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  #1  
Old 14th April 2015
teamcurtis teamcurtis is offline
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Default Cutting a curve or radius - HOW??

I'm about to chop my rear fender.

The main tool i have at my disposal is a cut off wheel. In a few practice swipes making a straight cut is quite simple and doesn't mar the paint much. But it if i try to make any type of arch the cut gets really ugly.

Question is how do i cut along the curve of the fender? I don't want a straight bob look, i want to create a smoother natural curve.
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Old 14th April 2015
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If you have access to a jig saw, that would be easier.

I have the same issue with my cutoff wheel, but with practice I got a little better. Still not great though and it would require much filing and sanding to make it look even OK.
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i have a basic low end handheld jigsaw.
that will cut metal this thick? worth a shot i suppose. Ive left alot of the fender in place as i practice before i make the final cut
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Don't cut it as radius. Make as many angle cuts as needed to achieve the radius.
Hog off as much waste as possible and cut a angle, then another and so on. Eventually you will get what you want, the rest can be blended easily with a file or sander.
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Ditto. Put masking tape on the fender, heat it up with a heat gun to help keep the paint from chipping. Grind short angle and then blend them together. Oh yeah, make a template for one side and flip it over for the other side so they match.

NOTE: Any saw needs at least 1/5 teeth engaged on the material it's cutting or you will strip the teeth and definitely get a crappy cut. I'd suggest a finer (18T) toothed 10" sawzall blade laid flat vs. a jig saw any day.
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Like others have said,use masking tape for your cut,trace your cut on the tape,heat the painted surface and I use a Zip blade for such a job....I usually get them from my local welding supply outlet....remember..the smaller the cutting wheel,the easier it is too cut a radius...
The next thing is to use low speed on your grinder of choice,it keeps the heat down and gives you better control...try it out on a piece of scrap metal of the same or close too thickness first

Have fun!!

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alright i have a few techniques to try between cutting alot of angles to acheive a curve and using jig saw.

Im cutting away a good bit of metal so the plan was to do a few practice cuts on the bottom end of the fender before the final attempt anyway.

Ill go look for some smaller cut off wheels, and metal jigsaw blades

keep the tips coming
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I recently re-chopped my rear fender to something that sounds similar to what you want. I cut the major lines with a cutting wheel on an angle grinder, then used a flap disc on the same grinder to form the curves. The fine grit wheel did a pretty decent job at forming the profile I wanted, just exercise patience and make sure to go slow.
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You could rent a sheet metal nibbler, they can achieve under 1 inch radii easily.
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Old 14th April 2015
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use an angle grinder. Small one.
put masking tape on and the put masking tape much lower. use that to practice on.
Keeep the disc at 90 degrees to the metal and stay to the out side of the curve.
As Ireeman said feel free to do as many straight cuts as you like. the grinder will soon take the small corners off to the line you drew. the flat of the disk will smooth it down if your gentle.
Dont forget to practice as a confident cut makes it easy. And that wont be your first cut.
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