Saw the rail with a hacksaw for metal

Making a miter box from scrap materials

The miter box is a tool in the form of a U-shaped tray with side saw slots, designed for sawing rack material at a given angle.

When installing floor or ceiling skirting boards, door trims, laying electrical wiring in cable channels or making furniture, it becomes necessary to saw the material into pieces of a given length at a right or 45 degree angle. You can, of course, saw the material along the line drawn with a square. But in this case, the work requires care and it is easy to make a fatal mistake.

rail, hacksaw, metal

To increase productivity and quality of sawing, a simple device was invented called a miter box. In the photo, a miter box made of industrial plastic, with which a hand saw can be used with sufficient accuracy to cut slats, bars, corners made of wood, chipboard, MDF, drywall, plastic and other soft materials at an angle of 45 ° and 90 °.

It is enough to apply one point on the rail, which needs to be adjusted to the size, insert the rail into the miter box so that the mark is on the line of the guides, and cut the rail with a hand-held hacksaw inserted into the slots. The miter box will not allow the saw blade to move to the side and the end of the rail will turn out to be required.

Industrial-made plastic miter boxes have a significant drawback, due to the greater width of the guide slots and their rapid wear by the saw teeth, the angle accuracy is low and at the junction of the skirting boards or platbands, slots up to one millimeter wide often remain. There are high-precision miter boxes on sale, which even provide the ability to change the angle in any range, and there are clamps for fixing the material being cut. But they are very expensive, and it makes no sense to purchase such a device for a one-time repair in an apartment. over, a high-precision miter box can be made with your own hands in a couple of hours from improvised material.

To make a homemade miter box, you need only a couple of metal plates, preferably aluminum plates 1.5-2 mm thick and a board for the base of the miter box about 10 cm wide made of wood, chipboard or plywood.

Making a miter box with your own hands

The dimensions of the parts are not critical. But the wider the board, the more accurate the cut and the ability to cut wider slats will be. The width of the miter box should not exceed half the length of the hacksaw blade, otherwise it will be inconvenient to saw.

Making a miter box begins with cutting out the parts and marking them. In the middle of the board of the base of the miter box, a straight line is applied at right angles to the side walls. A perpendicular line can be drawn using a special square or by taking any sheet of paper folded twice.

Risks are drawn from the ends of this line at a distance of half the width of the board along its length, which are connected with a marker by line segments. The result is lines that are at an angle of 45 and 90˚ relative to the longitudinal side of the board. But the main one on the base is the perpendicular line, relative to which the side walls of the miter box will be oriented during installation.

On both side walls, in the middle, as well as on the base, first apply along one perpendicular line. From them, at a distance of half the width of the base, I have 5 cm, two more parallel lines are applied. Marking is performed using a ruler or caliper. Here you need to try to draw the lines accurately, since the accuracy of sawing the material will ultimately depend on this. It should be noted that the wider the base board is, the higher the cutting accuracy will be.

Next, you need to draw a section of each wall, which will be adjacent to the base of the miter box. Since my base is made of chipboard 18 mm thick, then I need to draw out a strip 18 mm wide. Draw a line in the middle of this strip and mark points for drilling holes for self-tapping screws on it at an equidistant distance from each other.

So that the drill does not run away at the beginning of drilling, small indentations are made at the designated points with a core, then holes with a diameter of 4 mm are drilled and if self-tapping screws with a countersunk head, then it is better to make a countersink, although this is not necessary.

The next step is sawing the grooves in the walls of the miter box. The strip must be fixed in a vice or with the help of clamps on the table and cut along the marked lines with a hacksaw for metal. The middle line is cut at an angle of 90˚, and the outer ones at an angle of 45˚. High accuracy is not needed here, but it is advisable to do this work carefully. The cut should only reach the line of attachment of the walls to the base of the miter box.

Since the chipboard base is a soft material, self-tapping screws with a rare thread pitch are best suited for fixing the walls. Although you can use any that are at hand with a length of 25-50 mm.

After making the base and walls, you can proceed to the next step, assembling the miter box. To do this, it is necessary to precisely align the middle cut in the wall with the perpendicular line at the base of the miter box, pierce the hard wall of the side edge of the chipboard with an awl and tighten the screws. It is better to drill a hole in plywood with a diameter equal to the diameter of the internal thread of the self-tapping screw to the depth of its length.

It is convenient to assemble the miter box by fixing its base with clamps on a homemade repair table. Thus, the lower end of the side wall is easy to align with the lower surface of the base of the miter box.

