The need to shear sheet metal can arise for a number of different purposes, from building and construction to creating sculpture. This will make it necessary to be aware of the correct methods for shearing, which will help you avoid injury or mistakes. Following these steps will enable you to cut the metal as desired:
Step 1 - Prepare
The first step necessary is to prepare to shear the sheet metal, which will involve a number of different aspects. Consider the size of the metal sheet that is to be cut, which will help you determine what method to use to make a cut. Smaller pieces of thin metal or those that require an intricate cut will often be easier to complete with a manual shear. Use a tape measure to find the dimensions needed for your purposes before marking it off with a felt-tip pen.
Step 2 - Power Shears
In many cases, you will find that power shears are sufficient to enable you to shear sheet metal. This is a hand tool that can be powered pneumatically or electrically to enable you to cut straight and curved lines in sheet metal. Make sure that you have enough space in which to work, allowing you to spread the sheet metal out as necessary. Use thick gloves to ensure a good grip and to prevent any potential injury. Carefully cut along the line that was previously drawn. This method is beneficial as it can be used on sheet metal of any size.
Step 3 - Bandsaw
A bandsaw can be used to shear sheet metal of a certain size, as large as the table allows. Wearing protective gear, switch on the saw and let it reach full speed before attempting to draw the sheet metal through the blade. Put firm pressure on the metal to avoid any movement from vibrations. This will also help to ensure that jagged edges are kept to a minimum. Where necessary, use sandpaper to tidy up the edges to avoid injury or damage.
Step 4 - Guillotine
Where precise cuts are required when it is necessary to shear sheet metal, specific machines can be used for the task. These are designed to place and secure the sheet metal to enable it to be cut. Where you have access to it, a guillotine can be used to shear sheet metal. It is also known as a squaring shear and clamps the metal in place before a cut is made. It can be operated with a foot or hand lever, which moves the blade down onto the metal in order to make the necessary cuts. The blade of these machines can be adjusted to put it at an angle that will result in different forms of cut. After the work has been completed, the edges must be rubbed with sandpaper to leave them smooth.