SAWING AND CUTTING TOOLS

Sawing and cutting tools are made to cut materials down to size. These tools include saws, chisels, knives, and punches. In this chapter, you will learn about different types of sawing and cutting tools and their uses. You will also learn how to select the right tool for the job, use and read various types of tools, and provide the proper care of sawing and cutting tools to keep them in good working condition.

When you have completed this lesson, you will be able to:

Contents

 


SAWS

Types and Uses

Saws are tools with thin flat steel blades that have a row of spaced notches or “teeth” along the edge. The blade is fastened to a handle. Saws are available in various sizes and designs depending on their use and the material to be cut. The most common types of saws are handsaw (crosscut and ripsaw), one-man crosscut saw, two-man crosscut saw, backsaw, nest-of-saws, compass (keyhole) saw, coping saw, dovetail saw, and hacksaw.

Handsaw

The handsaw consists of a thin flat blade with teeth and a wooden or plastic handle, called the heel, fastened to the end of the blade by screws. The handsaw is used in carpentry, rough-out work, and for “finish” hand sawing. Sizes of handsaws vary depending on design and nature of the task. There are two categories of handsaws: the ripsaw and the crosscut. The ripsaw, has large chisel-shaped teeth, usually 5 1/2 teeth per inch. It is designed to cut with the wood grain, with teeth that are cross-filed to ensure the chisel point is set square to the direction of cutting. The ripping action of this saw produces a coarse ragged cut not desirable for finish work.

The crosscut saw has teeth shaped like knife points to crumble out wood between cuts. It is designed to cut across wood grain and produces a smoother cut than ripsaws. They can also be used to cut plywood.

One-Man Crosscut Saw

The one-man crosscut saw is about 36 inches long and has a handle at one end. This type of saw is characterized by a high-grade steel blade with two types of teeth known as cutters and rakers. The cutters do the cutting, and the rakers chisel out and remove chips from the cut. It is used for heavy work such as cutting down trees and sawing heavy timbers.

Two-Man Crosscut Saw

The two-man crosscut saw is 5 to 6 1/2 feet long with a handle at each end. As with the one-man crosscut saw, it also has a high-grade steel blade with the cutter and raker teeth arrangement. It is used when two men are required for extra heavy cutting jobs.

Backsaw

The backsaw has a straight blade and parallel top and bottom, with a heavy strip of steel or brass wrapped along the back to provide rigidity. The handle is of similar shape to other handsaws except it is usually mounted higher. Backsaws are used for general bench work such as cutting joints and smaller sections of lumber to length. Sizes vary depending on design and nature of work.

Nest-of-Saws

Nest-of-saws consist of a wooden handle to which several different blades can be attached, making up different types of saws such as the keyhole or compass saw. A slotted end at the heel of each blade slips into the pistol-grip type handle where a wingnut fastens it in place. Nest-of-saws are used to cut along curved lines, to start cuts for larger saws, or to make starting saw cuts from drilled holes or small openings. The size of these saws will vary depending on design and nature of use.

Compass (Keyhole) Saw

The compass saw has a narrow blade that tapers nearly to a point. This point helps it to fit in tight spaces where larger saws would not fit. There are three or four blade styles that can be changed according to the cutting job. It cuts curves quickly in wood and wallboard.

A keyhole saw is a small compass saw with finer teeth, used to cut metal. Keyhole saw blades can come in a turret head model that can be rotated and locked in several positions to ease cutting in tight spots.

Coping Saw

The coping saw has a narrow flexible blade attached to a U-shaped frame. Blade holders at each end of the frame can be rotated so it can cut at any angle. This saw is used for cutting irregular shapes, curves, and intricate decorative patterns.

Dovetail Saw

The dovetail saw (Figure 6-8) is similar to a backsaw with its stiff reinforced back, but it is smaller with finer teeth. It is used for fine finish cuts, such as dovetail joints. It is commonly used for trimming molding and repairing furniture. It can also be used to cut plastics and laminates.

Hacksaw

The hacksaw (Figure 6-9) is designed to cut almost any size or shape of metal object. The hacksaw uses two types of blades, hard and flexible. The type of blade used depends on the nature of the task. The blade is held to the saw frame by pins that fit into small holes at each end of the blade. Blade tension is adjusted by a screw and wingnut assembly at either the nose or the handle end of the frame. The hacksaw comes in various designs, depending on the purpose.

Using Saws

Using the Crosscut Saw

Warning

Wear eye protection to avoid flying wood chips.

The following steps describe how to use a crosscut saw properly:

  1. In using the crosscut saw, place the work on a level just below the knees. Place one sawhorse, bench, or other support fairly close to the line of cut.


Figure 1 — Thumb position.


Figure 2 — Proper saw angle

  1. Begin the cut by placing your hand with the thumb in an upright position pressed against the blade away from the teeth (Figure 1).
  2. Start sawing slowly to prevent the blade from jumping off the cut line.
  3. After the blade is engaged, use partial cutting strokes and be sure to set the saw at the proper angle (Figure 2).
  4. During the cut, apply pressure only during the down stroke.
  5. When nearing the end of a cut, hold the waste side of the wood to prevent board breaking off unevenly.

