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Cutting brass sheets
Smiodan
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Newfoundland, Canada
Joined: February 20, 2016
KitMaker: 9 posts
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Posted: Sunday, February 28, 2016 - 08:33 PM UTC
Hey all,
anyone have a good way to cut thin brass sheets? ive been using a metal ruler and Xacto blade but it seems to create ripples and curves the smaller pieces.

this does seem to work fine for larger pieces that can be sanded after but im looking for suggestions for smaller stuff, 1mm wide strips and such.

thanks!
krow113
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British Columbia, Canada
Joined: March 16, 2010
KitMaker: 472 posts
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Posted: Sunday, February 28, 2016 - 09:55 PM UTC
Best would be to buy the strips if possible
Thudius
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Uusimaa, Finland
Joined: October 22, 2012
KitMaker: 1,194 posts
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Posted: Sunday, February 28, 2016 - 11:51 PM UTC
Flip the ruler around so that it is covering the strip, rather than the sheet, and use multiple light passes with a good blade. And if the sheet or ruler seem to be slipping, tape them down.

Kimmo
Namabiiru
Staff MemberAssociate Editor
MODEL SHIPWRIGHTS
#399
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Rhode Island, United States
Joined: March 05, 2014
KitMaker: 2,887 posts
AeroScale: 306 posts
Posted: Monday, February 29, 2016 - 12:18 AM UTC
Like Kimmo said, light passes with the knife are needed so that you're not forcing the cut part away from the uncut part, which causes the curve. Also make sure you are cutting on a hard surface like Plexiglas. Normal cutting mats are too soft and will cause your strip to corkscrew.

krow113
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British Columbia, Canada
Joined: March 16, 2010
KitMaker: 472 posts
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Posted: Monday, February 29, 2016 - 12:25 AM UTC
http://www.specialshapes.com/17.html
Smiodan
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Newfoundland, Canada
Joined: February 20, 2016
KitMaker: 9 posts
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Posted: Monday, February 29, 2016 - 01:05 AM UTC
Thanks Mark and Kimmo, ill give all that a try, looks like ive been going about it all backwards lol

Would a brand new Xacto blade work best or is there a better option blade wise, something better suited to cutting metal?

Steve that site looks great for ordering metal sheets and stuff, have you ever ordered from them before? just curious what the shipping to Canada is like.
Thudius
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Uusimaa, Finland
Joined: October 22, 2012
KitMaker: 1,194 posts
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Posted: Monday, February 29, 2016 - 01:25 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Would a brand new Xacto blade work best or is there a better option blade wise, something better suited to cutting metal?



X-acto blades are fine, except they wear down quickly on metal so it can get expensive. #16 stencil blades are probably better than #11s, they're a little more robust. You might look at getting a carpet cutter (not the thin box cutters) with snapping blades or single edged razor blades. The single edged blades will last a while and are extremely useful for cutting bits off sprues and so on to boot. And keep your metal cutting blades separate from your good ones.

Kimmo
krow113
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British Columbia, Canada
Joined: March 16, 2010
KitMaker: 472 posts
AeroScale: 100 posts
Posted: Monday, February 29, 2016 - 03:24 AM UTC
[quote]Thanks Mark and Kimmo, ill give all that a try, looks like ive been going about it all backwards lol

Would a brand new Xacto blade work best or is there a better option blade wise, something better suited to cutting metal?

Steve that site looks great for ordering metal sheets and stuff, have you ever ordered from them before? just curious what the shipping to Canada is like. (/quote)

Tough to do those cuts without some striation showing up , they are very small. The site is from some brass stock I have in my supply stash. Go through the purchase process to find out shipping. It will be less than the cost of the time it takes to cut and finish the strips you require and they will be uniform as well , without the worry or the cursing!.
Smiodan
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Newfoundland, Canada
Joined: February 20, 2016
KitMaker: 9 posts
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Posted: Tuesday, March 01, 2016 - 10:10 PM UTC

Quoted Text

It will be less than the cost of the time it takes to cut and finish the strips you require and they will be uniform as well , without the worry or the cursing!.



lol very good point, probably better off ordering a bunch of different sizes then just doing the bending.

i did try the suggestions here, i got some pretty good results, quite happy with them to be honest, i may still order some strips just to save the pain of cutting but you guys seemed to have fix the issues,

thanks all!!
Kevlar06
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Washington, United States
Joined: March 15, 2009
KitMaker: 3,670 posts
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Posted: Thursday, March 03, 2016 - 05:39 AM UTC
Matthew,
I'm not sure what size brass sheet you have, but I do a lot of brass work in scratch-building, and when bending or cutting large brass up to .014 thickness, I always anneal my sheet by heating it over the stove for a few minutes. It makes the cutting that much easier. I have a gas stove, but I think you can do it just as easily on an electric stove. Just be sure you use tongs and have an oven mitt or hot pad handy. You need to try a test piece first, as thinner sheets can actually melt right through if you apply too much heat. VR, Russ