Brass is one of the best metals you can use to go along with woodwork. It is easy to work with and used in many things, from musical instruments to knife handles. However, the unique features are among the things that make it challenging to cut depending on the form of the metal.
For example, sheet brass cuts are much different from brass tubes, and also the tools needed may differ from your regular hand tools.
In our guide, you can learn all the tips for how to cut brass sheet metal using a paper cutter or tin snips, and how to hold the brass tube, or even make curved cuts.
By the end, you’ll see much of the advice can be used to cut aluminum, another material that is soft and pliable. (Learn How To Cut MDF)
Can You Cut Brass With Grinder?
Grinding is a technique for smoothing and shaping metal. A coarse grinding wheel is employed to get the task done quickly when working with hard metals.
Aluminum and brass, for example, are soft metals that quickly fill the pores in the grinding wheel, and as pores fill, they get hot and can cause the cutting wheel to break up.
- A rotary tool with a fine blade or sanding attachment is ideal as a specific brass grinding wheel can be prohibitively expensive.
- Fit the sanding accessory onto the shaft and lock it in position.
- Cover the edges of the open jaws of your bench vise with rags to protect the metal as you get ready to cut brass pipe.
- Insert your brass or aluminum piece into the cloth-covered jaws and carefully tighten it to hold your piece in position.
- Lower the rotary tool speed to the lowest setting and enable the power. Wait for the tool to get up to speed before moving on.
- Touch the brass, copper, or aluminum with the side of your sanding wheel attachment. Move the tip back and forth to form the metal into the correct shape.
Can You Cut Brass With a Pipe Cutter?
Brass is an alloy of zinc and copper, and although wrought-iron and galvanized steel pipe is less expensive, both lack several of brass’ advantages.
Because brass does not rust, brass tubing can be used in smaller sizes than steel pipe without losing water volume, and brass pipe are much easier to thread than steel.
What You Need
- Tape measure
- Marking pen
- Friction clamp
- Tubing cutter
- Emory cloth
Cut Brass Tubing Using Tubing Cutter
Because brass is a soft metal, it’s vital for cutting brass tubes slowly to avoid crimping or crushing them. Also, only friction clamps with wood or plastic jaws should be used to hold brass piping to prevent scarring the pipe surface.
- Measure the length of the brass pipe needed with a tape measure and mark the cut line with a marking pen or permanent marker. Allow for threading and the amount of material placed into the fittings.
- Place the length of the brass pipe in a friction clamp and tighten it until the pipe firmly sits in place. Keep the cut line only six inches from the vise to prevent bending.
- Allow the cutting blade and rollers to clear the pipe’s perimeter by opening the tubing cutter. Next, turn the tubing cutter’s T-handle slowly until the pipe is seated against the rollers and the cutting blade touches the pipe surface.
- Slowly rotate the tubing cutter around the perimeter of the pipe by turning the T-handle one-eighth to one-quarter turn clockwise. Complete one or two complete rotations until the brass pipe is cut all the way through.
- Remove burrs or brass filings using your pipe reaming tool. Also, remove flaring left by the cutter’s cutting wheel using your emery cloth on the cut’s outer edge.
If you don’t have a vise, you can place the tube in a mitre box and hold the tube in position as you clamp the miter box onto the edge of a small table.
The eye is one of the body’s most sensitive organs. Cutting in the workshop produces debris. Brass filings have the potential to damage your eyes, so wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from dust and debris.
To protect your hands while cutting, wear a pair of hand gloves.
Note: You’ve probably ended up with a sharp edge on your rod. Sand it if you want it to be smooth. It is reasons like this you need all your safety equipment.
Brass, copper, and aluminum are softer than steel, yet they can still cause nasty cuts if the shards catch your fingers or arms while brass cutting using such small hand tools.
Can You Cut Brass With a Miter Saw?
Brass is a versatile metal that complements wood, is easy to work with, and can be soldered. It can be used to make individual pieces or whole products.
Besides the above section to cut copper or brass tubing, here are all the ways you can cut other types of brass. You can see how to cut brass rod all the way to a brass sheet. (Read Best Way To Cut Drywall)
How to Cut Brass Rod
Place the wire or rod deeply into the jaws of the tool when using wire cutters, cutting pliers, or bolt cutters. Depending on the thickness, you may be able to use cutting pliers for cutting brass rod.
Wire cutters can deal with smaller wire and rod diameters, although when working with higher gauges, you may need to use a larger pair of cutting tools such as bolt cutters. This is because the pressure you can exert may not be enough on small tools, and you need to leverage something larger.