Using the Keyhole Saw

Warning

Wear protective eyewear to avoid flying metal chips.

The following steps describe how to use a keyhole saw properly:

  1. To make an inside-out cut, first drill a hole large enough to admit the point of the saw (Figure 3).
  2. Insert the saw blade and start to cut slowly (Figure 4), with a minimum of pressure.
  3. Be careful not to twist the blade too sharply, as the narrow blade will easily bend.


Figure 3 — Drill a hole.


Figure 4 — Insert the saw blade.

Using the Hacksaw

Warning

Wear eye protection to avoid flying wood chips.

The following steps describe how to use a hacksaw properly:

  1. Insert the correct blade in the hacksaw frame and adjust the wingnut for proper tension.
  2. Secure the material to be cut in a vise or other holding device to avoid vibration which may snap the blade.
  3. To make an accurate cut, use a file to make a notch for guiding the first strokes of the saw (Figure 5).
  4. Steady the saw by holding the handle with the right hand and the frame with the left.
  5. Hold the blade parallel to the work surface and cut on the push stroke (Figure 6), being careful not to bear down too hard. Draw the blade back using no pressure each time.
  6. Saw at a rate not to exceed 40 to 50 strokes per minute.


Figure 5 — Make a notch.


Figure 6 — Hold the blade parallel.

Care of Saws

Observe the following guidelines when working with saws:

 

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CHISELS

Types and Uses

Woodworker's Chisels


Socket-type chisel.

There are two types of woodworker’s chisels, the socket- and tang-type. The socket-type chisel has a blade and socket handle forged of high carbon steel in a single casting. The wooden handle is inserted into the socket. This type of chisel is used to cut and pare off wood. Generally, socket-type chisels are used for heavier cutting when a hammer or mallet may be required for additional driving force. The tang-type chisel  is forged in a single casting. The handle is drilled and inserted over the tang and reinforced with a metal band.


Tang-type chisel

The tang-type chisels are also used to cut and pare wood. However, the driving force required is hand pressure only.

Machinists’ Chisels

Machinists’ chisels are classified according to the shape of their points, and the width of the cutting edge denotes their size. The most common shapes of chisels are cold chisel, cape, round nose, and diamond point. Chisels are designed to cut and shape cold metal and are usually struck with a hammer.

The flat or cold chisel is composed of hardened steel and has a tapered cutting edge on one end and a flat base on the other end.

The diamond point chisel  has a solid point on one end and a flat base on the other end. It is used for drawing and cutting holes in flat stocks and to cut V-grooves.

The cape chisel  has a small solid point on one end and a flat base on the other end. It is used for cutting keyways or slots in metal and square corners.

The round nose chisel has a ground edge on one end, a flat base on the other end, and an octagon-shaped stock. It is used to align drilled holes, cut channels, cut oil grooves, and similar work.

Track Chisel

The track chisel has a beveled point on one end and a flat face on the other end. The cutting edge is 1 3/8 inches wide; the overall length is 10 1/2 inches and it weighs 5 1/2 pounds. The track chisel is used with a 22-inch sledge hammer to remove track bolts, boiler rivet heads, and cut rail when a saw or cutting torch is not available.

Rivet Buster Chisel

The rivet buster chisel has a single ground flat cutting edge on one end and a flat face on the other end. The cutting edge is about 3/4 of an inch wide and the overall length is about 9 inches. It is used for cutting off chassis rivets and in other difficult places which cannot be reached by other chisels.

Masonry Chisel

The masonry chisel is used to cut masonry, such as concrete block and brick. There are also masonry chisels with teeth used for cutting soft stone.

Flooring Chisel

The flooring chisel is used to remove flooring material. It has a larger head to increase the striking area.

Using Chisels

Using a Woodworker’s Chisel

Warning

Wear eye protection. Keep both hands back from the cutting edge at all times.

Use the wood chisel to make openings or notches in wooden material. Use the chisel to make a recess for butt-type hinges, such as door hinges. Follow these steps to use a wood chisel properly:

  1. Use a pencil to outline the opening or recess to be chiseled.
  2. Set the chisel at one end of the outline. The edge of the chisel should be on the cross-grain line. The bevel should be facing the recess to be made.
  3. Strike the head of the chisel lightly with a mallet.
  4. Repeat the process at the other end of the outline, with the bevel of the chisel blade toward the recess.
  5. Make a series of cuts about 1/4 of an inch apart from one end of the recess to the other.
  6. Trim away the notched wood. Hold the chisel bevel-side down to slice inward from the end of the recess (Figure 7).


Figure 7 — Using a woodworker’s chisel.

Using a Machinist’s Cold Chisel

Warning

Wear eye protection to avoid flying metal chips.

 

Note

The following procedure is designed for using a machinist’s cold chisel. However, cutting round stock is not the only use for this type of chisel.

A cold chisel is used to cut metal, as long as that metal is softer than the steel that the chisel is made of. You can use it to cut rivets, nuts, and bolts made of brass, bronze, copper, or iron. The following steps describe how to use a machinist’s cold chisel properly:

  1. Secure the material you need to cut in a vise.
  2. Use a holding tool to place the blade of the chisel where you want to cut the material.
  3. Hit the chisel handle with a ball peen hammer to force the chisel into and through the material (repeat if necessary).

