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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 03-15-2019, 11:15 AM   #1
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Default Nibbler pros/cons for cutting sheet?

I may be making a couple fuel cells from 2 & 3mm aluminum in the near future. Wondering if I should invest in a nibbler for cutting shapes from a larger sheet. I have a couple bandsaws, sawzall, jigsaw already. Obviously cut off wheels too, but not ideal for cutting aluminum. If it was all straight cuts, I'd get a small shear, but I doubt I'll be that lucky. Thoughts?

Also, air or electric nibbler?

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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 03-15-2019, 01:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: Nibbler pros/cons for cutting sheet?

shapes? nibblers are good...


for straight cuts tho.. i'd use a table saw.
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 03-15-2019, 01:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Nibbler pros/cons for cutting sheet?

I have one, pneumatic. It's great when you need it, but I've found that to be a pretty rare thing.

It's probably good to have one in your toolbox, but I'd be reaching for the bandsaw first.

This is a good Harbor Frieght tool, IMO.

Pros:
Stupid easy to use, no risk of cutting off limbs or digits.
Supported cut, no significant vibrations from oscillation.
Easy to cut tight angles (vs a bandsaw).

Cons:
Wide kerf.
Very limited use, unless you generally work with a lot of thin gauge sheet.
Can't easily handle bends.

For thin alum I'd go for pneumatic over electric. If you want to do stainless in the future electric may be able to provide more torque, but I wouldn't trust a HF for electric.

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Quote:
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 03-15-2019, 05:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: Nibbler pros/cons for cutting sheet?

I don't generally consider 2/3mm (.080-.120") sheet thin.

I'm really just considering it, because:

a) I'm considering making best use of a full sheet of material. I won't be able to maneuver the full sheet around my saws in the shop.

b) I'm hoping it cuts faster than the bandsaw.

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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 03-15-2019, 05:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: Nibbler pros/cons for cutting sheet?

Just looked up the HF one, it does 16ga (1/16", .0625") max.

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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 03-15-2019, 05:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: Nibbler pros/cons for cutting sheet?

Yeah, .08 is getting on the high end of what any of em can do for alum and .120 is probably out of the question for anything on the market.
My bad, I didn't see you had mentioned sizes in the OP.

If you've got a full sheet and have a nest of parts layed out and ready to go, you might consider outsourcing to a laser or waterjet shop.

Hypermotard 1100S the weight-shavening.
Bandit 1200 cafe/fighter that will never get finished at this rate.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poopie View Post
Everything should be turbo'd, and what the fuck is a budget?
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 03-15-2019, 06:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: Nibbler pros/cons for cutting sheet?

Sounds like I'll either have to reconsider .063 material, or use a jigsaw/cutoff wheel. I don't want to waste time digitizing files and nesting for blanking since both cells will be one-offs and I plan to hand trim/fit/weld all the pieces from card stock templates.

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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 03-15-2019, 08:42 PM   #8
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Default Re: Nibbler pros/cons for cutting sheet?

What about a handheld jigsaw?

Hypermotard 1100S the weight-shavening.
Bandit 1200 cafe/fighter that will never get finished at this rate.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poopie View Post
Everything should be turbo'd, and what the fuck is a budget?
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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 03-15-2019, 10:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: Nibbler pros/cons for cutting sheet?

I have one, it just seems such a crude way of doing it. It could chew up smaller sections.

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Old Streetfighter Motorcycle Forum Post 03-15-2019, 11:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: Nibbler pros/cons for cutting sheet?

Plasma cut it in sections that will be manageable in the bandsaw? I cut a lot of sheet metal at work, but obviously nothing near this thickness. Had a pair of nibbler shears once and thought the were sloppy. They really chewed the metal up. Now my handheld is just a mini shear. One small reciprocating blade. Cuts like butter, curves easily and leaves a smooth edge when fed right. But it wouldn't touch the stuff your talking about.
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