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Metal working
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Guy Incognito
(enigmamachine42) - F
Metal working on 12/19/2009 14:21:13 MST Print View

First, how are you guys cutting such nice round holes in the tops of your tin cans when making wood stoves?
Second, it seems that a lot of people on here don't know that titanium needs to be cooled if you're working on it with power tools, to keep it from burring. A cylinder of compressed, inert gas blowing on the work area would probably help a lot.

ben wood

Locale: flatlands of MO
Re: Metal working on 12/19/2009 17:32:42 MST Print View

yes, it is best to keep titanium cool when working on it. the main problem people have is cutting too fast, i.e. too high of rpm's. if you heat the material it causes it to harden and will dull your cutting tools. you can use compressed air or oil or even water. are you a machinist? just guessing buy your name.

Guy Incognito
(enigmamachine42) - F
Metal working on 12/19/2009 20:52:36 MST Print View

Nope, just a mechanic.

Mark McLauchlin
(markmclauchlin) - MLife

Locale: Western Australia
Re: Metal working on 12/20/2009 05:09:07 MST Print View

As for the tops of the cans being finished so nice, its the type of can opener that you get. I don't know what they are call, although I do have one, but they are they ones that run around the outside edge rather than the top. If you get stuck I can post a pic of one.

From one ex-mechanic to another.....

Matt Mahaney
(Matt_Mahaney) - MLife

Locale: In the District
Re: Metal working on 12/20/2009 06:21:23 MST Print View

If it is in fact the can opener you're looking for they are typically called "safety cut" can openers. You should be able to find one at any culinary crafts store, or people have picked them up at wally world as well. Here's and example at Amazon.

Michael Theiler
(MichaelST) - F

Locale: Annandale
Nice Holes? on 12/20/2009 14:02:56 MST Print View

Or, if the OP is talking about air holes, I think most people use hole punches. There is a specific one that has various detachable hole punch sizes I believe.

I have used a paper punch from a discount store, and it works on tin cans, though I doubt it will work for much longer - its definitely not their intended purpose. So far it has done close to a hundred punches, so its got its monies worth I reckon :-)

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Metal working on 12/20/2009 14:18:13 MST Print View

True about the titanium. Air cooling can work; liquid cooling and low revs works better. As OP said, most home power tools spin too fast for Ti.


Guy Incognito
(enigmamachine42) - F
Metal working on 12/20/2009 15:44:23 MST Print View

Thanks for all the feedback, guys. I was actually talking about the holes people cut for nesting one can inside of another when making double-walled wood stoves. For example,

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Metal working on 12/20/2009 17:21:45 MST Print View

in that example the inner can fits in the pre-made hole of the outer can's lid. Now that's the kind of metal work i can handle!


Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Re: Metal working on 12/20/2009 18:19:37 MST Print View

The method I use is to score a line with a box cutter and then use a pair of tin snips. You must score very deeply. ie. many revolutions. After scoring I can tear out the plug sometimes. Take it slowly and keep a neat line. It helps to use a fresh blade.

For the air holes I use a Harbor Freight Tools punch. Cheap, and it works like a dream on tin or Ti.