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Discussion Starter #1
I own a steel shipping container, and want to install some louvered vents to get some circulation in there. It's made of pretty heavy steel. How do I cut openings in it? Someone told me a sawzall would do it, but I've never used one. Would I start a hole with a drill? What kind of bit do I need?

I notice a lot of threads and sites about the cool buildings people make out of these things, but so far I haven't found a single how-to!
 

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a sawsall will do it with a metal blade in it but it may take several blades. If you have a skill saw I would buy an abrasive blade for it and cut it with that
 

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Ok, I have a skill saw, thanks. Do I use a drill to cut the starter hole? What kind of bit, and how do I start the hole (i.e. do I need to hammer a nail in to make a dent to get the bit to stay put?)?
 

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agmantoo
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Layout the hole to be cut with a very visible marker. I consider a Skill saw a rotary saw, are we on the same page? Put on a pair of safety goggles. There is no need to drill. Position the abrasive blade above the visible line, resting the front of the saw on the base plate and slowly lower the back of the saw onto the steel while holding the saw firmly with both hands. Be prepared for lots of hot sparks. Once you penetrate the steel move the saw forward very slowly cutting the desired length. Never position yourself directly behind the saw. Ear plugs would not be a bad idea either.
 

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Thank you, Am. I think I understand, but is this right: I start with the blade on the line and the "nose" of my saw down on the steel in front of the blade, and then press the back end down, so the blade penetrates until the entire base plate of the saw is flush with the steel?
 

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If you aren't used to cutting metal, make sure your clothes are all fastened up tightly, pant legs OVER your boots (nothing will teach you to dance like hot sparks down your boots)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Then eye protection and a bandana sound like a good idea, too...

So an abrasive blade is something I can get at Home Depot?
 

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Any hard wear should have them, also be aware the sparks will heat up the blade shield, to the point you can get burnt.

If there is flammable material in the area, such as dried grass, ect. Pre burn it in a controlled manor.
 

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If this is your first try at cutting holes in metal with a skill saw it might be a better idea to drill a starter hole. It will be cheaper than several blades and possible accidents.
 

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Hey.

Sawzall will do it, but will take a long time.

A welder could cut an opening with a torch.

RF
 
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