1997 - Volume #21, Issue #1, Page #31[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
A Simple Way To Cut Holes In Thick SteelEugene G. Johnson, Rapid River, Mich.: "Making large holes in thick steel often re-quires the use of large, expensive power tools. A simple, inexpensive way to cut holes is to make a compass attachment for your cutting torch. Sharpen the end of a 7-in. pole barn spike to a smooth point and make a bend in the spike (as shown). Then flatten the end of a 5/16-in. bolt and drill a hole in it the size of the spike. Slide this through the space between the torch pipes, placing a washer on either side of the pipes and tightening the nut when you have the spike adjusted to the radius you want.
"To aid in adjusting the radius, find a medium size electrical wire connector and substitute a short 5/16-in. fine thread bolt for the standard set screw. Use a short piece of wire that fits the oxygen hole in the cutting tip. Bend a short 90 degree angle in the wire and slide the wire connector to get the exact radius. You can drill a small hole at the edge of the hole to start the cut. Center-punch the hole and place the point of the spike in it. I do the work on top of a small oil barrel with an old tire rim on top so that I can walk 360 degrees around the piece I'm cutting while holding the torch."
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