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Old 08-02-2011, 08:57 AM   #1
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Oscillating Multi-Tool For Gutter/Downspout Work?


Hi All,

I've got some aluminum gutter downspout and downspout extension re-engineering to do. One of the projects involves shortening a vertical run to improve (fix, actually) the pitch on the extension that connects to it at the bottom. Another thing I want to do is make cut-outs similar to this



to hinge the extensions.

I was wondering how to cut this stuff neatly, cleanly and conveniently, and it occurred to me one of those oscillating multi-tools might do the trick.

What say the wisdom of the DIYers here?

Thanks!

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Old 08-02-2011, 09:22 AM   #2
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Oscillating Multi-Tool For Gutter/Downspout Work?


I'd just cut the "T" with tin snips, fold the sides down, drill the holes, attach and be done!
Seems like a lot of hassle to try to cut it with that tool, although that's not saying it wouldn't work.
I wouldn't know that, since I don't own one.

DM

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Old 08-02-2011, 09:47 AM   #3
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Oscillating Multi-Tool For Gutter/Downspout Work?


I have the dremel multi tool and while I've never tried cutting light gauge metal with it, I don't think it would work very well. The material you are cutting with it must be pretty stiff to resist the oscillation or else the teeth of the cutter will grab it and shake it and booger it up. I agree that tin snips are the way to go but a rotary cutting tool like a rotozip with a metal blade I think would do better than an oscillator if you want to use a power tool.
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:56 AM   #4
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Oscillating Multi-Tool For Gutter/Downspout Work?


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I'd just cut the "T" with tin snips, fold the sides down, drill the holes, attach and be done!
Seems like a lot of hassle to try to cut it with that tool, although that's not saying it wouldn't work.
I'm with DM & Broughton on this one. I'd recommend going low tech on the downspout. I love me some new toys as much as the next guy, but a hacksaw and tin snips are all you need to cut downspout.
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:21 AM   #5
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Oscillating Multi-Tool For Gutter/Downspout Work?


For that particular cut, I'd a Dremel or grinder for the cut perpendicular to the gutter and tin snips for the two cuts parallel to the gutter's main axis.

That being said I normally use a hacksaw for gutter work.
I don't think I would choose an oscillating tool, unless you just need an excuse to justify to the misses why you need one.
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:24 AM   #6
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Oscillating Multi-Tool For Gutter/Downspout Work?


I've rarely, very rarely, had much luck cutting cleanly with tin snips--except for very simple cuts. Otherwise I end up with exceedingly ragged edges that are a cutting and snagging hazard and, quite frankly, look terrible.

From my research on the 'net, hacksaws don't cut aluminum gutter or downspout material very effectively or cleanly?

Not clear to me how you'd cleanly cut that square notch in the end of a piece of downspout with a hacksaw and/or tin snips, in any event.

If you've got 10' of downspout, how to you cleanly cut, say, 6' off of it?

Suggestion I saw elsewhere on the 'net was a small cut-off style saw/blade, such as the cut-off attachment and blades available for the RotoZip.

Thanks for all the answers.
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:59 AM   #7
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Oscillating Multi-Tool For Gutter/Downspout Work?


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Originally Posted by michaelcherr View Post
For that particular cut, I'd a Dremel or grinder for the cut perpendicular to the gutter and tin snips for the two cuts parallel to the gutter's main axis.
I have a Dremel. And I have tin snips.

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Originally Posted by michaelcherr View Post
I don't think I would choose an oscillating tool, unless you just need an excuse to justify to the misses why you need one.
Not really. Admittedly, I've been fascinated by these tools since I first saw the Fein MultiMaster on an infomercial, but I haven't really had a project for which I had a use for one, even if I'd tried to contrive a use

I figured that, with the shape of that cut-out and the wanting to shorten a downspout in-place, that one of those oscillating multi-tools would be just the ticket. From the feedback: It's sounding like it's not.

That's okay, too. I don't need to spend money. I just have a mini-project to do, and it's been my experience that the right tool for the job makes the difference between an enjoyable project and a hassle you wish you'd never started.

Thanks.
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Old 08-02-2011, 01:50 PM   #8
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Oscillating Multi-Tool For Gutter/Downspout Work?


cut with the direction of the leader down the center with snips then use a heavy duty utility knife and blade ''can opener fashion''from the center cut to the sides...be careful
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Old 08-02-2011, 03:04 PM   #9
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Oscillating Multi-Tool For Gutter/Downspout Work?


Or.... hacksaw the top of the "T", then snip up the middle and fold.
I'd make the opening not quite so long too.

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Old 08-02-2011, 03:24 PM   #10
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Oscillating Multi-Tool For Gutter/Downspout Work?


Personally, I'd cut a "Y" with snips and fold all 3 cut sides under. Wouldn't need to be a clean cut at all. It would also hide all of the sharp edges.
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Old 08-02-2011, 07:43 PM   #11
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Oscillating Multi-Tool For Gutter/Downspout Work?


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Personally, I'd cut a "Y" with snips and fold all 3 cut sides under. Wouldn't need to be a clean cut at all. It would also hide all of the sharp edges.
I was going to recommend something very similiar. This is an easy cut with tin snips. Just make your straight cuts down each side. Then cut 3/4 of the way down the center, then turn toward one of the corners. When that side is removed, go back to your center cut and take it to other corner. You should have a small triangle left that can just be folded under and out of the way. easy and clean
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:38 PM   #12
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Oscillating Multi-Tool For Gutter/Downspout Work?


Geez, you guys are a power tool lust buzz kill!

But your "don't make it any more complicated than it has to be" suggestions make sense. Thanks!

But still...

How best to neatly cut, say, a 10' section of downspout down to, say, 6'?

Then there's this:



As you can see: The extension doesn't fit on that elbow well anymore. I need to trim the downspout up to about where I drew that red line, or a bit higher, so the extension has the proper pitch again. How to cut the downspout w/o taking the whole thing down? That, in particular, is where I figured the MT would come in handy.
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Old 08-02-2011, 08:46 PM   #13
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Oscillating Multi-Tool For Gutter/Downspout Work?


hacksaw/knife is how a pro would do it,leader crimpers would be a nice touch but not absolutely necessary
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Old 08-03-2011, 12:23 AM   #14
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Oscillating Multi-Tool For Gutter/Downspout Work?


The best way, IMO, would be to pull it off and use a bandsaw. Since that's probably not feasible, I think a hacksaw would be your best bet.

A bi-directional power tool (like an oscillating blade) will likely just rattle around on a job like this. You need a blade that you can control the direction of the cut, and keep the the workpiece stable. A circ saw would make a nice cut, but you'd need to be very proficient at it to use it in this situation.
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Old 08-03-2011, 03:10 AM   #15
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Oscillating Multi-Tool For Gutter/Downspout Work?


With all the other stuff a Multimaster cuts so well, I think a fine blade will work well in this application, ( but I am going to test mine out on a piece and find out.)

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