Sawing a Design Out of Sheet Metal

See the tabs below for all products and tools used in this technique, plus any additional tips that may be helpful to you!

Find a shape you like, and cut it out of sheet metal with a saw. You’ll also learn how to handle a saw effectively.
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Tip 1This technique requires finesse. Avoid powering through it – let the saw blade do the work. It may be helpful to practice on a piece of scrap metal before you begin your project.
Tip 2Always hold the saw lightly in your hand and let the saw teeth do the work in the downward stroke. Use your hand simply as a guide for sawing, not for applying pressure. Beginners usually break a lot of saw blades. Don’t worry if this happens – you’ll become more proficient with practice.
Tip 3While sawing a shape, avoid cutting on the line – try sawing just outside the line. You can file the shape later. You can always remove more metal, but you can’t add it.
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Step 1

Choose a design. Digitize the image and print it onto self-adhesive label paper. Or download our image here. Printing images onto label paper makes sawing much easier.

Step 2

Cut the image out of the label leaving plenty of space around the image.

Step 3

Adhere the image to the sheet metal.

Step 4

Set up the saw frame and the bench pin.

Step 5

Lubricate the saw blade with cut lubricant. Apply it to the sides, not the teeth.

Step 6

Apply lubricant to the back of the sheet metal.

Step 7

Hold the metal so that it’s slightly off the edge of the bench pin.

Step 8

Hold the saw lightly, keeping your forearm and hand relaxed and at a 90-degree angle to the metal.

Step 9

Gently make a couple of downward strokes on the edge of the metal where you will start to saw, making a small groove in which to work.

Step 10

Slowly move the saw frame up and down, keeping it at a 90-degree angle to the metal. Move forward in the metal while following your design. (If the saw blade is not kept at a 90-degree angle, it will break. The blade is making a channel that is only as wide as the blade.)

Step 11

To turn a corner, shift the metal while slowly moving the saw up and down in place.

Tip

You cannot twist the saw and keep going in a new direction – it will snap. If it snaps, add a new saw blade, and more cut lubricant.

Step 12

Keep moving the metal while you saw in place until you have turned the corner.

Step 13

Continue to saw, following your pattern. Move slowly and carefully, and be gentle with your saw.

Step 14

Peel off the label and wipe the shape clean of residual adhesive.

Step 15

Congratulations! You have cut a design out of sheet metal.

   

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