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Cutting Thick Corrugated Sheet Metal?

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  • Cutting Thick Corrugated Sheet Metal?

    So, we have have a 20'X40' old pig/hog barn on our property that is sheathed in heavy duty corrugated metal sheets. This is not the typical roofing stuff that is light and flexible that you can cut with large tin snips. This stuff is heavy duty and quite thick.

    I want to make some openings so horse/pony can get inside, and while I can remove entire panels (they run vertically), the barn is on a slope and the bottom end is a good 4' taller than the top. So the door at the bottom end, I don't want to remove the entire panel, but cut it off at a height of 8', which would be a good sized door that even my 17.2 hand senior could get through.

    So how do I cut the panel off? I have a circular saw, a reciprocating saw, a hack saw, etc. What tool is best and specifically what blades do I look for? What do you do about sparks when cutting metal with a metal blade? I have eye protection - but do you need to put something on the metal panel before cutting?

    Any ideas or suggestions appreciated.
    ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~

  • #2
    A portable grinder with a cutting wheel.
    Have a couple batteries charging.
    Get a pack of cutting wheels, may take several.
    No need to put anything on the metal, cuts it like butter.

    That is what we use to trim steel sheets and to make door or window openings in metal barn walls:

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Milwauke...0-20/202196580

    Any brand is fine.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Like this one Bluey? I'd rather have corded - we have horrible luck with battery operated drills, saws, etc. Plus, I don't have to worry about the battery running out and having extras - and it's less expensive. Is this the right blade to get?

      https://www.lowes.com/pd/DEWALT-4-1-...rinder/3808459

      https://www.lowes.com/pd/DEWALT-Alum...-Wheel/1051371
      ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by 4LeafCloverFarm View Post
        Like this one Bluey? I'd rather have corded - we have horrible luck with battery operated drills, saws, etc. Plus, I don't have to worry about the battery running out and having extras - and it's less expensive. Is this the right blade to get?

        https://www.lowes.com/pd/DEWALT-4-1-...rinder/3808459

        https://www.lowes.com/pd/DEWALT-Alum...-Wheel/1051371
        Yes, any of those are fine.

        The advantage of cordless is, safer and you can get into places you may have trouble with cords dangling around.

        The corded tools are definitely stronger and will keep on going as long as you want, so handy if you are working where that dangling cord is not in the way as you move around your project, plus they are cheaper.
        Corded is what we had before the new, stronger battery ones of today.

        Just be safe around those tools, they can"reach and touch someone" if you are not very careful, always.
        The friend building our arena had that happen when his grinder slipped when trimming a purlin.
        He had to get stitches on his hand, lucky he didn't lose some fingers.

        Comment


        • #5
          Some of the new battery angle grinders (4.5" wheels) do great. And for your project I bet one of those with a 4 amp/hour battery is more than enough. Use metal cutoff wheels.

          When building bigger buildings, I use a 7" angle grinder with metal cutoff wheels to cut corrugated steels (I can cut 5 or 6 sheets at once). It is loud so wear hearing protection as well as a face shield for flying metal and when a cutoff wheel shatters.

          Comment


          • #6
            I have a metal cutting blade for my circular saw which works quite well.
            "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
            Thread killer Extraordinaire

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
              I have a metal cutting blade for my circular saw which works quite well.
              That works better for sheets on a flat surface, before you put them up.

              Once up on the walls and roof, circular saws are considerably harder to handle.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                I agree that a cordless is a more versatile tool. Its probably been 10 years since we bought something cordless and I'm sure the technology has improved... but we have a Black & Decker budget right now! LOL The mid-range corded grinder is like $50, the cordless is over $100 and up - and with many, that doesn't even include the battery OR charger!

                I did a search, and our cordless system is an 18V B&D and they don't make a grinder - too bad, because we have lots of batteries and a new charger.

                And YIKES to the wheel shattering! That does not sound good. So, no cutting with the grinder alone on the farm - this requires adult supervision!
                ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by Bluey View Post

                  That works better for sheets on a flat surface, before you put them up.

                  Once up on the walls and roof, circular saws are considerably harder to handle.
                  Well, I could mark the panel, take it off entirely, cut with my circular saw, them nail it back up? We do have a really good corded circular saw. That way, I'd only have to buy a new saw blade for metal.

                  The sheets are one piece from the ground to the eve under the roof.
                  ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 4LeafCloverFarm View Post

                    Well, I could mark the panel, take it off entirely, cut with my circular saw, them nail it back up? We do have a really good corded circular saw. That way, I'd only have to buy a new saw blade for metal.

                    The sheets are one piece from the ground to the eve under the roof.
                    That is a lot of extra work.

                    You can cut where they are with the circular saw with the right metal blade, just be super careful handling those saws higher up.

                    How much of that do you need to cut?
                    For a little, most anything will do, even by hand with a hacksaw.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      we have a plasma cutting torch (left over from the days of having an overhead door company) that makes short work of cutting through steel .

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by clanter View Post
                        we have a plasma cutting torch (left over from the days of having an overhead door company) that makes short work of cutting through steel .
                        A plasma torch might be handy, but that would be way out of budget and I do try to not give my husband tools that are flammable or have a flame. He's limited to the lighter on the stick for our BBQ grill. I'd need a number of cocktails to be around him with a torch...
                        ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          We used our circular saw with the blade on backwards. Because the carpenter/ builder said to do it that way. It worked, but I’m no expert.

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