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How to cut stainless steel railing

13598 Views 33 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  travlin-easy
I'm working on building a frame on which to mount my 3 solar panels. The design phase is working out well. I'm planning to use the premade corner, rail, hinge fittings.

But . . . what's the best way to cut the 1" SS rail tubing to the correct length? My choices include, hack saw, powdered Sawzall, a plumbers tubing cutter (where you tighten the wheel as you rotate the device around the pipe), electric grinder with a cutting wheel, or something else???

This SS rail stuff is really tough. Any words of wisdom out there?

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I probably do 100+ tubing cuts per year and use a Ridgid pipe cutter with heavy duty SS capable cutting wheels. This is the plumbing grade Ridgid, from a plumbing supply house, not the cheap stuff from Home Depot. I get about 20-25 cuts per wheel.
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Professionals always have the right tool for every job. If they need it once they might rent or borrow it, if they need it more often they buy it. Finesse may be secondary when the poop hits the fan, but a craftsman should execute each job with recognizable pride, and get the cuts right, it's their personal trademark - IMHO
It's not just about being professional it also saves my customers money. I can cut a 1" .065 wall SS tube in about 30-45 seconds with no clean up & no filing of rough edges etc.. I can also make cuts precisely and repeatably to measured insert depth.

There were ten or twelve cuts stiffening this bimini to accept solar panels. Imagine 10-12 cuts all with de-burring and clean up..... Instead I was able to make those cuts in minimal time with virtually no clean up... The right tools for the job pay for themselves...;)

The same can be said for Weld-Mount a product I use regularly. I actually had one customer complain at the cost of the studs, mixing tips and two part adhesive. These "costs" saved him multiple hours of labor which he failed to calculate and actually netted him a savings of well over $100.00. Even though the price of the product may appear steep it is a cost saver in the long run....;)
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