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Thread: Cutting Copper

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Cutting Copper

    I have a sheet of copper that's 1/8 inch thick or a bit less. Can I safely cut that with a bi-metal blade on a bandsaw?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    The speed of most one-speed bandsaws designed for woodworking is too fast for effective metal cutting.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Central North Carolina
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    Can you cut it? Yes. The bandsaw blade life will be shortened some, depending on how much copper that you cut, but you can cut it. Use a fine tooth blade. You can have similar results using a table saw for any non-ferrous metal by using a high tooth count carbide blade. Cutting metal on a powered saw requires more care and safety equipment than when cutting wood. Wood sawdust isn't hot when it hits you, but metal chips are going to be very hot. Full frontal protection, leather apron, long sleeves, a face shield over your safety glasses, gloves, etc. are a must. A foot switch, for when things don't go as planned, is a good idea too. My son and I have a welding/fabrication shop. In it, we frequently cut even mild steel up to 1" thick using a specially modified table saw or band saw, with a special metal cutting carbide tipped blades, and we do this safely. We've been doing it for the past 5 years.

    For a small amount of copper or aluminum, a carbide or hardened high tooth count blade will work fine, but expect the blade to dull faster than when cutting wood. Follow the personal safety equipment guide lines above and you will do fine.

    Charley

  4. #4
    I have the Evolution 14 metal chop saw and love the darn thing. I am considering purchasing this Evo saw for corrugated and sheet. I think the tracks on my FEstool would work here. Not to ride on, but against. Not cheap, but neither is material today.
    https://store.evolutionpowertools.co...hoCYSwQAvD_BwE

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Toronto Ontario
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Fritz View Post
    I have a sheet of copper that's 1/8 inch thick or a bit less. Can I safely cut that with a bi-metal blade on a bandsaw?
    Thanks
    Yes, use a fairly fine tooth blade and a piece of wood under the copper as copper is extremely soft and difficult to saw for that reason..........Rod.

  6. #6
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    A 14 or 24 TPI bi-metal bandsaw blade should be fine for 1/8" copper sheet. Alternatively, a non-ferrous blade in a table or miter saw would also work.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    I would disconnect the dust collector
    Steve Jenkins, McKinney, TX. 469 742-9694
    Always use the word "impossible" with extreme caution

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Edmonton, Canada
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    I usually use jigsaw with a proper blade for metal cutting (steel, aluminum, etc), if that's an option for you a lot cheaper to replace a jigsaw blade...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Waterford, PA
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    How about a saber saw with a metal-cutting blade and proper speed selected?

    Also, it would be quick and easy to make a temporary table surface if you have to.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Canonsburg PA
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    Copper sheet is a pretty soft metal. 1/8 sheet will cut pretty easily with most woodworking saw blades. Higher tooth counts will give you a better and more controllable cut. Good eye protection is a must.

  11. #11
    You can cut non ferrous with pretty much any blade you have in the shop. A finer toothed less aggressively hooked blade will feel smoother and not grab as much. Lubrication is your friend, as the metal likes to cling to the blade. Blade speed isn't an issue with nonferrous metals. Just like wood, adjust your feed speed.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Montfort, Wi.
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    Thank you so much for the excellent responses. I hadn't thought of putting wood under it, that makes perfect sense. Thanks again.

  13. #13
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    Sep 2016
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    It will be gummy and may clog the teeth similar to pitch in wood. Is it hard or annealed?
    Bill D

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