- To accomplish the cut, insert the rod as far as feasible into the jaws of any of these tools.
- Some wire cutters leave sharp, ugly ends on your cut rod. Smooth the end of the freshly cut rod using a file or sandpaper, or a grinder attachment on a multi-purpose tool.
- To cut using a hacksaw, use both hands. Extend your index finger of the hand holding the saw handle appears to be beneficial.
- Using a strong vice, place the rod to be cut.
- To reduce vibration, make the cut as close to the vice as workable.
- Begin by cutting in short strokes with the blade’s cut closest to the handle. To make each cutting stroke, use both your arms and your shifting body weight to create a groove for the blade to sit in.
- Only while pulling the saw is there a requirement for substantial downward pressure. Short, frenzied stokes are better than long, steady strokes that use the entire length of the blade.
- As you get closer to cutting through the metal, pay attention and slow down so the saw doesn’t cut some place it shouldn’t.
Cutting Brass Sheet
Cutting brass sheet with straight-cutting aviation snips is a quick and cost-effective method. Metal shears and snips can cut the brass sheet into three different shapes: right-cutting, left-cutting, and straight-cutting.
The straight-cutting variant, despite its name, may cut outside curves by cutting a circle and then continuously clipping the corners of the piece until it resembles a circle composed of straight cuts.
Using the inside of the jaws to produce the final curved cut. If precision is necessary, it’s best to cut outside the target line and then finish with a file. To prevent wobble and vibration when cutting brass sheet, it is usually sandwiched between two pieces of thin plywood.
A hacksaw can also make straight cuts in brass sheet. Clamp all three parts in a vice, sandwiching the brass between two sheets of scrap plywood.
During the cut, the wood supports the metal. If you need to see a definite line on the surface of the brass, place a sheet of plywood on the reverse. When pushing the saw, keep in mind that you should only use downward pressure.
Non-ferrous metals, such as brass, copper, or aluminum, commonly make kick plates.
A blade capable of slicing through light metals is required to cut a brass kick plate. To achieve a smooth cutting line with your rotary tool, you can use circular blades with closely spaced cutting teeth or abrasive carbon blades.
Quickly cut along your marked line on your brass sheets with your chosen brass cutting tool and sand any rough edges. (Learn How To Cut Laminate Sheets)
Cut Brass With a Jeweler’s Saw
A jeweler’s saw combined with a bench pin may cut exceedingly complicated shapes out of the brass sheet with practice. The metal on both sides of the blade is supported by the V-shaped notch in the two walls of the bench pin.
- The saw is held vertically with the handle on the bottom and the saw teeth facing away from you.
- As you make a cut, you stare down at the saw.
- First, make sure the blade is seated correctly in the saw frame and that the saw teeth are slanted down toward the handle. Make sure you have a good-quality sharp blade.
- Apply beeswax or a commercial lubricant like ‘Cut Lube.’
- Begin the cut with the metal laying flat on the bench pin and the saw at a 45-degree angle, with the top of the saw frame pointed away from you.
- Bring the saw upright perpendicular to the material being cut once a blade groove has been made.
- Don’t force the saw and use long, rhythmic strokes.
- Turn and guide the metal into the blade for cutting curves. Never put your finger in front of the blade, no matter how far away it is. These thin blades, however, are prone to breaking.
You will become a master of the jeweler’s saw if you put in a lot of practice time. You’ll almost certainly carve a delicate shape out of a brass sheet. But how do you use this one-of-a-kind cutting instrument to create a cut?
Cutting Brass Rod Using Hacksaw
- Place the rod in a vise and tighten it. Make sure the brass rod is securely held in the vise. This is how you may prevent the shaking that occurs during the procedure.
- Because the hacksaw requires two hands to operate, you must place one hand on the saw’s top and the other on the handle. Now, lightly press down on the saw and begin sawing. After a few swings, you’ll find yourself in a groove.
- After you’ve completed constructing the groove for the blade to sit in, use the hack saw to cut the brass rod down to size.
- Slow down the cutting speed of your saw blade as you get closer to the end.
Cutting Brass Using a Rotary Tool
The brass can be handled with a rotary tool equipped with the appropriate bit. So, if you’re willing to use that type of tool to cut brass sheet, you won’t have to do anything different than you would when cutting various other metals.
The most challenging part could be keeping a straight line if you have a significant cut to make.
Cutting Brass Using a Circular Saw
A handheld circular saw, which can cut various metals, can be handy for cutting brass. All you need is a sharp circular saw blade and a vise to hold the material you wish to cut.
Stopping vibration can be the most challenging part of using such a powered hand tool.