During trial sawing in a miter box at an angle of 45˚, it turned out that the hacksaw blade was running tight, rubbing against the walls of the cuts. I had to grind them a little with a flat file.

I made the side walls of the miter box from an aluminum alloy, but they can be made from plywood or any other dense sheet material. The thicker the side walls are, the longer the miter box will last.

Examples of work with the use of a miter box

The miter box helps me constantly to cut the slatted material qualitatively. For example, when laying electrical wiring, it may be necessary to cut the cable channel at a right angle and an angle of 45˚.

To do this, it is enough to place the cable channel on the base of the miter box, resting it on the far wall and using a hacksaw for metal, precisely cut off the desired segment.

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After removing burrs from the walls in the place of sawing, the parts are mated with practically no gap.

In the miter box, it is also excellent to saw the ceiling foam plinth. Thanks to the fine teeth of the hacksaw for metal, the end of the skirting board is ready for joining without additional processing.

Likewise, the ceiling plinth is sawn at an angle of 45˚. It can be rotated in any way and create a snug fit, both on the inner and outer corners of the walls.

The miter box is also irreplaceable when installing a floor plinth. You can not only saw off the necessary lengths of the plinth, but also shorten the plinth even by one millimeter when adjusting, which is almost impossible to do without a miter box.

As you can see, the miter box is a necessary tool to get high quality work with minimal effort. I advise you, be sure to purchase or make a miter box with your own hands, it will come in handy not only when renovating an apartment. With the help of a miter box, you can make a frame for a photograph or a picture, saw through a plastic tube when performing plumbing work. It is even difficult to list all the cases of using a miter box by a home craftsman.

Mechanical methods

The classification of mechanical cutting methods is usually based on the answer to the question: how to cut metal?
Cutting with a hacksaw and scissors for metal

Cutting with scissors: a) cutting the sheet into strips; b) cutting with leaf cutters.
Cutting a round shape: c) wrong; d) correct

At home, metal is usually cut with an ordinary hacksaw. This process is quite laborious. It is greatly simplified if you have a mechanical hacksaw at your disposal.

Unlike hacksaws, there are many types of metal scissors:

  • Manual shears allow you to cut relatively thin sheet metal. They allow you to do this quickly and accurately, following the cutting line correctly. There are several types of hand scissors: finger, power, chair, lever, for curved cutting.
  • Slotted scissors carry out both straight and curved cutting. They allow you to cut metal in confined spaces while maintaining a high quality cut. Powered by an electric motor.
  • Guillotine shears can cut metal with high precision. The main advantages are the absence of defects, high cutting accuracy, the safety of the outer coating of the material being cut.

Types of guillotine shears:

Hand scissors can cut a relatively thin sheet of metal.

  • Hand scissors. The main disadvantage is that the developed force is not enough for cutting if the metal is very strong.
  • Mechanical shears. Powered by an electric motor, so the productivity is significantly higher than that of manual guillotines.
  • Hydraulically powered shears. Provide very high accuracy of work. In addition, they can be equipped with a CNC, which makes it possible to significantly increase their productivity by storing typical parameters of cuts in the memory.

Reciprocating and circular saws, angle grinders

Reciprocating saws are similar in principle to a jigsaw. Outwardly, they look like an electric drill, only instead of a drill. a saw pushed forward with a length of 10 to 35 cm, making a reciprocating motion. Usually the saw is powered from the mains, but battery versions are also available.

Reciprocating saws are used for accurate and fast metal cutting.

For different types of work, different types of saw blades are used. They change easily, like drills in an electric drill. The fastening system is reliable and efficient. Knowing what to work with, you can choose the right file. For example, the greater the curvature of the cut, the narrower the canvas should be.

Working with a reciprocating saw requires skill, a steady hand and a good eye.

It is easier to work with circular saws. Their cutting discs are usually made of hard high-alloy alloy or special high-speed steel. Saws are intended for cutting a variety of metal profiles made of a wide variety of metals and alloys, provide a narrow kerf, a small amount of chips.

To choose the right saw, you should pay special attention to the saw blade, in particular to its diameter. The larger it is, the more possibilities the instrument has. After the cut, additional processing is usually required to remove sharp edges. The disadvantages include rather large dimensions and a rather high cost.

Circular saw can cut copper, aluminum and other non-ferrous metals.

Most consumers do not even suspect that the “grinder” is an angle grinder. The fact is that this miracle of technology comes from Bulgaria, and our people do not like long names. In most cases, a grinder equipped with a blade for cutting steel perfectly replaces a circular saw for metal, although, judging by the name, it was originally intended for grinding.

