An overview of cutting metal for fabrication.

Cutting stock to length and shape.

Marking out

In order to accurately cut your stock to length, you need to mark it out. This can be done with permanent marker, felt tip pen, or welders chalk.


The principle method for cutting metal lengths in the Fab Lab is by using the docking saw. The docking saw at Fab Lab is a cold cut docking saw, which means it cuts through the material with minimal sparking. The saw will allow mitre cuts between 0 and 45 degrees.

A level 3 induction is required before using this tool where students can learn effective and safe methods for cutting metals.

Alternative cutting techniques.

In certain circumstances, the docking saw will not be sufficient to achieve the cuts required.

  • If an angle is greater than what can be achieved with the saw. (45 degrees)

  • If a compound angle is required.

  • If a cut is not planar.

In these circumstances, other tools will be needed. Options include:

  • The use of a custom made jig with a hand held angle grinder (with guidance from Fab Lab staff).

  • The use of the metal laser cutter services at Fab Lab.

  • Outsourcing of cutting to a supplier.

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