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Cutting Brass

How does everyone do it so cleanly?

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#1 Quilan Fett

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 11:01 PM

I use a large hacksaw, pipe cutter, and a wire cutter, and my brass cuts are horrible. I sometimes have to reshape the brass for half an hour to get it to fit into the seal. What tool does everyone use to cut it so well?
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#2 Shadow 92

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 11:15 PM

I've never worked with brass but I'm pretty sure most people use a hacksaw/woodsaw and a miter box or pipe cutters. If you're really into getting straight cuts then you would use a bandsaw or a table saw (cough, CS, cough :lol: )
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#3 Prometheus

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 11:22 PM

For straight edges, (like barrel ends) use pipe cutters. Everything else us a grinding stone in a drill press or dremel, after cutting. the grinding stone will smooth the edges. for cutting other designs, I use a dremel with a cutting disc, and it works very well. You could also use a milling machine, but I doubt you have access to one.
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#4 Gengar003

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 11:28 PM

I get a dremel cutting wheel and cut away at a ring around the brass until it goes through - this hardly deforms the end at all.

From there, I use a grinding bit to smooth it out. Depending on what it's intended for, I may then also use a polishing bit on it. (Breech brass gets its ends polished, nested brass wouldn't.)

I have been unable to get my pipecutters to cut the pipe without deforming one end, but that may be due to bad technique or bad pipecutters.
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#5 Shadow 92

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 11:31 PM

I have been unable to get my pipecutters to cut the pipe without deforming one end, but that may be due to bad technique or bad pipecutters.

I think that's normal because of brass' thin walls. All you have to do is use some sort of flaring tool. (Forgot what it's called)
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#6 Carbon

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 11:35 PM

I use a pipe cutter if I need a clean end. To keep from deforming the end, you have to go very slowly...and even then, it'll probably crimp a little. I don't have a special flaring tool...I just use a needlenose pliers that I shove in the end of the tube and twist until it's back to straight.
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#7 nerfboi

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 11:38 PM

Also, sorry to ask this question, I was planning to do FA's brass breech mod on the LS. But, how would you cut off brass to make the breech part?
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#8 Prometheus

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 11:40 PM

I have been unable to get my pipecutters to cut the pipe without deforming one end, but that may be due to bad technique or bad pipecutters.

I think that's normal because of brass' thin walls. All you have to do is use some sort of flaring tool. (Forgot what it's called)

Make sure your cutter is really sharp, like brand-new cutter sharp. It makes a huge difference.

Also, sorry to ask this question, I was planning to do FA's brass breech mod on the LS. But, how would you cut off brass to make the breech part?

Read CS's posts in FA_24's write-up. He does a very nice job, and it's fairly straightforward.

Edited by Prometheus, 24 May 2007 - 11:42 PM.

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#9 CaptainSlug

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 12:00 AM

I used a tablesaw with a plywood/OBS blade (200 tooth count) but I really don't recommend cutting brass that way if you don't have a face shield because the shrapnel is vicious.
No matter what you cut it with you're going to have to clean the edges with a stone grinding bit in a drillpress or power drill then finish with a deburring tool.
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#10 wallymaniac

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 03:38 PM

Read CS's posts in FA_24's write-up. He does a very nice job, and it's fairly straightforward.

I can't find this thread! Can someone post a link? (Yes I did search)

EDIT: I found it. I was searching for FA_24. I got it now.

Edited by wallymaniac, 25 May 2007 - 03:40 PM.

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#11 Belgianwaffle

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 07:28 PM

I just have a tube cutter and I don't have a problem.
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#12 chefdave

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Posted 25 May 2007 - 11:59 PM

Simple:

Dremel+cutting wheel+sanding attachment


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Edited by chefdave, 26 May 2007 - 12:00 AM.

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#13 CAP Blue Beret

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 08:59 AM

Also, if you are too lazy/impatient to do it yourself, you could just have the people at Home Depot cut it for you. My freind's dad was working with some brass pipes, and they did it prety well.

Edited by (CAP)_Blue_Beret, 26 May 2007 - 09:01 AM.

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#14 OfAllTheNerf

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Posted 26 May 2007 - 01:51 PM

I definitely recommend using a pipe cutter. I have found that, to make it from not crimping as much, to twist the brass around rather fast (not viciously fast) and then only tighten it a very tiny bit. Keep doing it until it comes off. I haven't cut brass alot recently, but I found that out when I last cut some brass for... hell I forget. That might have been just a weird occurance, so you'll probably find out the best combination of speed and twists.

If the ends are crimped in a little, I use the triangle-thing that pops out of the back on the cutters (don't know if they're on all of them) to flare the ends out.