    Using a Rivet Buster Chisel

    Warning

    Wear eye protection to avoid flying metal chips.

    The following steps describe how to use a rivet buster chisel properly:

    1. Place the cutting edge of the chisel firmly against the rivet shaft between the head and the metal (Figure8).
    2. Grip the chisel firmly and strike chisel head with a machinist’s or sledge hammer.
    3. Continue striking chisel head until rivet head has been cut off.


Figure 8 — Using a rivet buster chisel.

Care of Chisels

Use these guidelines when working with chisels:

 

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PUNCHES

Types and Uses

There are two basic types of punches; solid-which are the most common, and hollow-which are usually designed for punching holes in leather, paper, and other similar materials. Solid punches are used to mark metal, drive pins, align holes and do other similar jobs.

Center Punches

There are two types of center punches, both used for starting drill holes.


Handheld center punch

The handheld center punch has a narrow, cone-shaped point terminating in a sharp conical tip. Handheld-types range from 1/8 to 5/8 of an inch in diameter and from 3 to 6 inches long. The handheld punch must be struck with a hammer.


Automatic center punch

The automatic center punch has an adjustable regulator for determining the impact of the punch and also has interchangeable points. The automatic punch contains a tension spring for marking without the use of a hammer.

Drift Punch

The drift punch has a narrow tapered flat point. The points range in size from 1/8 to 1/2 of an inch in diameter with an overall length from 7 to 9 inches. Drift punches may be used to remove shafts, pins, and rivets (after heads have been removed), and align small parts.

Alignment Punch

 The alignment punch has a narrow tapered flat point. The points range in size from 1/8 to 1/2 of an inch in diameter with an overall length of 12 to 15 inches. Alignment punches are used to line up mating parts for assembly. The punch should be large enough for the job. A punch that is too small may bend or break.

Drive Pin Punch

The drive pin punch has a flat tip which may be tapered. Points may range in size from 0.03 to 1/2 of an inch and are from 3 to 6 inches long. Standard drive pin punches usually come in sets of nine. Drive pin punches are used to remove straight or tapered pins. The right size punch should be used for the pin being removed.

Prick Punch

The prick punch has a long conical-shaped point and ranges from 4 to 5 inches in overall length. It is used to mark soft metal.

Starting Punch

The starting punch has a strong tapered point capable of resisting applied force. It is used to start the removal of a pin from an assembly.

Grommet-Inserting Punch

The grommet-inserting punch  consists of two parts. The solid punch part has a tapered point and a flat shoulder. The round die part has flat ends with a bored hole in one end to receive the point of the punch. Grommet-inserting punches are used to form the flange on grommets, which are installed along the edges of flags, sails, mail bags, and similar items.

Catapunch

The catapunch consists of a pointed head mounted on a coiled spring shaft. It is used to mark centers on metal or wood without the use of a hammer.

Metal Cutting Punch

The metal cutting punch has an open sharpened edge on one end and a solid shaft on the other end. The center portion of the punch is bowed for catching the metal scrap. The metal cutting punch ranges in size from 1/4 of an inch to 1 inch. Metal cutting punches are used to punch holes in thin sheet metal and require the use of a mallet or machinist’s hammer.

Tinmen’s Hollow Punch

The tinmen’s hollow punch has a solid metal shank terminating in a sharpened hollowed end. It is used to punch holes through thin sheet metal.

Sheet Metal Punch

The sheet metal punch is a heavy-duty steel punch approximately seven inches in length. It tapers to a fine point and must be struck to produce the hole. It is used to punch holes through sheet metal to take fastenings.

Lever Punch

The lever punch incorporates an interchangeable punch and a matching die or anvil. The die backs up the material, prevents distortion, and leaves a clean hole. This type of punch is used to punch small round holes near the edges of metal or leather material.

Using Punches

Using a Center Punch

Warning

Wear eye protection to avoid flying metal chips.

 

Note

The procedure which follows is only one of many uses of a handheld center punch  — a sheet metal punch.

The following steps describe how to use a center punch properly:

  1. Mark the material to be punched with an "X."
  2. Hold the punch over the mark. Tilt it so that you can align the tip with the center of the “X.”
  3. Position the punch upright and strike the blunt end of the punch with a hammer (Figure 9).


Figure 9 — Using a center punch.

  1. Remove the punch and check your mark. If it is not in the center of the "X" or not deep enough, you will have to repeat the procedure.

Using a Drift Punch

Warnings

Wear eye protection to avoid flying metal chips.

 

Note
  1. The removal of a pin from a shaft is only one of many uses for a drift punch.

The following steps describe how to use a drift punch properly:

  1. Select a punch which is slightly smaller than the pin which is to be removed. Care must be taken when selecting a punch for removing a split pin. If the punch is too small, it may become lodged in the pin.
  2. Hold the punch over the center of the pin and tap the punch lightly with a hammer (Figure 10), which should move the pin. It may be necessary to apply penetrating oil to the pin before it will move.


Figure 10 — Using a drift punch.

  1. Catch the pin before it falls out of the shaft. When the pin is about half way out of the shaft, you can let go of the punch.

