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John32369

Body work

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when cutting heavier metal, a frame section for instance I will again use the right angle grinder but in this case, I score the marked lined for the cut...then use my Milwaukee  sawsall and thin bi-metal blade.  The blade follows the scored line like a slot car.  I refrain at all times of using the gas axe...I use a pneumatic shear at times especially cutting a panel for running through the bead roller

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1 hour ago, Plymouthy Adams said:

when cutting heavier metal, a frame section for instance I will again use the right angle grinder but in this case, I score the marked lined for the cut...then use my Milwaukee  sawsall and thin bi-metal blade.  The blade follows the scored line like a slot car.  I refrain at all times of using the gas axe...I use a pneumatic shear at times especially cutting a panel for running through the bead roller

I would only add a scroll/jig saw to that list for cutting curves and corners.

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How about a plazma cutter if the cost isnt too much.

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1 hour ago, dale said:

How about a plazma cutter if the cost isnt too much.

Plasma cutters are nice,but you can't always use them due to flammable fluids or material being close to where you have to cut. I prefer to err on the side of caution and use a jig saw or sawzall in places like that.

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I have personally found long years ago that a jig saw distorts the thinner metals when cutting to the point it is adding just way too much additional work to correct the poor quality cut prior to welding.  On thin sheet metal 99% of all my on body cuts and 85% off body sheet metal cuts are with the pneumatic zizz wheel.  No distortions, any gnarled edge is usually a single wipe with a file to dress for welding.   Die grinders usually do not have the torque needed for cutting wheels so if you go looking for a grinder, a right angle gives you the torque, but you also need the higher cutting speed to get longer life from the disc.  Low speed and thin disc just don't go hand in hand.

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1 minute ago, John32369 said:

Would a something like a Dewalt 4 inch side grinder with a cutoff wheel work?

Yes, absolutely will! Tight spots may be a bit more difficult, but not impossible.

Greg

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   A plasma cutter will introduce some warpage in sheet metal, altho’ not near as much as a traditional oxy/acetylene cutting torch. Cut-off wheels, short-stroke saws, etc, are by far the preferred method when dealing with sheet metal.

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I do paint and body for a living so this is regular every day stuff for me. If you are removing panels like rockers, a spot weld cutter is nice. Drill bits work too, depends on how much you money want to invest in tools. Cut off wheels on either electric or air operated tools are best for cutting out ares of rust. Also, get some tech clamps for when welding the panels back together.  I buy them from Eastwood but I believe harbor freight sells them too. They hold the pieces together great and give you a perfect gap. Good luck and remember not to rush your welding. Move around and allow the metal to cool in between.

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