Today, many people use it just as a saw, and not for grinding, although with a modern grinder you can cut, and clean, and polish, etc. over, you can cut and grind almost all materials. The main thing is that you don’t need to buy various tools. For various materials and works, only different consumables are purchased, and the machine itself only needs one.

Tools and methods for cutting metal

Cutting is one of the most common operations in the processing of metal workpieces.

But here the question immediately arises: how and with what metal is cut?

Metal can be cut mechanically or thermally.

It is customary to distinguish between two main groups of cutting methods:

  • Mechanical. sawing, scissoring, etc.
  • Thermal, based on the use of a jet of any substance. gas, water, etc.

Thermal methods

Cutting methods belonging to this group can be divided into the following types: gas and gas-electric cutting of metals.

In these cutting methods, the metal is heated by a gas (oxygen) flame, and power sources are not used. There are three main ways of such cutting:

Oxygen cutting of metal involves heating it. hot oxygen jet cuts metal and removes oxides that arise there.

  • Oxygen. With this method, the metal in the cut zone burns out in an oxygen jet, and the formed oxides are blown out by it.
  • Oxygen-flux. A flux powder enters the cut area, which facilitates the cutting process due to chemical, thermal and abrasive effects.
  • Oxygen lance. The high temperature is created by the combustion of the so-called spear. a tube through which a stream of oxygen is blown.

The main advantages of these methods:

  • low cost;
  • thick layers of metal can be cut.
  • high metal consumption;
  • low accuracy;
  • the need for additional processing of parts;
  • low cutting speed;
  • large cutting thickness;
  • thermal deformation of metal.

In gas-electric cutting, the metal is heated by a power source, and the melt is removed from the cutting zone by a gas jet. There are two ways to do this:

  • Air arc. liquid metal is removed from the melting zone by a jet of compressed air.
  • Oxygen-arc. the metal heated in the arc flame burns out in the incoming oxygen stream, it is blown out by it.

It is mainly used to correct defects in welded seams. The main disadvantage is the carburization of the cut site due to the combustion of carbon electrodes.

Read more:  How to Saw Laminate with an Electric Jigsaw Without Chipping

Plasma cutting is by far the most advanced, fastest and most cost effective way to cut metal.

A very promising and rapidly progressing method. The cut metal is melted by a jet of plasma. ionized gas with a temperature of tens of thousands of degrees. A plasma jet is created in a special device. a plasmatron. from an ordinary electric arc due to its compression and injection of a plasma-forming gas into the reaction zone. Two main processing schemes:

  • Plasma jet cutting. With this method, an arc occurs between the electrode and the tip of the plasmatron. The work piece is not included in the electrical circuit.
  • Plasma-arc. an arc occurs between a non-consumable electrode made of a refractory material and the metal being cut. An effective and more commonly used method.

Advantages of Plasma Cutting Compared to Gas Cutting Methods:

  • high cutting speed;
  • versatility of application;
  • the ability to cut with high precision and quality;
  • no need for expensive gases;
  • the ability to cut parts of complex shapes;
  • safety and environmental friendliness.
  • high cost and complexity of equipment and its maintenance;
  • impossibility of cutting workpieces with a thickness of more than 80-100 mm;
  • limited angle of deviation of the cut from perpendicularity;
  • increased noise level.

The remaining thermal methods, due to a number of reasons, of which the main one is the high complexity and cost of equipment, have not yet become widespread. We will limit ourselves only to their enumeration:

  • hydro and water jet cutting;
  • laser and gas laser cutting;
  • electrical erosion method;
  • cryogenic cutting.

Summarizing all of the above, we can conclude: there are a lot of methods and types of equipment for cutting metals. It is possible to choose the most suitable methods correctly only by weighing many factors, primarily financial opportunities.

Circular saw

This power tool consists of a small work table and a rotating toothed disc. A circular saw cuts a chipboard much faster and better than an electric jigsaw. During the sawing process, the saw is turned on at low speed. In this case, chips may appear on the opposite side of the saw teeth.

To prevent this situation, before starting the sawing, paper adhesive tape is glued to the cutting site.

Electric milling cutter

It is a hand-held type of power tool that is used to saw and drill wood-based panels. Before starting work in laminated chipboard, using a hand jigsaw, make a small cut, retreating from the marking contour by 3-4 mm. During the sawing process, several cutter blades and its bearing device are used, which regulates the cutting depth. It is not so easy to use a cutter, so you need to have some skill with this tool to cut the slab. The movement of the cutter is quite fast, and there is a possibility of making an uneven cut.

But with the help of a cutter, you can get a perfectly smooth cut of the material. the appearance of chips and cracks when using this device is very rare.