Using an Alignment Punch

Warnings
  • Wear eye protection to avoid flying metal chips.
  • Do not strike this punch with a hammer.

 

Note

This tool, unlike others, has only one basic use.

The following steps describe how to use an alignment punch properly:

  1. Select a punch having a smaller diameter than the smallest hole to be aligned.
  2. Insert tip of punch through the hole using only hand pressure (Figure 11).


Figure 11 — Using an alignment punch.

  1. Hold the assembled parts while you remove the punch. Proper use of an alignment punch prevents damaging threaded parts.
  2. Place screw in aligned holes and tighten.

Care of Punches

Use these guidelines when working with chisels:

 

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GASKET CUTTERS

Types and Uses

Circle Gasket Cutter

The compass-style circle gasket cutter cuts gaskets with 4-inch diameters through 20-inch diameters. It cuts leather, paper, plastic, rubber, sheet lead, or thin wood. It has an aluminum frame with a graduated scale, steel pivot pin, and tempered tool steel knives. It requires a knurled thumb screw adjustment to change diameters.

Bit Brace Circle Gasket Cutter

The bit brace circle gasket cutter adjusts from 1 to 5 1/2 inches in diameter. It cuts metal, plastic, wood, hardwood, and other materials. It has a tapered square shank to fit a bit brace. It comes with a 3/16-inch tool steel bit, 1/4-inch pilot drill, and a hex wrench for easy adjustment.

Hollow Gasket Cutter

The hollow gasket cutter is also known as a hollow punch. It is extremely serviceable for cutting soft materials. It comes in a set with a mandrel. The sizes are 1/4, 5/16, 3/8, 7/16, 1/2, 9/16, and 5/8 of an inch. The set will withstand unlimited use if a hardwood block is used under the gasket material when cutting gaskets. It is not designed for cutting metal or cutting against a hard surface. Other individual hollow gasket cutters are also available.

Heavy Duty Bench Mount Gasket Cutter

The bench mount gasket cutter is used for heavy duty jobs requiring gaskets cut from the heaviest of materials.

Using the Gasket Cutter

Below are examples of how several of the gasket cutters in this chapter can be used.

Using a Circle Gasket Cutter


Figure 12 — Using a circle gasket cutter.

Using a circle gasket cutter to cut a gasket is illustrated in Figure 12.

Using a Bit Brace Circle Gasket Cutter


Figure 13 — Using a bit brace circle gasket cutter.

Cutting a smaller circular gasket with a bit brace is depicted in Figure 13.

Using a Hollow Gasket Cutter


Figure 14 — Using a hollow gasket cutter.

Cutting small holes in a gasket with a hollow punch is illustrated in Figure 14.

Care of Gasket Cutters

 

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GLASS CUTTERS

Types and Uses

A glass cutter is a hand tool used for controlled breaking of flat or sheet glass.

Wheel-Type Glass Cutter

 The wheel glass cutter consists of a steel cutting wheel, notching teeth, and a holder. The cutting section is a wheel about 5 millimeters (mm) in diameter made of hardened steel or tungsten carbide, with the edge ground to a V-section.

Circle Glass Cutter

The circle glass cutter has an adjustable arm, a cutting head, and a suction cup clamp assembly. The cutting head scores a mark on the sheet of glass. The suction cup assembly provides an anchor. The circle glass cutter is used to cut circles in glass. The adjustable arm can be moved in the suction cup assembly to allow circles from 2 to 24 inches in diameter.

Using a Wheel-Type Glass Cutter

Warning

 Use care when handling glass. Wear gloves to protect your hands. Wear eye protection to prevent eye injury.

 

Note

Draw the cutter over the line only one time. If it is necessary to recut a groove, do not use a new cutter.

The following steps describe how to use a wheel-type glass cutter properly:

 

Figure 15 — Using a wheel-type glass cutter.

  1. Place padding (newspapers, a piece of carpet, or blanket) on a flat, level surface.
  2. Make sure the glass is clean. Apply alcohol along the line to be cut. Cleaning the glass prevents the cutting wheel from becoming gummed up while in use.
  3. Apply a drop of light machine oil to the cutting blade (Figure 15A).
  4. Hold down on the straight edge with one hand while holding the cutter in an upright position in the other hand (Figure 15B). Your forefinger should extend along the holder with your fingertip near the wheel.
  5. Place a straight edge along the line to be cut (Figure 15C). A wooden yardstick should be used when available, since wood will not slip easily on glass. The cutter will cut 1/16 of an inch from your mark, so adjust your guide before cutting.
  6. Start your cut at the far end of the pane of glass drawing the cutter toward you. It is important that you maintain proper pressure throughout the cut (Figure 15D). Correct pressure is indicated by a scratching sound. Too much pressure or a dull wheel will produce a crunching sound. Make a continuous mark from one edge to the other edge.
  7. A proper cut is indicated by a slight crack in the surface. It is best seen from the side opposite the mark (Figure 15E).
  8. To cut a narrow strip from a large piece of glass, score a line and then tap gently underneath the score line with the cutter to open up an inch or so of the score line, as shown in Figure 15F.
  9. To part the glass, gently snap off the waste piece as shown in Figure 15G.
  10. Remaining chips may be removed by applying a downward twisting motion using the notches of the cutter or a pair of pliers (Figure 15H).
  11. You can smooth off the edges of glass intended for shelving or tabletops with an oilstone dipped in water, as illustrated in Figure 15I.

