How to cut a metal roof?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by sue currin, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. sue currin

    sue currin Well-Known Member

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    I need to cut a 10" x12' long piece of metal roof for the cabin. I have some tin snips. Is this the best thing to use? Can I use anything else that is not a specialty tool.
     
  2. mwhit

    mwhit Well-Known Member

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    Turn your skillsaw blade (if you have one) over so the teeth are going backwards (opposite from how they usually go) and it will cut the tin...
     

  3. farmergirl

    farmergirl Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have a plywood blade for my circular saw that I use backwords in the method described above. Works like a charm, but wear goggles!
     
  4. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    Mwhit is probably right, however I have and would just buy a metal cutting blade that fits a skillsaw (71/4 inch). Recently bought some at $2.50 each....no big deal, cut away.....Tennessee John
     
  5. sue currin

    sue currin Well-Known Member

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    So the saw backards works on tin like it does on plexyglass? cool.
     
  6. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    Use a circular saw: the saw blade on backwards works, so does a metal cutting blade. Be prepared for lots of sparks and noise.

    PS: don't wear a nylon jacket while doing this. Don't ask me how I know.
     
  7. arabian knight

    arabian knight Miniature Horse lover Supporter

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    I would get a Metal cutting blade for the skill saw. Those work GREAT. I have cut many a steel siding and roofing with it as well as metal bars steel rods square tubing you name it. those metal cutting blades for skill saws are just the ticket.
     
  8. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    if it on a cabin why not just overlap it instead of cutting it
     
  9. BigBoy

    BigBoy No attitude here...

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    The reversed blade method works great, but... !!DO NOT!! use a carbide tipped blade if you decide to use this method. The carbide tips are brazed on and can be ripped off and you don't want them flying around at circular saw blade speeds.
     
  10. TNHermit

    TNHermit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    AMEN
    Was jus gonna say the same thing!
     
  11. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    For one piece, the tin snips are the way to go. If you are doing a whole roof full, the circle saw will save your arm. :) The saw will leave a ragged edge tho, much more than the snips.

    --->Paul
     
  12. PyroDon

    PyroDon Well-Known Member

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    remeber to paint the edge after cutting.
    Id use the saw . a 12ft cut with tin snips is a royal pain , you'll loose a lot of bloof and the cut wont be straight . If you had eletric sheers or an nibblers fine but snips you better pass. you can however use the snips or a gand grinder to smooth up the saw cut edge
     
  13. tiogacounty

    tiogacounty Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget hearing and eye protection. This particular technique will damage your hearing, it is incredibly LOUD. There is one other way to do this that I found facinating. A few years back I was in the jungle, building houses in a remote area of the Phillipines. We were nailing tin roofing up with very little material and very few tools. We needed to rip a sheet. Two locals laid the sheet flat on the ground, and sandwiched the cut between two 2X4s. Next they took a long piece of tie wire and wound the ends around two small pieces of scrap wood ,as handles. They stood at each end and pulled the wire up and through the sheet while standing on the wood and walking forward. It was a bit like cutting a block of cheese with a wire cutter. The cut was fairly clean and dead straight. I would only do it in a real crunch, but the other choice, at the time, was a hammer and chisel. One amazing part of building in third world countries is the fact that the average guy knows how to do amazing things with little, or nothing. Over the years I have been taught dozens of tricks like this.
     
  14. fantasymaker

    fantasymaker Well-Known Member

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    Just use a boxcutter or sheetrock knife score it and bend it till it breaks
    heck even a pocket knife will do.....
     
  15. Ramblin Wreck

    Ramblin Wreck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We usually reverse the blade on the circular saw, but sparks do fly. Wear goggles, and if you are doing a lot of cutting, you may want ear protection too. It gets loud.
     
  16. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    The manufacturers always recommend a shearing action like snips over a cutting action of a saw. The tearing of the metal with a saw makes a rough corrosion prone edge. I just borrowed a Malco turbo shear from a friend that is made for cutting tin for a roof. It attaches to a drill and cuts quickly.
     
  17. Rockin'B

    Rockin'B Well-Known Member

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    I use my sawzall with a metal blade in it.
     
  18. Rockin'B

    Rockin'B Well-Known Member

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    Have also used a die grinder.
     
  19. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    Long thread here, just got to repeat, take RockinB's advice and buy a metal cutting 7-1/4 blade to do the job....Yes a die grinder is also an excellent choice, however most folks own circular saws. I have used tin snips and cussed a lot. Spend the $2.50 and the metal cutting blade at any hardware store....Tennessee John