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Cutting sheet metal, What tool??

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Burt4x4, Dec 14, 2000.

  1. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    Howdy, I have cancer in my rockers and am gona do what DepDog and GrimReaper did. Cut them out along with the botom of the fenders and then replace with 2x3 square stock mild steel (homemade rock sliders).
    I have an air drivin cut off wheel or highspeed. I was thinking of investing in a Sawzall to do the job.
    For thoes of you that have cut sheet metal witch do you prefer...CutoffWheel (little hand held deal with a 4" wheel, air drivin) or a MillWalkee (sp?) HD Sawzall ??????

    72K5[​IMG]Led Zeppelin[​IMG]Rock ON![​IMG]
    http://www.burt4x4.coloradok5.com
     
  2. k5king

    k5king 1/2 ton status

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    i like using the little grinder,,man those things rip apart some metal,,,i do also use the sawzall to cut stuff you can't get to with the grinder,like the insides of body panels and such....the grinder may take a little longer to cut something but you won't shake your teeth out or vibrate the rest of the truck to pieces!!!!

    ANYBODY LOSE THEIR JEEP????????[​IMG]
    I JUST FOUND ONE UNDER MY BLAZER!!!![​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  3. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    I cut mine off with a cut off wheel. I took a Chalk line and poped a stripe down the side to make sure I was getting a straight cut. I have also used pin strip for the same reason. The tighter the fit the better the end results. Tripple check where you will cut for straightness before you cut. you may even want to cut it a tad long especialy at the fender openings where the body flares and test fit a few times to make sure your cut is straight before you remove the last little bit.

    Diging it in the dirt with my K5's
    Grim-Reaper
    http://grimsk5s.coloradok5.com/
     
  4. Boss

    Boss 1/2 ton status Author

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    Get the sawzall to cut the sheet metal. Grinders are for bolts and stuff. Sawzall is for sheet metal, wood or whatever (as long as you get the right blade). I bought the Super Sawzall w/ Orbital Action made by Milwaukee
    http://theboss.coloradok5.com/cgi-bin/i/images/sawzall.jpg
    This thing is a beast. Cuts the sheet metal so smooth and fast. It cuts like up to 3600 or 3800 cuts per minute (forgot). Anyways, it is costly though (retailed at $200). But I use it for so many other things than just trimming fenders. But an decent sawzall should run you about $70 to $100.
    Boss
    http://www.boss.colorodok5.com

    [​IMG]
     
  5. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Well my latest 'hacking' adventures have been accomplished using a 5" grinder and a 1/16" thick "Zipcut" disk. Took about 30 seconds to trim the front of my fenders. I cut it a little long and then just smoothed it after the majority of the tin was gone. If you use a Zipcut or any other brand of thin cutting disk make sure to wear a full face sheild. I've had these thin disks let go on me before.

    Rene

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    Ya, I would use the Sawzall on the larger items and the cut-off wheel for the rockers!

    Mike [​IMG]
    See <font color=green>EMMETT</font color=green> -&gt; http://emmett.coloradok5.com
     
  7. Cmoe

    Cmoe 1/2 ton status

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    I use to cut top and install the convertible kits on them. We started with the Sawzall to cut thru the Door post and then one of the guys I worked with made Rodney which is a grinder that we installed a cut of wheel and a stand that mad the cuts cleaner and we used a die grinder with a cutoff wheel also to cut the top radius around the windshield. They both (Sawzall and a die grinder) works great the only thing is the sawzall you'll have to do some work on the metal afterwards. Maybe grinding, Straitening of the metal if the fender binds, so on. Good luck.

    C'moe

    <font color=black>the blazer is "Back in Black"
     
  8. laketex

    laketex 3/4 ton status

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    when I did my fenders and bed bob last weekend, I used 3 tools in various places. First, I had a metal cutting circular saw which i would have loved to use for the entire thing. If it hadn't been 12V with quick to die batteries, I would have. Next came a combo of a sawzall which is difficult to get extreme control with, and a jig saw which was easy to control, just took a little longer. We don't have a cut off wheel or it might have been my fourth tool. Luck to you.

