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  1. #1
    Platinum Member Syncro's Avatar
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    Default cutting torch under water

    I have a large picture outline that I want to cut into an 1/8" steel plate, but I'm afraid of the torch heat warping the 30" dia thin metal and ruining it. Brainstorm [img]/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img] would imersing the plate in a shallow tub of water, say 1/4" of water on both sides, and cutting in the water bath work? Anybody try using an oxy-actelyene torch under water?

    I know that a plasma cutter would be best but I don't own one and really don't want to invest in something for a one time project.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
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    Kubota L3830 03: RTV 900

    Default Re: cutting torch under water

    you could send it out some where and have it cut with a water jet or cut it with a saber saw (metal cutting blade).

  3. #3
    Elite Member
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    Iuka Mississippi USA
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    3550 Fard Backhoe and a 1948 Farmall Cub,

    Default Re: cutting torch under water

    Syncro a trick taught to me long ago by a fitter/welder was to get a small water pump like out of a water fountain and let it cirulate water over the top of the plate as near the cut as you can prefreably1/2 inch. even a thin layer wouldnt hurt on the cut as the oxygen will remove the water. I tried using it this technique but lettin the part rest in a shallow pan. When I cut through I had hot water splash on me. I just use this for welding thing sheets but I us e the flwing water trick alot.

  4. #4
    Super Member Dargo's Avatar
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    Default Re: cutting torch under water

    As deerlope said, if you have a metalworks place, a waterjet does an excellent job. We have a local sheetmetal place that has a great waterjet. I thought it would be incredibly expensive to have something cut out, but it really wasn't. you may want to try that if you want precision.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member Syncro's Avatar
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    Default Re: cutting torch under water

    I thought about using a film of water on top, in fact I have a wet tile saw that uses such a small pump. I have a smaller piece of scrape that I'll try it on. I think you're right about not using a tub, hot water splashing back would be a problem.

    As for the other suggestions abouit having it done, I guess thats always an option, but I kinda wanted to actually make this myself. It will be the center piece on an iron gate we're having fabricated for our driveway entrance.

    I never thought about using a sawsall with a metal cutting blade, probably use up a whole lot of blades. Might just give that a try too, although I kinda wanted the rough, rustic looking cut of a torch though.

  6. #6
    Silver Member
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    Central Indiana
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    Jepe 354

    Default Re: cutting torch under water

    I cut and welded 1/8" diamond plate to fit around my jeep body using a jigsaw and Lenox blades. The jigsaw was a heavy duty DeWalt that rocks the blade forward and backwards. I tried several different blades and found the more expensive metal cutting Lenox blades would last 4 or 5 times longer and do a better job. I could get about 5 feet of really good cut with one blade. I tried the cutting torch first and found I was not able to get a straight enough cut to make a clean weld on the body, plus it did distort the metal somewhat. It might not be the fastest method, but it does a good job. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  7. #7

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    Default Re: cutting torch under water

    Why not look into the metal cutting circular saw at Sears.It's a twin blade saw

  8. #8
    Platinum Member JohninCT's Avatar
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    Struck Magnatrac 6000, Kioti DK40SE

    Default Re: cutting torch under water

    Would a die grinder with metal cutting wheel be a possibility? If you might be looking to invest in a new toy (er tool [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]) for this and possible future projects you might think about a heavy duty sheet metal nibbler. They are pretty pricey though. One of the cheaper ones I saw was a Makita on Northern Tool for up to 10 gauge steel for around $375. Others I saw were in the $1000 range.

    John

  9. #9
    Platinum Member Syncro's Avatar
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    Default Re: cutting torch under water

    All good suggestions, thanks. I'll try a few different methods and let you guys know how it turned out. Maybe a combination of all of the above will be the ticket.

    Gotta say I've been thinking about buying a plasma cutter. I see Harbor Freight has them starting abt ~$500. Wonder how much a guy would use somehting like that. I've always cut with a torch, and really never messed with thin steel or sheet metal. Well... mother's day is coming up, I suppose I could always get the wife one! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]




  10. #10
    Super Member Highbeam's Avatar
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    Default Re: cutting torch under water

    That 1/8" sheet will likely warp if you get it too hot in one place. I've warped 1/8" material with a plasma cutter too so I wouldn't assume that would be the ticket. Water and a plasma cutter is no good, electrocution.

    The only way to assure that you don't heat warp the material is to not use heat. I have had great luck with a regular old jigsaw fitted with metal cutting blades. Basicly a power hacksaw.

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