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Ideas on Cutting Stainless

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Ideas on Cutting Stainless

Postby rwskinner » Wed Jan 04, 2017 12:55 pm

I've cut 304L 16ga stainless and it turned out very nice. Almost dross free and the black edge pretty much wiped off the top.

Now, for a really crazy question. I have a customer that would like me to cut a few holes and the outline / profile in several sheets of 20 ga 304 stainless with a #8 mirror finish. He is really not worried about the bottom side, but would like to not damage the top side mirror finish.

Is that possible? The first thing that bothers me is the 20 ga SS and it warping however these are pretty big sheets and I use a water table so it might not be too bad but they are like 3' wide by 60" cuts for the outer profile.

The next, is the black edge. How bad will I mess up the finish?

I heard previous conversations stating folks cut polished stainless and leave the plastic protective cover on. I have no idea how that works out and if it makes a mess. I'm just exploring ideas. No laser shops around here to handle the job either.


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Re: Ideas on Cutting Stainless

Postby jimcolt » Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:57 am

If you have a Hypertherm, use the Finecut consumables, make sure your height control works, and follow the cut specs in the manual. Cut height and cut speeds.....if you follow the specs, will minimize warping and provide a good quality edge. I just cut out a 20 gauge stainless steel Kitchen hood using Finecut came out very nice. Jim Colt Hypertherm

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Re: Ideas on Cutting Stainless

Postby exapprentice » Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:54 pm

Hi Richard

I have recently cut a 1200 x 1200 mm sign from mirror finished 2mm 304 st/steel
I used book settings and 45 amp consumables with my PM45
I did remove the plastic protective layer and placed the sheet on the machine with the mirror side up
I did try some test cuts to dial the numbers in with and without the plastic, when I left the plastic on I got some really messy horrible cuts
I also tried various methods of cleaning up the mirror finish after cutting, mechanical, muretic acid, sanding sponge etc
I did not get very much dross on the top of the cut and slightly more on the backside of the cut but as the sign was mounted onto a second panel the back was not a real concern.

Quick link to my machine cutting the material ... 595862151/

Trying to finish and keep the mirror level of finish is a real pain I ended up borrowing a bit of kit used to clean up TIG welds on st/steel
Its passes a current through a brush and a very weak acid solution and it worked a treat took away any discolouration and also seemed to soften the corner slightly
Hope that helps a little
Last edited by exapprentice on Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Best Regards to all
Exapprentice :D
10'x5' DIY table / PM 45XP + M/C Torch - Trying to add 4 axis Tube cutting :(
Linux/CommandCandCNC MP3600 / PN200 / DCP-01 / PWM
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Re: Ideas on Cutting Stainless

Postby sphurley » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:11 pm

I spray the top with Mig shield spray and 99% wipes off
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Re: Ideas on Cutting Stainless

Postby rwskinner » Sat Jan 07, 2017 2:38 am

Thanks for the tips. I will see if I can find some scrap to try on.

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Re: Ideas on Cutting Stainless

Postby VPT » Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:59 pm

Clamp between aluminum sheets?

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