How to cut sheet metal with a jigsaw

     
     
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 Plywood and sheet metal sandwich, cutting sheet metal, sandwiching thin sheet metal between two pieces of plywood 

Before it is cut with a jigsaw, sheet metal should always be supported underneath by a sacrificial sheet of plywood. This will not only ensure that the material stays flat throughout the cut, but will also reduce vibration.

 

If your workpiece is particularly thin, plywood should also be placed on top of the metal for extra reinforcement.

 
     
 Clamped sheet metal workpiece, clamped workpiece 

Step 1 - Clamp workpiece

First of all, clamp the sheet metal and the wood supporting it securely to your workbench.

 
     
 Marking out sheet metal, using engineers scriber, mark cutting line on sheet metal 

Step 2 - Mark workpiece

On the top layer of plywood or on the surface of your sheet metal, mark your cutting line.

 
     
 Rest jigsaw shoe on the edge of sheet metal, cutting sheet steel with a jigsaw 

Step 3 - Position jigsaw

Align your jigsaw blade with the cutting line and rest the front of the shoe on the edge of the workpiece. 

 
     
 

Using jigsaw to cut sheet metal, metal cutting jigsaw blade, cutting sheet metal

 

Step 4 - Make cut

Select a low speed setting and then turn on your jigsaw.

 

Wait for the blade to reach full speed before pushing the tool slowly forward along the cutting line. 

 
   Wonkee Donkee says: 'If you notice a great deal of vibration when you begin your cut, reduce the speed of your jigsaw.'   
     
 Cutting oil, WD 40 specialist cutting oil, coolant, lubricant 

Step 5 - Apply cutting oil

As you make progress, every so often, apply a small amount of cutting to the blade of your jigsaw to keep it and your workpiece cool. 

 

Continue to cut until you reach the end of your marked line. 

 
     
 Aluminium oxide sandpaper, sandpaper for metal, aluminium oxide cloth sheets 

Step 6 - Clean up edges

You may find that your jigsaw has left a burr along the edge of the sheet metal.

 

Use aluminium oxide sandpaper to remove any imperfections and leave a clean finish. 

 
     
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