How to cut tin for crafts : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I've got a lot of extra tin from barns around here, and I have seen a lot of nice craft projects done with tin. But I can't figure out how they get those nice clean cuts- I have tried tin snips and the results are awful (and I end up sore from the effort!) Any suggestions? Joy

-- Joy (, October 08, 2001



The old time tinsmiths had sets of snips. Usually there would be at least four snips in a set. Some cut curves to the righ and some cut to the left and so on. Most of us today have only one kind and we usually do not do so well. It is because we do not have the right set of tools. I am not sure where one might buy the snip sets.

-- Ed Copp (OH) (, October 08, 2001.

-- tin snip sets (, October 08, 2001.

more snips

-- Rose (, October 08, 2001.

Tin snips are still the answer, when they are sharp and correctly tensioned; start at a junk shop or flea market and get the oldest pair you can find, make sure the jaw sections are straight and without large nicks. Take them home, put the jaw section (one side at a time)in a vice, take a fine groove file, hold it with both hands and start at the pivot area and push it towards the tip with heavy pressure tilting the file about 7 degrees down from perpendicular to the bypass area of the jaw, stroke until the nicks are gone and you have a shiney "new" metal edge; repeat at the other edge.

Take them out of the vice, lubricate and adjust the bolt that holds them together so that there is no light comming through the area where the two jaws are in contact with each other. Readjust the bolt as needed to prevent light at contact points; at this time your snips should cut newspaper (single page); and yes this is hard on a file, it proabily won't last beyond 20 years. This is the exact same way you sharpen sissors.

Remember that the cut edge of tin is like razor blades (handle accordingly) and the snips that are curved left and right are actually known as aviation snips and sharpened exactly the same way. It is suggested that you keep different size pairs of snips for different thicknesses of tin, wear leather gloves until you get comfortable with the tools, rust is your enemy, keep 'em greased.

-- mitch hearn (, October 08, 2001.

JOY if your into hard work tin snips are the way to go. if not then buy a elect. nibbler. ithink northern hyd. has them. Bob se,ks.

-- Bobco (, October 09, 2001.

Thanks for the great ideas- I hope to gather tin tomorrow and start some projects! I intend to try both old fashioned and new fangled ideas and see what works around here best! Thanks again, Joy

-- Joy (, October 11, 2001.

I cut tin all the time with my plasma arc cutter. It will cut through tin almost as fast as you can move your hand. This tool is unbelievable, but expensive. No sharp edges either.

-- Glenn (, October 15, 2001.

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