Care of Cutters

Observe the following guidelines when working with glass cutters:

 

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KNIVES

Types and Uses

Most knives have cutting edges and are used to cut, pare, notch, and trim wood, leather, rubber, and other materials. However, putty knives are used to apply and spread putty when installing glass.

Rubber Cutting Knives

Rubber cutting knives come in a variety of styles and shapes. Some taper to a blunt round point. Some have a short wide blade . Others have a long wide hollow ground blade. The handle is usually oval in shape.

Saddler’s Knife

A saddler’s knife is used on leather and comes in different shapes. One type has a broad point on a 1 1/8-inch by 5-inch blade. Another has a 5/8-inch by 3 7/8-inch square-point blade. Another has a 5-inch rounded-end blade. Shoe knives are similar to saddler’s knives, but usually they have a 3/4-inch by 3 1/4-inch blade.

Shop Knife

The shop knife, also called a utility knife, is a general-use tool used to cut material such as drywall, laminates, wallboard, paper, cardboard, linoleum, canvas, upholstery materials, and plastic. The handle of a utility knife is made of two pieces of aluminum or plastic held together with a screw and has storage space for five interchangeable blades. The shop knife blade can usually be locked in one of three positions when in use, depending on the depth of cut needed, and retracts completely for safe storage.

Pocket Knife

Pocket knives are used for light cutting, sharpening pencils, cutting string, and whittling. They are not suitable for heavy work. There are many styles and shapes. Some are multipurpose and have an assortment of blades, which are used for forcing holes, driving screws, and opening cans, as well as cutting. The blades are hinged and contained within the case when not in use and are spring-loaded to keep them firmly in place when open or closed.

Draw Knife

A draw knife is a flat-edged tool used especially on round timber to rough-shape wood. It is used to smooth wood after chopping with a hatchet or axe. It consists of a single bevel blade and two round wooden handles, one at each end and at right angles to the blade. The handles may be adjustable or rigid.

Putty Knife

The putty knife is used for scraping surfaces or spreading material such as plaster or applying putty to window sashes in setting panes of glass. Widths vary from 1 1/4 inches to 6 inches or more, depending on what the putty knife will be used for. Stiff-blade knives, usually 0.040 of an inch thick, are used for scraping. Flexible blade knives, usually 0.020 of an inch thick, are used for spreading.

Using a Putty Knife

The following steps describe how to use a putty knife properly:

  1. Before applying new putty, make sure that the frame is clean and all the old putty has been removed.
  2. Roll new putty into a rope (Figure 16) and press it into the frame with your fingers.


Figure 16 — Setting glass with a putty knife.

Note

Occasionally dip the putty knife into water to aid in shaping the putty.

  1. With the putty knife, shape the putty into an angle sloping from the glass down to the edge of the frame (Figure 16).
  2. Finish with full, smooth, accurately formed bevels with clean cut miters. Trim up the bed putty on the reverse side of the glass.

 

Care of Knives

Observe the following guidelines when working with knives:

 

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BOLT AND CABLE CUTTERS

Types and Uses

Warning

Bolt cutters are considered security items. Always secure these tools when not in use.

Bolt and cable cutters come with a variety of cutting edges which are designed for specific applications. They are shaped like giant shears with short blades and long handles. The handles are hinged at one end. The cutters are at the end of extensions, which are jointed in such a way that the inside joint is forced outward when the handles are closed. This action forces the cutting edges together with great force. Bolt cutters are made in lengths from 18 to 36 inches. The larger ones will cut mild steel bolts and rods up to 1/2 inch in diameter.

Center Cut Cutter

The center cut cutter is used for all general purpose cutting. The cutting jaws are firmly fixed in line with the handles. The cutting edges are in the center of the jaw between equal levels. The longer handles increase the cutting capacity. The cutting capacities range from 3/16 to 1/2 of an inch for medium steel, and from 5/16 to 11/16 of an inch for soft steel. The handles range from 14- to 42-inch lengths.

Clipper Cut Cutter

The cutting edges of the clipper cut cutter are in line with the handles and beveled almost entirely from one side. These cutters allow very close cutting of projecting ends. The cutting capacities range from 1/4 to 9/16 of an inch for medium steel, and from 5/16 to 11/16 of an inch for soft steel. The handles range from 14- to 42-inch lengths.

Shear Cut, Flat Bar, and Strip Cutter

Shear cut, flat bar, and strip cutters are used to cut flat-soft, medium-hard bar, and strip stock. The cutting edges of the jaws pass each other in the manner of scissors, making a complete shear cut.

The cutting capacities range from 7/8 by 5/32 of an inch to 1 1/2 by 9/32 of an inch for soft and medium steel, and from 3/4 by 1/8 of an inch to 1 7/16 by 1/4 of an inch for hard steel. The handles range from 14- to 36-inch lengths.

