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Anyone trimmed fenders with a plasma cutter?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by muddin4fun, Dec 7, 2001.

  1. muddin4fun

    muddin4fun 3/4 ton status

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    How did that do? I have access to one, but I don't really want to cut the inner fender and outter at the same time, ya know?

    Don't hit me, Mr. Moderator... I'll go back on topic... I swear![​IMG]

    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.geocities.com/muddin4fun79blazer>www.geocities.com/muddin4fun79blazer</a>
     
  2. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    I think it would do a nice job, but I have only used one once to cut thicker metals....

    A cut-off wheel would probably work pretty decent or an air nibbler!

    Mike

    <font color=green>"1024x768x256... Sounds like one mean woman."</font color=green>

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  3. Jeff427

    Jeff427 1/2 ton status

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    We used one to trim the fenders on MUDZILLA, and it worked great. It leaves nice clean edges, with minimal burning of the paint (compared to a torch), and since you have to touch up the edge anyway, the burning isn't much of an issue. You do have to cut the inside layer seperately from the outside. It is a lot faster than any of the other methods we have tried.

    <font color=purple>Jeff427</font color=purple>

    <a target="_blank" href=http://lyonsdesign.bizhosting.com>Lyons Design</a>
     
  4. muddin4fun

    muddin4fun 3/4 ton status

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    Cool. [​IMG]

    I'm trimming the fenders before I'm painting it. I just didn't know how hot they got. I had planned on trimming it (not just the corners...a little more...sorta like Steve's fronts or Rene's front) and then beat the inner fender back and tack weld it to hold it. I didn't know if that plasma cutter would punch through and do something I didn't want it to do to the inner fender, ya know?

    Don't hit me, Mr. Moderator... I'll go back on topic... I swear![​IMG]

    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.geocities.com/muddin4fun79blazer>www.geocities.com/muddin4fun79blazer</a>
     
  5. 502Burban

    502Burban 1/2 ton status

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    Wow, thanks for the great idea, Muddin![​IMG] I'm just about to cut my brand-spankin' new GM fenders, and wasn't sure how I wanted to do it. Seems like there's lots of ideas, but none that are easy, fast and clean.

    I have access to a plasma cutter and using it to cut the fenders never even crossed my (alleged) mind.[​IMG] You just showed me the light.

    Thanks again,

    Robb
    '73 GMC Suburban - 502DFI
    <a target="_blank" href=http://community.webshots.com/user/robbrj>community.webshots.com/user/robbrj</a>
     
  6. muddin4fun

    muddin4fun 3/4 ton status

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    I was talking to Rene in PM's and he said to use like an aluminum measuring stick and clamp it so it'll give you a guide (that is, if you are doing as much as I am.). And to use a big black marker.

    Don't hit me, Mr. Moderator... I'll go back on topic... I swear![​IMG]

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  7. K10ANDYKHAMNIC

    K10ANDYKHAMNIC 1/2 ton status

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    i tried to use my plasma to cut off my rockers and i didnt like how it did ... remember to wear your welding helomet ! its thesame as welding .

    Kick It In The Firewall !!
    O R D's axles
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  8. 502Burban

    502Burban 1/2 ton status

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    Good ideas from Rene, as usual. I just got off the phone with my friend who has the plasma cutter. He's done most of the welding on my Suburban, since I've never learned (I know, I should[​IMG]). He said that we would probably have to do the inner and outer panels separately, but that it should work just fine.

    I'm jazzed; he owns the big TIG welder and the plasma cutter, but can't use them 'cause he lives in a condo without 220V outlets. I'm having one installed in my garage next week so he can use them in exchange for work on my truck. Next up: a Stainless Steel exhaust system![​IMG]

    Robb
    '73 GMC Suburban - 502DFI
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  9. 82TOYLB

    82TOYLB Registered Member

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    My brother used a plasma cutter to trim the bed of his toyota. Definitely use guides, a plasma cutter is way too easy to shake and that will cause wavy cuts that are hella ugly. Will also burn just a tad, way better than a torch. Remember, USE GUIDES!!!
    Michael.

