How to Make Round Sheet Metal Discs

Written by lauren vork
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Sheet metal is a useful craft supply for artisans who want to work in creating metal projects without the more involved processes of metal smithing or forging. Sheet metal is cut using hand or power saws, but it takes a bit more strength and cutting power. This makes it somewhat difficult to cut out curved shapes, especially perfect discs using the same tools. You can achieve this effect, however, with the right approach to the cutting angles.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Permanent marker
  • Nail polish remover
  • Rotary power tool
  • Tagboard
  • Metal cutting disc bit
  • Metal grinding disc bit
  • Compass
  • Sheet metal

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Use the compass to draw circles on the tagboard. Make one circle in each size you want to cut from the metal.

  2. 2

    Cut out the tagboard circles using scissors. Take care to get a good quality shape and smooth line; this will be your pattern.

  3. 3

    Trace the tagboard circles onto the metal using the permanent marker.

  4. 4

    Fit the rotary cutter with the metal cutting wheel bit. Set the tool to its middle speed setting (the exact number will vary) and turn it on.

  5. 5

    Cut out around each of the circles using the wheel attachment; since the wheel can only cut straight lines, cut a square patch around each circle. Try to get a square that's just big enough to encompass each circle; if you can't get this on the first try, trim down each piece so that the edges of each square touch the edge of the circle at a small point in the middle.

  6. 6

    Remove the corners from each square, creating an eight-sided polygon. Again, cut the new lines close enough to just touch the edge of the circle in the middle.

  7. 7

    Continue cutting off the corners of the polygon; as the polygon gains more sides, it will be close to the shape of a circle. Do this until you can't get any closer to the circle's edge with the cutting wheel.

  8. 8

    Turn off the rotary tool. Let it cool for a minute. Switch to a metal grinding bit.

  9. 9

    Grind around the edges of the circle to completely round out the shape and smooth it.

  10. 10

    Wash the circle with nail polish remover to remove any traces of ink leftover from the tracing.

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