Tidying up a metal cut.


Old 11-02-17, 02:23 AM
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Tidying up a metal cut.

So i have this conundrum; https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/...racket-kp.html

I am BruceBanner and I now have that exact L Plate. I need to make the cut as pictured ie shorten the Plate. I have the hack saw (hax saw?) and a guide to make a straight or angled cut, but what I need to figure out is how to finish the cut off nicely. It is imperative that it has no sharp edges nor small flakes of metal that will ongoing flake off. It needs completed and smoothed off, as well as aesthetically perhaps coloured black to match the rest of the frame.
With a small job like this can you just make the cut, file it down, smooth out the edges of the cut and then visit local hardware store and get some black metal paint to match and paint over?


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Old 11-02-17, 03:53 AM
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Short answer yes, without knowing more about what it is for.
Old 11-02-17, 03:58 AM
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It can be difficult to get a straight cut with a hack saw, how long of a cut do you need to make? Is the metal steel? aluminum? something else?
Old 11-02-17, 05:05 AM
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Your "L plate" appears to be a camera acessory mount that attaches to the 1/4" screw mount.

In the absence of any power tools to make a square cut you should be able to do a reasonable job with a hack saw.
Presumably you are working with steel so a file and sandpaper would clean up the cut nicely.
It is likely that black metal spray paint in a semi gloss or flat finish might closely match the other hardware.
Old 11-02-17, 05:41 AM
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Thanks for the quick replies, much appreciated everyone.

Yes, the bracket is for camera equipment, it's called an L Plate. It's purpose is to be mounted onto the base of the camera, it allows for quick attachment and release for 'Arca Swiss' Tripods. The shape is L because it allows you to mount the camera in Landscape mode or Portrait on top of the Tripod.

This particular bracket is 'universal', meaning it is generic and not meant for any particular camera make or model. Some that are specific cost a lot, like almost a couple hundred bucks, the one I showed in the link that I have is just a $20 lump of metal

My camera itself does not have a specific L Plate made for it so I have to go down this route.

Cutting a section off it will allow me to fix it to the base of the camera indefinitely and give access to the battery compartment (the most commonly frequently accessed part of a camera), currently part of the L bracket covers the compartment, hence the cut.

I need the cut to be semi 'tied' up. If you can imagine a cut like that left raw, and tiny flakes of metal fall off it now and then, it's only a matter of time till a fleck scratches a lens, so I want to minimize that from occurring. I've really only worked with wood, make a cut and use sand paper. Whenever I have cut steel before (such as making a fly screen frame) it wasn't overly important to tidy up the edges.

This time I want to do a nice job, its going to be attached to a $1500 camera, so I want it to look nice as well and not something that brings the tone down of the device =)

So... I make the cut how I see fit (a 45 degree angle might be better than straight through...), and then just file it? With what? Do I also use sandpaper? If so any special kind? What grit etc.
And then you reckon black spray paint or something? If I take it down to my local hardware/paint store, they should be able to get a close match to the brackets shade of black hopefully with their tech...
Old 11-02-17, 05:44 AM
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After cutting I'd file it smooth and then hit it a lick or two with 120 or 150 grit sandpaper. Not sure I'd get obsessed with a perfect match to the paint.
Old 11-02-17, 05:59 AM
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and then just file it? With what?

With a file... They are available in the tool section of home centers and hardware stores. A fine tooth, single cut, flat or mill file can give you a smooth finish.

The bracket you are cutting is likely anodized aluminum. If you paint it you'll have to do the whole thing to get the color and texture to match but then you'll have the trouble of paint scratching and flaking off. You can use a black magic marker to color the shiny exposed metal. It will rub off with use but it's easy to touch up.
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