Remember the picture hangers? Which, as it turns out, could not be easily cut out of dead fluorescent fixtures without some considerable difficulty?
Well, I finally hauled a small pile of dead fluorescent bodies to the metal shop and asked the monitor in charge if there -was- a way to turn that scrap into useful strips, or whether I should just go find some nice flat metal, maybe even already in narrow strips.
First he thought the metal chop saw might be the right approach. Then reconsidered and tried the metal bandsaw, which was quite impressive, but the fixture was way to light (and squashable) to easily be clamped down -and- sawed. It got partially cut, and then was pulled free of the clamp by the saw in a not very spectactular but still kind of alarming fashion.
So he just cut off the end of the fixture with tin snips, and suggested using a jigsaw to cut the strips out. After flattening the fixture out a bit, we (well, mostly he) set up some scrap wood to clamp the metal to, and I took the jigsaw to it. (Dangit, I should have photographed that setup. Next time . . . )
It worked great! For future, though, I want to cut the strip in one pass, rather than two, because I couldn’t get the two cuts to line up, which left a jagged edge that took too much grinding to get even.
Still, for a first try, it worked very well. Jigsaw. Who knew! (It’s all in the blade you choose. This should have been obvious to me.)
I got the strip cut to size, and one end cut and rounded off (this will be the hook that the picture hangs from), and used a belt sander to remove all the rough bits from the raw edges. It is nearly done!
I think tonight I will see about bending the strip into the right shape, using the very small metal brake (or perhaps a vise and pliers).