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I need copper buss bar help

Discussion in 'Home Brew' started by groundwire, Aug 30, 2020.

  1. groundwire

    groundwire Sr. Member

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    I just got two 1/4" x 1" x 24" (cda-110 99.9%) copper buss bars and now i need some guidance on preparation. Ok first, can i easily cut them myself by hand? Online searches say hack saw with a certain number of teeth on the blade. I have also read not to cut it with a power tool ie angle grinder, drill with a cutting wheel etc. Its a quarter inch thick and i think i went a little to thick lol.
    Second is drilling the bars, i have read slow and steady with a new metal bit. To fast and it will melt the copper and gum up the bit. True? I basically need to quickly and easily ( no blood sweat or tears, please) cut about 3 inches off the length and drill five 3/8" holes into it.
    Anyone have experience with this?


     

  2. autotuner

    autotuner Supporting Member

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    When working with softer metals I was always taught slow is the go. Too fine teeth on the hacksaw will clog up, so a bit coarser. Drill bit nice and sharp and low speed, but not low enough to dig.
     
    Shadetree Mechanic likes this.
  3. Captain Kilowatt

    Captain Kilowatt Professional Amateur
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    No idea why all the concerns about cutting and drilling it. Perhaps it is because it is normally used in an electrical panel and somehow heating it from cutting and drilling somehow changes the electrical properties of it but I can't see that really. Anyhow, hacksaw works fine. Don't worry about tooth count. Finer makes a better smoother cut. Drilling should be at a moderate to slow speed. I never drill any metal at high speed. Why burn up your bits?
     
  4. groundwire

    groundwire Sr. Member

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    If i cut it with a hack saw is it gonna take a long time? Like to where my arm feels like its gonna fall off? lol. Can i just use a cutting wheel in a drill?
     
  5. Captain Kilowatt

    Captain Kilowatt Professional Amateur
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    It's copper not tool-steel. Thirty seconds. Done.
     
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  6. groundwire

    groundwire Sr. Member

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    Ok awesome. Should i cut it from the top ( flat side ) down or turn it on its side? Or does it matter?
     
  7. autotuner

    autotuner Supporting Member

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    I'd turn it on its side, half inch cut, pause with beer. Another half inch, pause with beer....etc.
     
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  8. Slowmover

    Slowmover Elmer

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    This might seem a little smart-aleck here (but isn’t meant to be): what will you do with any scrap or shavings?

    (Baby food jar storage)

    A cut off each end as experiment to answer the question to your satisfaction.

    As it’s copper, there’ll be a use someday for what’s saved.

    .
     
  9. groundwire

    groundwire Sr. Member

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    Throw away the shavings and save the pieces cut off
     
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  10. Justme

    Justme Well-Known Member

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    Use cutting oil drilling the stuff, then the drill bit won't clog up.
    Same for stainless steel, low speed and special drill bits with a less agressive cutting angle and cutting oil on low speed and some pressure.
    As pipefitter/T.I.G welder that is how we did it.
    Still have 1/2 a gallon cutting oil left....
     
  11. BJ radionut

    BJ radionut Supporting Member and 6m addict

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    Groundwire: That bar will cut very easy. Hacksaw blade 18/24/32 tooth count should work well. (24 or 32 will leave a nice cut) When your done with cut a small flat or half round file will remove the "burrs" on the cut edge. The edge should be smooth to the touch, round the corners slightly also. The edge should be so that rubbing fingers or skin against it should not feel sharp/prickly.
    Drilling, slow steady with sharp/clean bit. You can use a little motor oil/3 n 1 oil etc. will help a few drops should be all that's needed.(only 1/4 inch thick)
    The hole size should be drilled so the "fastening" machine screw fits snuggly (1/4 inch machine screw use 5/16 bit). I use a tap and threaded my buss for station grounding, then use a hex nut plus star washer as a capture on the back. (little extra work/Just me)
    You will need a "thin" film of NOALOX rubbed on the bar, plus the machine screws/washers/terminals etc. to keep any oxidation down. (again me)
    The cheap screws and terminals tend to build up "gunk" (oxidation) over time and add resistance to the connection, thus making it less effective. I prefer using Brass machine screws/nuts/washers, as they are tend to be less of a dissimilar metal product and don't oxidize as quickly as the cheap Chinese type machine screws/nuts etc. availible at most big box stores.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I have a couple of these mounted also, these make it easy to add/remove grounding cables, when equipment changes "happen".

    Just a couple of ideas to think about as you go along, changes "happen", it's nice to be prepared and making it easier over time.
    NOTE: Remember "each" piece needs it's own grounding cable. Do NOT daisy chain equipment together, so a few extra holes added before the install, may help as "things" grow!
    All the Best
    Gary/W9FNB
     
  12. BJ radionut

    BJ radionut Supporting Member and 6m addict

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. BJ radionut

    BJ radionut Supporting Member and 6m addict

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    NOTE ALSO: Keep your cable lengths as SHORT as practical, avoid lengths anywhere near a 1/4 wave in length (11 meters- Less than 6 feet) the shorter the better!
    This includes the large cable or strap going to your first ground rod outside.
    I again, I do like to overkill. I used 4/0 welding cable from my buss bar to first ground rod.(total length roughly 7 feet +/-)
    I have two bars on my 13 foot+ long bench, the second bar is connected with #4 welding cable to the first. (just me) Bigger cable is always better than small.
    I prefer to use nothing smaller than #10 or #12 stranded to wire to each piece of equipment.
    I use #8 stranded from my Amplifiers/Tuners.
    All the Best
    Gary
     
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  14. Shadetree Mechanic

    Shadetree Mechanic 808 On The North Side of Dover

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    My browser crashed. I was able to get a picture of what I wrote before it was lost.

    IMG_20200830_061930768_HDR.jpg
     
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  15. Slowmover

    Slowmover Elmer

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    Ha! “Browser Crash”

    You did that using DICTATION on the computer — your 980 nearby — while reading via 10x40 binoculars both from from across the backyard and thru the window using that wireless Uniden bc906 microphone, didn’t you?

    Then,
    you made a final azimuth adjustment on a Schmitt & Bender variable-power rifle scope to get that screenshot with the telephone, right?

    Some guys “talk preparedness”.
    A few are far ahead in the game.

    .
     
    #15 Slowmover, Aug 30, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2020
    Shadetree Mechanic likes this.

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