    82 Toy LB with Marlin, locked, 36's,38's,35's depending on month/mood. 79 K5 with 3/4 ton running gear, 36's.
     
  10. laketex

    laketex 3/4 ton status

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    I used a torch cutting my inner fenders last week. Yeah I know, hella messy but I didn't want to mess with the cut off wheel. You can always grind it down a little bit too. Cut off a little less than you want, then hit it with the sander.

    Sherman, Tx
    <font color=red>The blazer's almost on the road....anyone got tree fiddy?</font color=red>
     
  11. POWERMAD

    POWERMAD 1/2 ton status

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    Using guides is the only way to make a smooth cut.
    Just use the right tip.
    There are several different tips for a plasma cutter.
    The one I use is specificly for running against a guide.
    Hold it flush with the metal and zip it off.
    I use it on stainless fenders all the time and it looks like it was cut off in a brake.
    A coule of minutes with a file and it is good to go.


    <font color=green> Too bad ignorance isn't painful </font color=green>
     
  12. outlaw612

    outlaw612 1/2 ton status

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    Its not the same as welding, all you need it to use dark safety glasses.

    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.geocities.com/outlaw613/K5.html>http://www.geocities.com/outlaw613/K5.html</a>
     
  13. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Be careful when you do it. Need to check how much crap (pine needled/leaves) are packed into the lower edge of the fenders. Any junk that lands on the cowel between the windsheild and hood ends up finding it's way into the fender and there isn't a hole big enough for it to come out low. You can pull the inner fender and get at it that way.
    When I did mine I cut it 3/4 of an inch long. I then took some slip joint plyer and slowly made a new fold for the fender lip. once I got it bent over at a 45deg angle I took a 2lb sledge and tapped it over to a 90deg. Leave the inner part of the fender long also. I fold it over in a simular manner and then welded it back so the fender got back the strength it lost when the front was cut free from tha back. Now mine is not cut back ans much as most. I'm cut back to where the inner fender bolts to the exterrior fender.

    Women dig dents and flat paint!
    coloradok5.com/gallery/Grim
    75 Jimmy, Dollar
    Grim-Reaper
     
  14. K10ANDYKHAMNIC

    K10ANDYKHAMNIC 1/2 ton status

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    sure dude whatever you say . i guess i dont work in a welding and machining shop thats been around for 55 +years ...... phooey ....

    Kick It In The Firewall !!
    O R D's axles
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  15. outlaw612

    outlaw612 1/2 ton status

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    I work as a welder and own a welder and plasma cutter. Yes the plasma cutter has a bright enough arc to hurt your eyes, but a O/A torch does also if you dont wear dark glasses. Niether of them are near as severe as a welding arc.

    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.geocities.com/outlaw613/K5.html>http://www.geocities.com/outlaw613/K5.html</a>
     
  16. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Cutting glasses...#4 or #5 lens is plenty for a plasma cutter. Of course I've only used a plasma about 600 times in the last few years...[​IMG]

    Rene

    <font color=green>Dyslexics of the world...UNTIE!</font color=green>
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  17. 78Jimmyish

    78Jimmyish 1/2 ton status

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    As usual you're right, Rene. I'll put in my 2 cents and agree - nowhere near as severe as a welding arc. I use a 10-11 shade in my welding shield, but only a shade 5 pair of goggles for plasma and torch cutting. Shade 5 ain't a whole hell of a lot darker than a dark pair of sunglasses.
     
  18. muddin4fun

    muddin4fun 3/4 ton status

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    Well...I'm borrowing a guys welding helmet that darkens automatically and it varies how dark it gets to how bright it is. Even a light will darken it some. It's a pretty cool helmet!

    Don't hit me, Mr. Moderator... I'll go back on topic... I swear![​IMG]

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  19. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I like those helmets...[​IMG]&lt;smilie with cutting glasses

    Rene

    <font color=green>Dyslexics of the world...UNTIE!</font color=green>
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  20. 78Jimmyish

    78Jimmyish 1/2 ton status

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    I used one of those helmets when I was learning how to weld. It didn't darken variably depending on the light level, but it did auto-darken when you struck your arc. I've read some bad things about those helmets - there is an ever so slight delay before the helmet darkens and I've heard that long term that adds up. I dunno if there's any truth to that or not, but I use a regular Jackson mask now.
     

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