    Bryan

    [​IMG]
    Durant, Ok
     
  9. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    I used the air cutoff tool to trim my fenders. It leaves a bit of flash on the edge but it can easily be cleaned up with a grinder or file. Cuts through pretty quickly. Just be careful that it doesn't jump out of the cutting groove or you'll run it across the painted sections that you want to keep. [​IMG]

    <font color=black>HarryH3 - '75 K5</font color=black>
    http://ThunderTruck.ColoradoK5.com
     
  10. mudhog

    mudhog THEGAME Staff Member Super Moderator

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    i like useing the diegrinder (cutoff wheel) 4 cutting just my .02

    s.smith 77blazer lookin 4 mud
     
  11. bill73

    bill73 Newbie

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    My best luck has actually been with a pair of tin snips or a jig saw. The benefit of a jig saw is a thinner blade so you can make sharper turns. It also seems to shake less because of the thinner blade.



    If it was easy everyone could do it!
     
  12. BUDDY

    BUDDY 1/2 ton status

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    I used to work in an accessory shop and we'd put on cut-out flares and fifth wheel hitches all the time. My favorite tool for getting a good, clean, accurate cut is a die grinder with a 4" cutting wheel. But like it's been said, be careful with it or you could really screw up.

    My .02,

    Buddy

    I've got my dream truck and it's a 72 K-5 that is getting there!!
     
  13. realsquash

    realsquash 1/2 ton status

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  14. ftn96

    ftn96 1/2 ton status

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    <font color=red>BURT</font color=red> You already have a welder. Get yourself a plasma cutter or a good set of oxygen/accetalene tanks and torch those bastards off. Beer and torches can be much fun, you might want to practise on the wife car first, before you start on the blazer. LOL!!!! Get the torch. If you screw it up you got the welder, then all you'll need is some good fiberglass resin or bondo, and cover it up.

    I miss my Ex, but my aim is getting better!
    http://mccordhouse.freeservers.com
     
  15. Butch

    Butch 1/2 ton status

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    I like the sawzall for fenders better because any grinder with a wheel produces a lot of heat and the will ruin the paint. After cutting my fenders with a sawzall I was able to paint the exposed metal and then use door guard to cover the diff color of paint. If you use a grinder you will have to touch up your paint job. Make sure the sawzall has vereiable(sp) speed and a thin metal cutting blade.

    I thought I was wrong once,
    but I was mistaken
     
  16. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    I didn't notice any paint problems after using the cutoff wheel on my fenders. If you're using a good cutoff wheel it shouldn't create that much heat. If you're trying to cut metal using a grinding wheel, then yes, I can see where that could cause problems. [​IMG]

    <font color=black>HarryH3 - '75 K5</font color=black>
    http://ThunderTruck.ColoradoK5.com
     
  17. ryanNC

    ryanNC 1/2 ton status

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    That's weird I just used a nibbler? I just drilled a 1/2 in. hole in the fender and worked my way around. It leaves a really clean cut and you don't have to file much afterwards. I also used a die grinder, regular hand saw, medium file, and lots of patience. It turned out good though. I have pics on my site if interested?

    "need more <font color=green>cash</font color=green>"
    http://<font color=red>http://ryans1site.coloradok5.com</font color=red>
     
  18. mrivan

    mrivan 1/2 ton status

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    you can't have enough different tools when cutting any kind of metal ,where a sawsall gets clumsy an air cut off wheel or a nibbler might be perfect.I just got a plasma cutter and while theres nothing like it for fast acurate cutting unpainted sheet steel it dosn't work as good as I thought it would on painted steel..
    Mrivan.........
     
  19. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    GREAT stuff guys!!
    I have the Oxy/Accet set allready so I'm set there! Sounds like I need to get a Sawzall anyway sence it may help or work better were the high speed can't reach!!
    Now I just need to find some time and a dry day to start cuttin away[​IMG]
    Thanks!

    72K5[​IMG]Led Zeppelin[​IMG]Rock ON![​IMG]
    http://www.burt4x4.coloradok5.com
     
  20. jarheadk5

    jarheadk5 1/2 ton status

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    If you have air, an air nibbler and a diegrinder with a cutting wheel would probably work best for sheetmetal. BUT, like someone else said, a plasma cutter would work too, and you'll be able to use it for your other fabricating needs.

    [​IMG] Semper Maintenance!
     

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