have 4 to cut so a Hacksaw is not out of the question, but I want to avoid it if practical.
    Sterob.

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  3. #2
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    Jun 2007
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    sydney
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    Default

    How much do you want to spend compared to the astetic value

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    38

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sterob View Post
    Guys,
    I have bought some of the plastic lattice kit from Stratco, here in WA. I need to cut the framework down in order to fit the location I need it for.
    My question is how do I cut the metal channel , with relative ease, in good time, without damaging the colourbond coating and spoiling the look?
    The only options I can come up with are Hacksaw ( slow and ugly non-square cuts) or Drop Saw ( fast, will give square cuts but will probably damage the finish.)
    I only have 4 to cut so a Hacksaw is not out of the question, but I want to avoid it if practical.
    Sterob.
    Gooday Sterob, I,ve cut heaps of cb channel while building an observatory lately--I used a bandsaw (metal cutting blade) with a suitable sized snug fitting scrap of timber slipped into the channel to give it support and strength while clamping, cut through the channel and timber at the same time, cuts nice and clean square etc.
    You can use a hacksaw also

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Northern Brisbania...
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    791

    Default

    Dear Sterob,

    If you've got an electric Compound Mitre Saw, have a close look at the blade on it, and see whether the teeth are leaning forwards or backwards (because some Mitre Saw Blades have backwards-leaning teeth, just like proper Metal-Cutting Blades...)

    Given how thin the metal in question is, if the teeth on your Blade lean backwards, and there's - say... at least 36 of them - you could probably just cut the section in question with your Compound Mitre Saw. In terms of precautions, make sure you're wearing goggles, and clamp the metal tightly into the Saw upright (as in your photo) so that the sides don't squash in because of the clamp. If you can find a strip of timber about the same width as the distance between the two walls of the section, and pop it into the section between it's walls, that could be a real advantage because it would stop the walls from "chattering" during the cut. But take it very slowly when you're lowering the blade through the metal, and do a test cut near the end of the section first.

    If the teeth on your Blade lean forwards (and you wouldn't mind an excuse to buy yourself a new Blade), you could try turning the Blade around so that the teeth now lean backwards. The only problem is that you might end up losing some of the teeth, because the cutting force is now applying a "pull" on the solder that bonds the teeth to the Blade's disk, rather than a "push"... Take all of the same precautions as above - especially the wearing of the goggles, because the teeth can well and truly come off, and probably will if you end up turning the Blade around.

    In either scenario, don't skip the clamping bit either, because when Mitre Saw teeth "bite" for some reason (usually loosely held timber, but in this case "chattery" metal...), Bad Things can happen very quickly. If you've got a Bench Grinder, and you've had a "Close Call" when grinding something without using the Tool Rest, you'll sort of know what I'm talking about...

    Best Wishes, and Good Luck whichever way you do it.
    Batpig.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Brookfield, Brisbane
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    Default

    an angle grinder will cut it no problems. we cut heaps of colorbond roofing with the grinder and it dosent damage the paint.

    www.carlweiss.com.au
    Mobile Sawmilling & Logging Service
    8" & 10" Lucas Mills, bobcat, 4wd tractor, 12 ton dozer, stihl saws.

  7. #6
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    Sep 2006
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    Australind ,WA
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    Default

    Thanks guys,
    Some good ideas there.

    "How much do you want to spend compared to the astetic value"

    I've not thought about it in that respect. Quite willing to spend a couple hundred on a tool that will be useful for other times.

    "I used a bandsaw (metal cutting blade)"

    This may be an option although my bandsaw is quite small. I'd have to source a blade for it though.

    "If you've got an electric Compound Mitre Saw"

    I don't and don't have access to one.

    "an angle grinder will cut it no problems."

    I knew it would but I thought it would surely damage the paint. If my hand is steady enough, this may work also.

    Thanks guys.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Brookfield, Brisbane
    Posts
    5,800

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    it cuts it that quick that it dosent have time to heat up enough to damage the paint.

    www.carlweiss.com.au
    Mobile Sawmilling & Logging Service
    8" & 10" Lucas Mills, bobcat, 4wd tractor, 12 ton dozer, stihl saws.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Armidale NSW
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    If you are going to use an angle grinder, use the thin (1.0mm?) cutoff disks. They generate less heat and leave a nice clean cut.
    Cheers.

    Vernon.
    __________________________________________________
    Bite off more than you can chew and then chew like crazy.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Pambula
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    54
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    12,784

    Default

    When sheets need to be cut on site the most suitable technique is with nibblers or power saws with metal cutting blades (tin snips can be used although they are difficult to use on profiled sheeting). The use of cutting discs and grinding wheels is not recommended as they generate very hot particles which can damage the coating.


    BlueScope Steel recommends the use of cold cutting saw with appropriate blades.
    http://colorbond.custhelp.com/cgi-bi...Y9JnBfcGFnZT0y
    "I don't practice what I preach because I'm not the kind of person I'm preaching to."

  11. #10
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    Oct 2006
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    Armidale NSW
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    Quote Originally Posted by silentC View Post
    The use of cutting discs and grinding wheels is not recommended as they generate very hot particles which can damage the coating.
    That is certainly the case with roofing, because you have a large area for the swarf to fall on (especially if cut insitu). It's not so much an issue with relatively thin channel - simply put a drop sheet over it and don't cut it in the presence of other (unprotected) colorbond.
    Cheers.

    Vernon.
    __________________________________________________
    Bite off more than you can chew and then chew like crazy.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Australind ,WA
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    I might try the thin cutting discs first and hope I have a steady hand and cut it square. I think I'll practice on some scrap before I cut the real thing....

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Qld. Australia
    Posts
    417

    Default

    This is how I would do it. Try masking tape as a guide for the cut and to help protect the area adjacent to the cut. Slip a piece of soft timber the correct size of the slot into the channel before you tape it. That will prevent the thin material from vibrating. Use the 1mm discs and support the channel by clamping close to the point you are cutting.

    Nev

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Blue Mountains NSW Australia
    Posts
    592

    Default

    If you are going to use an angle grinder, use the thin (1.0mm?) cutoff disks. They generate less heat and leave a nice clean cut.
    That's the easiest and best way to cut it. I have been doing it on a very regular basis for years, and no one has come up with a better way on site. There would be better ways of doing it in a workshop scenario with the appropriate gear, but on site, the grinder and thin wheels is the way to go.

    Fossil

  15. #14
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    Jun 2006
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    Macedon, Victoria.
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    Default

    might be time to invest in one of the el-cheapo angle-grinder jigs. Should be about the sort of job they'd be perfect for.
    Chipslinger

  16. #15
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    Sep 2006
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    Australind ,WA
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    Default

    Yeah, I think I go with the very thin cutting blades. The jig is a good idea, but not sure I can get one in my small town. I'll have a look tomorrow.
    Thanks guys.

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