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Eirrab

Best Jigsaw Blades for cutting holes in bodywork

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Hi

 

Need to fit an additional locker door and will probably be using a jigsaw to cut the hole in the outside of the van.  Any recommendations as to the best type of blades to use.  Cutting on the downstroke or the upstroke.

 

 

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What are you cutting GRP or aluminum, if aluminium drill the corners then try a Stanley knife as you'll get less distortion

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Either way I think I'd be inclined to use a large diameter good quality hole saw to cut the bulk out and then a smaller ones and finally hand saw for the finer detail.

I have this set which I find is quite good https://www.screwfix.com/p/holesaw-set-13-pieces/1511v

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1 minute ago, springtime said:

Either way I think I'd be inclined to use a large diameter good quality hole saw to cut the bulk out and then a smaller ones and finally hand saw for the finer detail.

I have this set which I find is quite good https://www.screwfix.com/p/holesaw-set-13-pieces/1511v

Don’t overlook that the lump you cut out forms the infill for most locker doors. If you use hole saws, you run the risk of removing too much material, rendering the removed part useless for the infill

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7 minutes ago, Lost in the wilderness said:

Don’t overlook that the lump you cut out forms the infill for most locker doors. If you use hole saws, you run the risk of removing too much material, rendering the removed part useless for the infill

Good point :goodpost:

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If the outer skin is aluminium, a nibbler is better for cutting sheet metal without causing distortion and just removes about 1 mm wide. You can get ones to attach to a drill and hand ones, both costing a similar amount.

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It's an aluminium sandwich with what looks like polystyrene sheet insulation inbetween about 25mm thickness in total and need to take it out in one piece to use the infill in the door.

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Posted (edited)

Use a fine metal cutting blade, mask the whole area where the jigsaw foot will travel and mark the outline of the cut on masking tape to stop the chance of slipping on metal.

Cut with a medium speed and let the saw do the work, do not try and rush it.

Edited by Brecon
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When I cut the hole for an extra electrical socket, I used a jigsaw cutting on the upstroke but I'm not sure that it matters that much. I used that blade because it was the only metal-cutting blade I had.  Certainly, cutting a large hole for a locker door would be hard work with a handsaw. What is important is to use masking tape to protect the paintwork from the metal soleplate  of the jigsaw and also gives a nice clear line to follow.  Although stating the obvious, you need to be careful about what is situated on the inner face of the panel you're cutting.  However, it's not a job I've done so somebody may be along soon with some experience of this. As always, there are some videos on Youtube which may help (or confuse you further!)

John M

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Thanks very much for the replies.  Will use the jigsaw as suggested with a fine blade.  For info you use a downcutting blade when you are cutting things like laminated flooring and want a splinter free  finish on the top surface.

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20 minutes ago, Eirrab said:

Thanks very much for the replies.  Will use the jigsaw as suggested with a fine blade.  For info you use a downcutting blade when you are cutting things like laminated flooring and want a splinter free  finish on the top surface.

Yep agree with that, but also as a caravan skin is very thin you want to have a really smooth outer surface on the metal, but with a downcut blade you may get some roughness on the inside, but that is easier to rectify as it is ply faced with a laminate foil.

 

Obviously the choice is yours to make, good luck whichever way you decide.

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