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Last Updated: , Created: Wednesday, February 6th, 2002

Working with sheet metal.

Need to work with sheet metal? Here are a few working tips.

Sheet metal is best cut with sheet metal shears. You may not realise it but the handles of the shears are generally colour coded to help you grab the right ones. The problem is that as you cut the metal, the two pieces tend to get in the way of what you want to do. So there are special shears for cutting straight. There are ones for making a right curve, and others for making a left curve. Study the photos and you will see how the cutters are different, and you will learn the colour coding.

When you need to bend sheet metal, wide duck-billed pliers are a wonder to work with. These ones are actually in the form of Vise-Grips, allowing you to clamp them into place as you work.

You can drill a hole in sheet metal with any metal cutting drill. However if you need to drill a hole of a specific diameter, especially larger diameters than you usually have metal cutting bits for, like half an inch, you should get one of the pyramid drills. The small tip drills easily into any sheet metal and then as you advance up the pyramid, you increase the diameter by 1/16th of an inch at each level and keep the hole centred at the same time. That makes it quick and easy to install those electrical toggle switches or volume controls. Anyone working with electronics needs this bit.

Keywords: Sheet Metal, Techniques, Tools

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