Side Nut Splitter Cutter

The side nut splitter cutterhas the edge of the cutting jaws in line with the handles. When adjusted properly, the cutting edges will remain separated after the nut is split. This tool is used to split nuts off bolts without damaging the bolt. Cutting capacity is rated for a 3/8-inch bolt nut and is adjustable to 5/16 of an inch and 1/4 of an inch capacity. The handle is 24 inches long.

Angular Cut Cutter

Angular cut cutters have the cutting edges offset 30 degrees from the handles. This offset angle is so the user can keep the work in sight. It is used for close cutting of soft or medium-hard metals. Cutting capacities range from 1/4 of an inch to 1/2 of an inch for medium steel. The handles range from 14 to 36 inches long.

Shear Cut Cable Cutter

Shear cut cable cutters have curved interposing cutters. They are used to cut lead and rubber-covered cable, and communication cable. Cutting capacities for lead and rubber-covered cable is 1 3/8 inches for the 25 1/2-inch long handle, and 2 1/4 inches for the 37-inch long handle. The communication cable cutting capacity for the 25- 1/2-inch long handle is 0.813 of an inch, and 0.998 of an inch for the 37-inch long handle.

Using Center Cut Cutters

Warning

When using bolt cutters, make sure your fingers are clear of the jaws and hinges. Wear eye protection to avoid flying metal chips.

 

Cautions
  1. Use extreme care when using a cutter to avoid catching any part of the body or clothes between handles as pressure is applied to them.
  2. Never attempt to cut spring wire or other tempered metal with bolt cutters; the jaws can be sprung or nicked.

The following steps describe how to use a center cut cutter properly:

  1. Clamp or steady the work if unattached before cutting to prevent the cutters from slipping.
  2. Dry hands and handles of the cutter before using to prevent slipping.
  3. Position the work as far back as possible into the jaws (Figure 17) to prevent damage to the jaws as well as to reduce the pressure required for cutting.


Figure 17 — Position the work in the cutter jaws.

  1. Stand at a right angle to the work being cut and apply steady pressure to the handles until the work has been cut off. Do not pry or twist with the handles while cutting.

Care of Bolt and Cable Cutters

Observe the following guidelines when working with bolt and cable cutters:

 

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PIPE CUTTING AND THREADING TOOLS

Types and Uses

Pipe Cutters

There are two sizes of pipe cutters. One size can cut from 1/8 to 2 inches, while the other can cut from 2 to 4 inches. The pipe cutter has a cutting blade and two pressure rollers which are adjusted and tightened by turning the handle. Pipe cutters are used to cut steel, brass, copper, wrought iron, and lead pipe.

Pipe Threading Set

The pipe threading set contains an assortment of cutting dies, handle, wrench, collar, and locking screws. The cutting dies may range from 1/8 of an inch to 2 inches in diameter. The threading set is used to cut American Standard Pipe threads on steel, brass, copper, wrought iron, and lead pipe.

Using a Pipe Cutter

Warning

Pipe often comes with a protective cap to keep you from getting cut on the sharp pipe ends. Leave this cap on.

 

Notes
  • Be sure the cutter is at a right angle to the pipe to keep the wheel on track.
  • If the part of the pipe you cut off is going to be used, put in vise and repeat step 5. If you are going to store the pipe, put the protective cover back on.

The following steps describe how to use a pipe cutter properly:

  1. The pipe should be marked where it is to be cut and fastened securely in a vise. Be sure the mark is clear so that it can be cut.
  2. The cutter should be installed so the cutter wheel is over the mark and the cutting wheel can be seen from the top view of the pipe, as shown in Figure 18.
  3. The adjustment wheel or handle should be turned 1/4 of a turn clockwise to force the cutter wheel against the pipe.
  4. The cutter should be revolved around the pipe and the adjustment wheel turned 1/4 turn per rotation until the pipe is cut through and separates.
  5. Remove the shoulder (the rough edge left by cutting) from the outside of the pipe with a file (Figure 19). Remove the burr from the inside of the pipe with a pipe reamer.


Figure 18 — Cutting a pipe.


Figure 19 — Remove the shoulder from the pipe.

Using a Pipe Threading Set

Warning

Pipe ends are extremely sharp. Use care when handling.

The following steps describe how to use a pipe threading tool properly:

  1. Clamp pipe securely in pipe vise with end to be threaded extending beyond the edge of the vise jaws as shown in Figure 20.
  2. Measure inside pipe diameter to determine the proper die.
  3. Inspect the die for nicks, and be sure that it is sharp. Assemble die on ratchet die stock as described in steps 4, 5, and 6.
  4. Insert collar.
  5. Insert cutting die over top of collar.
  6. Secure in place with locking screws.
  7. Set ratchet to turn in a counterclockwise direction by pulling out ratchet control knob and turning it 180 degrees. The ratchet permits cutting threads on pipes where it is not possible to turn the handle 360 degrees. It is set for clockwise or counterclockwise rotation by pulling out and turning the ratchet control knob from one detent to the other.
  8. Apply cutting oil to the die and to the end of the pipe to prevent overheating of dies and damaging of threaded surface.
  9. Slide the cutting die over the end of the pipe to be threaded and apply light pressure with the heel of your hand.
  10. Start the die with short strokes of the ratchet handle (Figure 21). Be sure the die is going on the pipe squarely.