The use of hand tools is advisable in the manufacture of single products from laminated chipboard. For mass production, it is advisable to purchase format-cutting equipment.

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Electric jigsaw

In order to make an even cut without damaging the laminate layer, you will need to take a jigsaw file, in which the size of the teeth will be the smallest. It is advisable to use a jigsaw for cutting small-sized sections of chipboard. Jerks and excessive pressure during work should be avoided. The feed speed of the cutting blade at the tool should be selected as minimum.

This device is quite capable of making a smooth and high-quality cut without chips of the laminated surface.

Hand saw

This hand tool is used in combination with a metal blade, as it has the smallest teeth. Before work, a sticky paper tape must be glued to the cut site, which protects the lamination layer from damage. The hand saw blade must be held at an angle of 30–35 °, this position reduces the likelihood of chipping on the material. The movements of the hacksaw blade should be smooth, without pressure on the blade.

After the cut is completed, the edges of the cut will need to be processed with a file and fine-grained emery paper.

How and what to cut the chipboard without chips?

  • Cutting rules
  • Materials and tools
  • Electric jigsaw
  • Hand saw
  • Circular saw
  • Electric milling cutter
  • How to cut correctly?

The abbreviation chipboard should be understood as a laminated chipboard, which consists of natural wood waste mixed with a polymer adhesive composition, and has a lamination in the form of a monolithic film consisting of several layers of paper impregnated with resin. The lamination process is carried out under industrial conditions under a pressure of 28 MPa and at a high temperature regime, reaching 220 ° C. As a result of such processing, a very durable glossy coating is obtained, which can have various color shades and is highly resistant to mechanical damage and moisture.

Materials and tools

In the conditions of a woodworking enterprise, special equipment is used to cut a sheet of chipboard, which is called a panel saw. Some private furniture workshops purchase such a machine, but it is hardly advisable to install it at home due to the high cost. Household power tools can replace such equipment. sawing a chipboard can be done with a circular saw or a hacksaw. The sawing process will take quite a lot of time and effort, but from an economic point of view, it will be quite justified.

Cutting rules

Laminated chipboard is made from waste from sawn hardwood and coniferous species, while the plate is lightweight and is used for the manufacture of furniture structures. Most home furniture makers prefer laminated particle board when choosing raw materials for furniture making. This material is relatively inexpensive, and in outlets there is always a wide variety of colors and textures to choose from. The difficulty in working with chipboard is that it is very difficult to saw off a part of the sheet of the required size due to the fact that the fragile laminated layer creates cracks and chips at the cutting site. Knowledge of some of the techniques used in work helps to cope with this task.

To cut laminated chipboard, you need to arm yourself with a fine-toothed saw.

over, the smaller and more often they are located on the tool blade, the cleaner and smoother the finished cut of the laminated material will be.

For an accurate and high-quality performance of sawing work, it is necessary to act in a certain sequence.

  • On the chipboard sheet, it is necessary to outline the cutting line, where to glue the paper adhesive strip tightly. The tape will prevent the saw teeth from crushing the lamination layer during the sawing process.
  • With the help of an awl or a knife blade, a groove with a recess is made along the cutting line. Thus, we cut through a thin layer of lamination in advance, making it easier for ourselves when cutting. Moving along this groove, the saw blade will move along a tangent plane, while cutting deep layers of wood-shaving material.
  • When cutting, it is recommended to hold the saw blade at an acute angle relative to the working plane of the plate.
  • If the sawing work is to be carried out using an electric tool, the feed speed of the cutting blade should be kept to a minimum so that the saw cannot vibrate or bend.
  • After sawing off, the cut of the workpiece must be processed first with a file, and then with sandpaper. The cut must be processed with movements from the center to the edge of the workpiece.
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To protect the cut point on the workpiece from further chips or cracks, it is closed by applying melamine adhesive tape, or end edges are fixed, which can have a T-shaped or C-shaped appearance.

After such decorative masking, not only the appearance of the slab is improved, but also the service life of the material is increased.

How to cut correctly?

It is quite possible to cut the chipboard without chips at home with your own hands. It greatly simplifies the task of preliminary creation of a groove with a sharp object in the area of ​​the cut. Once in this place, the blade of the cutting tool follows a predetermined path and it turns out to cut much easier. Straight cuts on laminated chipboard are much easier to do than to cut a sheet figured.

It is extremely difficult to carry out curvilinear configurations using household appliances; this can be done only with the use of an electrophoresis. This tool performs a high-quality cut and has a lot of additional functions.

