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  • Jul 30th, 2020 11:17 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
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Jul 30, 2005
3704 posts
871 upvotes
Hamilton

Cutting Metal Door

I have been volunteered to install a half glass insert into my family’s front door.

What method have you used in the past? I’m down to a circular saw with metal rated blade or an angle grinder with a Zip disk. Either method I was planning on going through one skin first and flip the door and repeat.

I’ve always had issues with keeping a perfect straight line with a circular saw so I would need to rig up some sort of guide. Angle grinder I think would give more control and would let you do small plunge cuts to stay on your line if you really needed to.

Thoughts?
12 replies
Deal Addict
Feb 22, 2007
2028 posts
270 upvotes
Mississauga
jig saw works fine...you dont need perfectly straight because the window lite will cover the edge
Deal Addict
Nov 9, 2011
1198 posts
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Toronto
Track saw would be best - but a circular saw with a jig guide will work too.
Jr. Member
Feb 5, 2019
189 posts
165 upvotes
Angle grinder with an angle channel as a guide clamped to the door would be my recommendation.
Deal Guru
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Mar 23, 2008
13006 posts
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Edmonton
All I can say is measure multiple times, and cut once. Even consider drilling a small hole through on each corner, so you can line things up properly.

For what you're doing, a 2x4 (try to make sure it's relatively straight) or even a 4' level clamped in place would work for a guide. Plenty of YouTube video's on making a guide for a circular saw.

C
Deal Expert
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Oct 6, 2010
15507 posts
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Toronto
I put painters tape along the areas of my cuts. Someone told me about it a while ago. It helped me keep a straight line and minimise sparkage using an angle grinder.
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Deal Addict
Dec 9, 2003
4990 posts
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Calgary
Jig saw. Tape along the line to avoid scratching. You have at least 1/2" of leeway with the flange for the insert. Don't overthink it. Angle grinder etc are also all viable ways.
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Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
11947 posts
7119 upvotes
Paris
We do this from time to time at work (window and door installers). The very best method is with a cordless Milwaukee metal saw. Second best is a jigsaw with the correct metal blade and you simply clamp on a piece of wood that acts as a straight edge. There will be a burr when you cut it with a jigsaw but it will be covered by the door lite frame.

The biggest mistake rookies make doing this is making the hole too small. The hole size vs glass is surprisingly big.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 26, 2008
6838 posts
2613 upvotes
BC
Just done this on a fibreglass door. Thought about angle grinder versus jigsaw versus circular saw.

Went with jig saw primarily to deal easily with the 4 corners, which worked out fine.

With an angle grinder or circular saw I would be nervous about overshooting at the corners.

The important thing is to take time to check and double check that you have the lines drawn accurately on each face of the door.
That takes more time than the actual cutting and securing the insert.

Usual recommendation is to remove the door from its hinges and do the cutting using saw horses.
I did it in situ using a step stool to do all cuts at eye level more or less, thus didn't have to struggle with easing the door back onto its hinges.
Didn't even remove the handles/levers - just held them carefully out of the way. (That would be more difficult with a circular saw or angle grinder.)
Deal Addict
Nov 17, 2012
4594 posts
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Toronto
Always drill a small 1/4" hole in each corner, cover the cutting area with masking tape (green painters tape works well), draw lines with a straightedge and use a jigsaw with a metal cutting blade.

Go to town. Did this a few years ago (probably 20) and am about to do it again to put a full height window in one of my doors.
[OP]
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Jul 30, 2005
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Hamilton
don't you find with a jigsaw that the blade is jabbing/stabbing against the second layer of the door?
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Nov 17, 2012
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Toronto
adblink182 wrote: don't you find with a jigsaw that the blade is jabbing/stabbing against the second layer of the door?
It shouldn't if the blade is long enough.

Nothing wrong with doing one side at a time too - it very well may be how I did mine in 1997 LOL. I'll find out when I do it again in a couple of weeks.
Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
11947 posts
7119 upvotes
Paris
adblink182 wrote: don't you find with a jigsaw that the blade is jabbing/stabbing against the second layer of the door?
We do not

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