If you are glueing the brass straight onto an air output, or something non-coupler'd, I would keep the end crimped, as it doesn't really matter if it is flared. Also, flaring tends to make the end uneven, because of the inability for anyone to twist and flare evenly (without he help of a powertool or something).

I always flare the ends of my (brass) barrels, to ensure a smooth exit. An exception is if it is the beggining/end of the tubing (where the brass tubing was cut before you bought it), and even then I sometimes flare the end out to make it even smoother.

I also found something interested on how to make it easier to nest brass inside of brass.

I usually use PVC couplers, nested with a CPVC coupler, on my guns. For my brass barrel in these couplers, I always have smaller brass nested inside for springers. I found that if you flare both ends of the long brass barrel and then flare one end of the nested piece makes it very easy to make sure that the nested piece doesn't go down the barrel.

And to make to that the nested piece doesn't fall out the end of the barrel, I flare both ends, and sand one end with a sanding disk (taking off alot of the flaring). I only do it enough so that it is tricky to get it into the non-nested barrel, but can still be pushed in with a little effort. That makes it so that it can't slide freely out the end.

I'm sorry if this is already known by alot of people, but I thought that maybe not everyone knew about it, so I just wanted to help someone if I can.

Hope this helps!

-OfAll'
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#15 zaphodB

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 09:54 PM

Or you could do it the old fashioned way, with a hacksaw and a file. A dremel with a sander/grindstone attatchment works if you don't feel confident enough to use a rat's tail file.
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#16 Prometheus

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 10:27 PM

Or you could do it the old fashioned way, with a hacksaw and a file. A dremel with a sander/grindstone attatchment works if you don't feel confident enough to use a rat's tail file.


Or if you want to make the cut within the next week...
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#17 Carbon

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 06:54 AM

Or you could do it the old fashioned way, with a hacksaw and a file. A dremel with a sander/grindstone attatchment works if you don't feel confident enough to use a rat's tail file.


Or if you want to make the cut within the next week...

Wow...methinks you need a new hacksaw blade.

Brass is soft, and cuts quickly. The main problem with using a hacksaw is getting the cut straight, which you can solve by using a miter box. Xacto makes a small modeling one (which comes with a fine tooth saw) which would work well for brass.
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#18 Prometheus

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 06:09 PM

Or you could do it the old fashioned way, with a hacksaw and a file. A dremel with a sander/grindstone attatchment works if you don't feel confident enough to use a rat's tail file.


Or if you want to make the cut within the next week...

Wow...methinks you need a new hacksaw blade.

Brass is soft, and cuts quickly. The main problem with using a hacksaw is getting the cut straight, which you can solve by using a miter box. Xacto makes a small modeling one (which comes with a fine tooth saw) which would work well for brass.

I wasn't implying the condition of the hacksaw, I was over-exaggerating the time difference between using a dremel and hacksaw. If that's all you have, the ok, but I would consider a dremel before even looking at my hacksaw.
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#19 nerfboi

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 08:57 PM

Another question. If you use a dremel with one of those redish disks it came with, will there be sparks flying everywhere? Sorry for the noobish question. I haven't used brass before.
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#20 firstblood

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 09:05 PM

I usually use a pipe cutter, then after im done I take this sharp triangulish pointy thing on the other side of it and move the bent in piece so its even with the pipe. Sorry if I am unclear.
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#21 Carbon

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 09:07 PM

Another question. If you use a dremel with one of those redish disks it came with, will there be sparks flying everywhere? Sorry for the noobish question. I haven't used brass before.

Nope, just a fair amount of fine metal dust.
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#22 nerfboi

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 09:08 PM

Ok. Thanks Carbon.
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#23 zaphodB

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 11:54 PM

I can cut pipe about twice as fast with a hacksaw as with a dremel. It has to do with the fact that i don't have to rotate the saw around the pipe in order to make the cut, like i do with the dremel. Also, it's easier to make a straight, unguided cut with a saw than with a dremel
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#24 Prometheus

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 03:04 PM

I can cut pipe about twice as fast with a hacksaw as with a dremel. It has to do with the fact that i don't have to rotate the saw around the pipe in order to make the cut, like i do with the dremel. Also, it's easier to make a straight, unguided cut with a saw than with a dremel


Yeah I got thinking... and for cuts that cut the tube into segments, like when you could use a pip cutter, a hacksaw is faster. But for cuts like making an LS or BS-9 breech, I find that cutting along the length with a dremel is easier. I guess it's really preference.

I've also found a mesh-type abrasive stuff, that is used for sanding works good for making a smooth, finished edge, even better than a grinding stone. It was about 120 grit.
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#25 Kalentar13

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Posted 22 October 2007 - 07:04 PM

If you have the cash, try a right angle attachment for a dremel. Mount the brass vertically, , then cut without ever having to move the brass.
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