cutting thin copper sheet

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I have a project that entails cutting thin copper sheeting. There are small radii, too small and tight for snips. I was thinking about using 2 pcs of plywood to sandwich the copper with. Has anyone had experience cutting it this way ? Is there a metal cutting blade for a scroll saw ?
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A woodworking blade should be able to cut thin copper. Sandwiching it sounds like a good idea, assuming you use 1/4" or less plywood, although probably not absolutely needed.
Jess.S
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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I have done quite a bit of copper tooling. That's 5 mil thick. Don't know how thick yours is, but hefty scissors worked for me, and even a paper cutter will give you nice results on very thin stuff.
Copper is easy to work with. I'd try some scissors.
Steve
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How big are the holes/radii? A scroll saw should work. I would try sandwiching the copper like you thought.
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R. Pierce Butler wrote:

Some of the holes are 1/2 in dia. I've tried aircraft snips & it's a bit hard cutting corners without leaving a saw-tooth edge. The copper sheeting is a little thicker than a manila folder. I don't know what the thickness is. May use a gauge tomorrow to check it. Ideally, a scroll saw would be nice, but I'm not sure if there is a metal cutting blade to use.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:
> Some of the holes are 1/2 in dia. I've tried aircraft snips & it's a > bit > hard cutting corners without leaving a saw-tooth edge. > The copper sheeting is a little thicker than a manila folder. I don't > know > what the thickness is. May use a gauge tomorrow to check it. > Ideally, a scroll saw would be nice, but I'm not sure if there is a > metal cutting blade to use.
Using your idea, create a sandwich using 9 ply Birch (1/2) and the copper sheet using screws around the perimeter to hold thing firmly together.
Drill 1/4 holes thru the 1/2 holes described above.
(Makes turning the piece relative to the blade MUCH easier)
Use a scroll saw with a standard wood blade (about 8-10 TPI) to cut out the pattern the same way my landlord makes temporary tooling to die cut gaskets using 5/8 Birch ply.
Don't rush, this is a time consuming task.<G>
When finished, trash the blade if it has become dull which is doubtful.
Have fun.
Lew
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@gmail.com says...

A scroll saw/jeweller's saw will work just fine - been there, done that (used to cut out blanks from copper sheet for enamelling). Make yourself a base out of a wee board with a keyhole shaped cutout (hard wood) that you can clamp to a table or screw down on a bench, then cut the copper on that. No need for the sandwich.
http://www9.yatego.com/images/415d0d34dd5002.8/ls-tischchen-klein.jpg
http://www.gerstaecker.de/Laubsagetischchen.htm
-P.
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there is little difference between cutting soft metals and wood. All you need is more teeth per inch and more time.
What is wrong with a metal cutting scroll saw blade?
http://woodworker.com/cgi-bin/FULLPRES.exe?PARTNUM 7-553&LARGEVIEW=ON
I used to have some metal blades for my ancient Delta. They might be around somewhere.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

if the cuts are for interior curves, i.e. the disk is discarded and where the disk was cut from is the finished product, rough cut or drill out and then use a small drum sander on a hand grinder and grind to your lines.
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For simple round holes in thin copper, you can use a punch. Don't have one? Make one. Steel tubing of the appropriate size, sharpened by tapering one end with a grinder or a file.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Could you not get various sizes of square tubing and grind an edge on all sides so its razor sharp and then use it as a punch to cut the copper through?
--
Sir Benjamin Middlethwaite




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If the copper is a bit thicker than a manila folder, then I figure it is between .020 and .060 inches thick. That is going to be a tough punch.
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Copper's pretty soft, actually...
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Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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R. Pierce Butler wrote:

Them figures are not that thick and give you 100to1 it'll cut through copper plate/tin of that thickness. Copper is an easy material to cut and dent.
--
Sir Benjamin Middlethwaite




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Cutting thin metal on a scroll say is common. Blades are commonly available. http://www.mikesworkshop.com/blades.htm

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

if it's thin enough a sharp knife and a firm steady hand will do it
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

rough cut then sand to final shape on a small belt sander or disk sander
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Even just one (underneath) is adequate, with a biit of DS tape to hold it down This may make things easier to see.
Scroll saws have plenty of suitable blades.
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I've done some really intricate patterns in thin copper using a bandsaw with a thin blade. Enclosed cuts were done on a scroll saw. If you are making multiples of the same pattern, a sandwich is the way to go. I found that I could make a sandwich with four sheets of copper and five sheets of luan/doorskin/etc. My favorite way of keeping everything together was using a low grab spray adhesive like 3M 77. Coat all surfaces. If your pattern is delicate, don't pry the sandwich apart. Instead throw the sandwich in a container of thinner and let the thinner dissolve the adhesive. Works like a charm.
Paul
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Why would you need more than a top and bottom sheet of plywood? More than that seems wasteful. The only sheets that will get deformed by the cutting action are the top and bottom sheets of copper.

I can see using the spray and solvent for small pieces, but if they're too big to fit in say a cereal bowl, that also seems wasteful and I avoid solvents whenever possible.
Whenever I've had to cut multiples I've used a top and bottom sheet of cheap paneling or plywood, screwed the sandwich together in waste areas and clamped the perimeter if it's large.
The tight radii should be drilled out to the exact size so there's no need to run the saw into the tightest part of the curves. Bimetal hole saw for anything over 1/2".
R
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