The price of an electromill depends on the manufacturer, so you can choose a budget model with good technical parameters.

To cut a sheet of laminated chipboard using an electromill, you must perform the following steps:

  • on the surface of an ordinary chipboard, all the contours of the future workpiece are marked;
  • using an electric jigsaw, the workpiece is cut out, retreating from the intended contour by 1–2 mm;
  • the finished sawn-off template is cleaned with a file or sandpaper;
  • a prepared stencil is placed on a sheet of laminated chipboard and fixed with carpentry clamps so that it is in a stationary position;
  • along the contour of the stencil with an electrofusion cutter equipped with a bearing mechanism, cut out the contours of the workpiece, cutting off the edge exactly along the intended line;
  • after completing the work, the end sides are cleaned and processed with a decorative edge.

The use of an electromill allows you to make a figured cut of chipboard without chips and cracking of the material.

Electromill knives must completely capture the entire thickness of the workpiece material. this is the only way to get a high-quality product.

You can learn about four ways to cut chipboard without chipping with a jigsaw from the video below.

Using the grinder

A professional tool will save time when cutting a rail. Experienced people say that two discs with a diameter of 150 mm are enough to cut a classic railroad rail (P65, P75).

The work is carried out in the same way. the base is filed on both sides, then a blow with a sledgehammer follows. The operation will take 5-10 minutes.


  • rapidity;
  • efficiency;
  • minimum of consumables.


  • injury hazard (the disc can “bite” and lead to breakage, flying sparks will get into the eyes, etc.);
  • noise during work;
  • high pointless);
  • the method is bad for home conditions due to the resulting dust, dirt, metal shavings.

Using the grinder

A professional tool will save time when cutting a rail. Experienced people say that two discs with a diameter of 150 mm are enough to cut a classic railroad rail (P65, P75).

The work is carried out in the same way. the base is filed on both sides, then a blow with a sledgehammer follows. The operation will take 5-10 minutes.

  • rapidity;
  • efficiency;
  • minimum of consumables.
  • injury hazard (the disc can “bite” and lead to breakage, flying sparks will get into the eyes, etc.);
  • noise during work;
  • high pointless);
  • the method is bad for home conditions due to the resulting dust, dirt, metal shavings.

How to calculate a log

So, you have measured the diameter of the log, and it is measured from the top. We calculate the approximate amount of material according to the diameter and proceed with further actions.

Which way to choose

There are a number of factors to consider when making a decision. Among them. the cost of work (finances and time), noise, the duration of the process, the need for outside help. From a safety point of view, cutting with a reciprocating saw looks attractive. From the point of view of speed. grinder or rail cutter.

The latter tool is expensive for most craftsmen, so it is recommended to adopt two methods. using a reciprocating saw (hacksaw for metal) or a grinder with cutting discs. Knowing how to cut a rail quickly, the user will be able to quickly achieve the desired result.

Cutting the rail with a hacksaw

A popular method, although energy consuming. It is important to know a few requirements for a saw blade:

  • the handle is comfortable, it is located not horizontally, but vertically, slightly inclined towards the direction of travel “away from you”;
  • there is dusting on the teeth of the canvas;
  • the teeth are located in the direction “away from you”;
  • when working, move the blade so that the contact area of ​​the teeth with the cutting surface is maximum;
  • select the blade based on the density and hardness of the rail material.

How to cut a rail with a hacksaw? The sequence is as follows:

  • the rail is placed on a horizontal surface;
  • if an accurate cut is required, it is worth making notches on the base with a chisel;
  • saw through the base on both sides up to the rail neck;
  • put an emphasis under the place of the cut;
  • hit with a sledgehammer.

There are other ways to divide a sawn rail into two parts. For example, drop it from a height if you have a loader manipulator at hand.

  • the way is safe;
  • sawing takes place without unnecessary noise;
  • equipment for work is inexpensive.


Cut metal easily! – DIY Power hacksaw

  • the process can take more than an hour (depending on professionalism);
  • several saw blades will be required (3-7 depending on their quality).

How to cut a rail with a hacksaw

Maintenance of the railroad bed means cutting out the worn-out sections of the rails with the help of special equipment. In this material, we will talk about how to cut a rail in a home (or garage) conditions, which tools are more effective, how to act in each case, and what are the advantages of this or that method.

Application of rail cutters

Another method of quickly dividing rails into fractions, which is not entirely suitable for home conditions, but deserves consideration. A rail cutter is a professional equipment used for various types of products. It is usually used on railway tracks in order to quickly restore the track in order to avoid train delays. For example, two devices are considered below.