Figure20 — Secure the pipe.


Figure 21 — Placing die stock on a pipe.

  1. After a full turn of the die, apply another coat of cutting oil.
  2. After two more turns of the die, back off one turn and apply a coat of cutting oil.
  3. Keep repeating step 12 until desired thread length is obtained.
  4. Reverse ratchet by pulling ratchet control knob from detent and turning it 180 degrees. Then back up the cutting die.
  5. Wipe excess oil and metal shavings from die and ratchet handle.
Note

If metal shavings become clogged in the die, remove the die and clean it with a piece of cloth.

  1. Disassemble the die from the ratchet handle by removing locking screws. Remove the die and collar from ratchet head.
  2. Wipe excess oil and shavings from the threaded end of pipe.
  3. Place cap, if available, over threads and remove the pipe from the vise.

Care of Pipe Cutters and Threading Sets

Observe the following guidelines when working with pipe cutters and threading sets:

Pipe Cutters

Threading Sets

 

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TUBE CUTTING AND FLARING TOOLS

Types and Uses

Tube Cutters

Tube cutters have a cutting blade, guide rollers, and an adjusting screw. Some cutters have a reaming blade attached to the frame of the cutter. Tube cutters can cut from 1/8-inch through 2 5/8-inch tubing. They can cut copper, aluminum, or brass tubing.

Flaring Tool


Flaring tools

Flaring tools are used to flare soft copper, brass, or aluminum. The single flaring tool consists of a split die block, which has holes for 3/16-, 1/4, 5/16-, 3/8-, 7/16-, and 1/2-inch outside diameter tubing; a clamp to lock the tube in the die block; and a yoke, which slips over the die block. It has a compressor screw and a cone that forms a 45-degree flare or a bell shape on the end of the tube. The screw has a T-handle. A double flaring tool has the additional feature of adapters, which turn in the edge of the tube before a regular 45-degree double flare is made. It consists of a die block with holes for 3/16-, 1/4-, 5/16-, 3/8-, and 1/2-inch tubing; a yoke with a screw and a flaring cone; plus five adapters for different size tubing, all carried in a case.

Using a Flaring Tool

The following steps describe how to use a flaring tool properly:


Figure 22 — Using a flaring tool.

  1. Loosen the die block clamp screws, and open the die block clamp.
  2. Insert the tubing to be flared into the die block clamp.
  3. Hold the tubing so there is about 1/8 of an inch extending above the die block clamp, and tighten the die block clamp screws.
  4. Slide the yoke over the die block clamp, and align the tip over the end of the tubing.
  5. Tighten the feed screw to force the tip into the tubing and force the tubing into the chamber of the die block clamp.
  6.  When the desired flare is reached, unscrew the feed screw, and remove the yoke from the die block clamp.
  7. Unscrew the die block clamp screws and open the die block clamp, releasing the tubing.
  8. Inspect the tubing flange for cracks or breaks.
  9. If a crack or break is detected, the tubing will have to be cut and reflanged.

Care of Tube Cutters and Flaring Tools

Observe the following guidelines when working with tube cutters and flaring tools:

Tube Cutters

Flaring Tool

 

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SHEARS AND NIPPERS

Types and Uses

Various types of hand snips and hand shears are used for cutting and notching sheet metal. All of the snips, shears, and nibblers are either manual or power operated. Hand snips are necessary because the shape, construction, location, and position of the work to be cut frequently prevent the use of machine-cutting tools.

Hand snips are divided into two groups, straight and circular cuts. Those for straight cuts are straight snips, combination snips, bulldog snips, and compound lever shears. Those for circular cuts are circle, hawk’s bill, aviation, and Trojan snips.

Straight Snips

The straight snips have straight jaws for straight-line cutting. To ensure strength, they are not pointed. These snips are made in various sizes and the jaws may vary from 2 to 4 1/2 inches. The overall length will also vary from 7 to 15 ľ inches. The different size snips are made to cut different thicknesses of metal with 18 gauge steel as a minimum for the larger snips. These snips are available for right- or left-hand use.

Combination Snips

The combination snips have straight jaws for straight cutting, but the inner faces of the jaws are sloped for cutting curves as well as irregular shapes. These snips are available in the same sizes and capacities as straight snips.

Bulldog Snips

The bulldog snips  are a combination type. They have short cutting blades with long handles for leverage. The blades are inlaid with special alloy steel for cutting stainless steel. Bulldog snips can cut 16 gauge mild steel. The blades are 2 1/2 inches long and the overall length of the snip varies from 14 to 17 inches.

Compound Lever Shears

Compound lever shears  have levers designed to give additional leverage to ease the cutting of heavy material. The lower blade is bent to allow the shears to be inserted in a hole in the bench or bench plate, which will hold the shear in an upright position and make the cutting easier. The cutting blades are removable and can be replaced. The capacity is 12 gauge mild steel. It has cutting blades that are 4 inches long, with an overall length of 34 ˝ inches.

Circle Snips

Circle snips  have curved blades and are used for making circular cuts, as the name implies. They come in the same sizes and capacities as straight snips and either right- or left-hand types are available.

