I have anodized aluminium sheets that I’ve previously done a lot of engraving of exterior signs on. Previously, my local maker space-- in their metal shop-- had a big manual piece of equipment (not sure what it’s called) that I could easily put the sheets into, press a bar or pedal and easily slice the material to other smaller sizes and dimensions-- nice straight lines. I moved to the UK recently, and haven’t found any such places near me. I’m trying to make small garden labels/tags (to identify fruit tree varieties) and short of ordering a bunch of pre-cut blanks of those sizes, I’m trying to figure out if there are any other tools or ways for me to affordably cut the pieces I already have myself. I fear tin snips or the like will make jagged edges and I can’t think that the energy to sand would be worth it. Ideas?
In the US pre-cut blanks are very affordable, I can’t say how bad that would be for UK shipping. Chewbarka and theringlord are two sites I’d recommend looking at.
The devise you’re referring to is called a metal shear. There are other more affordable options like a guillotine sheet metal shear. But most things come with some tradeoffs, plus labor time and energy.
In the end it’s be up to you but pre-cut may well be the most cost effective and consistent method here.
Thanks for those thoughts re: suppliers… I thought it would be much easier to find blanks of the right size (and I’m not that picky) here than I’ve discovered so far… If I come up dry, I might go back to some of the US suppliers I’ve used in the past. And thanks-- I couldn’t think of the word, but shear indeed it was!
There are some threads about uk suppliers out there, maybe they have convered aluminum?
LOL, that search found this:
Everything comes back around.
Maybe a more specific search?
There’s gotta be someone out there selling this stuff in the UK.
The best all around small shop shear that I have used was called a Beverly Shear. Easy to follow straight lines but you can also do more organic shapes and curves with it. It takes more skill than a jump shear that only does straight lines, but it’s pretty easy once you figure it out.
Wow! Four years since you posted. Don’t be a stranger.
Yeah no kidding. That’s some expert-level lurking.