Hawk’s Bill Snips

Hawk’s bill snips  are used to cut a small radius inside and an outside circle. The narrow curved blades are beveled to allow sharp turns without buckling the sheet metal. These snips are useful for cutting holes in pipe, in furnace hoods, and in close quarters work. These snips are available with a 2 ˝-inch long cutting edge, having an overall length of 11 ˝ or 13 inches, and a 20 gauge mild steel capacity.

Aviation Snips

Aviation snips  have compound levers, enabling them to cut with less effort. These snips have hardened blades that enable them to cut hard material. They are also useful for cutting circles, squares, compound curves, and intricate designs in sheet metal. Aviation snips come in three types: right hand, left hand, and straight. On right-hand snips, the blade is on the left and they cut to the left. Left-hand snips are the opposite. They are usually color-coded in keeping with industry standards– green cuts right, red cuts left, yellow cuts straight. Both snips can be used with the right hand. The snips are 10 inches long, have a 2-inch cut, and have a 16 gauge mild steel capacity.

Trojan Snips

Trojan snips  are slim-bladed snips that are used for straight or curved cutting. The blades are small enough to allow sharp turning cuts without buckling the metal. These snips can be used to cut outside curves and can also be used in place of circle snips, hawk’s bill snips, or aviation snips when cutting inside curves. The blades are forged high-grade steel. These snips come in two sizes: one has a 2 ˝-inch cutting length and an overall 12-inch length and the other has a 3-inch cutting length and an overall 13-inch length. They both have a 20 gauge capacity.

Pipe & Duct Snips (Double Cut)

Pipe & Duct snips  have a straight cut blade pattern. This type of aviation snip cuts a narrow section equal to the width of the center blade as it cuts. The material on either side of the cut tends to stay flat, as only the narrow section takes a curl as it is cut. This style can be used in stovepipe and downspout work where distortion on either side of the cut is not desirable.

Nibbler

The nibbler  is for cutting sheet metal with minimal distortion. One type operates much like a punch and die, with a blade that moves in a linear fashion against a fixed die, removing small bits of metal and leaving a kerf approximately 6 mm wide. Another type operates similar to tin snips, but shears the sheet along two parallel tracks 3 to 6 mm apart, rolling up the waste in a tight spiral as it cuts. Nibblers may be manual (hand-operated) or powered.

Tinner’s Bench Shears

The tinner’s bench shear is larger than a hand shear and is used for cutting heavy sheet metal. The lower handle has a hook which can be placed in a hole in the bench so the operator will have a free hand to guide the work. The bench shear makes a 6- inch cut and is approximately 36 inches long.

Metal Shearing Machine

The metal shearing machine is foot-operated and is used to cut original sheets into smaller, usable size stock. The shear blade is 36 inches long and will cut all sheet metal up to and including 1/16 of an inch of mild steel or 1/8 of an inch of iron.

Cutting Nippers

The cutting nippers are similar to the end cutting pliers. Nippers are used to cut protruding metal flush with a surface. They are also used to cut wire, bolts, nails, and light metal bars to specified dimensions. Nippers come in a variety of styles and sizes.

Using Cutting Nippers

Warning

Wear eye protection to avoid flying metal chips and watch the fingers.

The following steps describe how to use cutting nippers properly:

Wire Cutting

  1. Place the wire on the table and measure the section to be cut off.
  2. Mark it with pencil, chalk, soapstone, or other suitable marking piece.
  3. Take the nippers in your hand and place the cutting edge on the mark (Figure 23).


Figure 23 — Using a cutting nippers for wire cutting.

  1. Squeeze the handles together slowly, exerting enough pressure to cut the wire.
  2. Repeat procedure for as many pieces of wire needed to be cut.

Flush Cutting

  1. Place the cutting edge of the nippers over the nail, wire, rivet, or bolt that is to be cut flush with the surface (Figure 24).


Figure 24 — Using a cutting nippers for flush cutting.

  1. Squeeze the handles together slowly, exerting enough pressure to cut the materials.
  2. File cut edge smooth to prevent injury.

Care of Shears and Nippers

Observe the following guidelines when working with shears and nippers:

Caution

Do not use grinders on shears if sharpening is all that is necessary. Most shears become useless after two or three times of sharpening.

 

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BRUSH-CUTTING TOOLS

Types and Uses

When it is not practical to use an ax or other conventional cutting tool, a brush-cutting tool can be used. Brush-cutting tools are used for cutting underbrush, shrubs, tree branches, vines, and tall grass. Two of the most common brush-cutting tools are the brush hook and the machete. Brushcutting tools are available in various sizes and designs depending on the nature of use.

Brush Hook

The brush hook is a hook-shaped steel blade set onto a heavyduty metal or wooden handle. The inside edge of the hooked blade is sharpened like the cutting edge of an ax blade. The brush hook is used for cutting underbrush, shrubs, or branches. Tool size and design vary according to the task.

Machete

The machete used in the military is typically 18 inches long. The widest and heaviest portion is at the point of the blade. The blade is attached to a handle shaped to fit the hand. The handle is designed with a slight projection to prevent the machete from slipping from the hand while being used. The machete is used to cut tall grass, vines, and small brush.

Using the Brush Hook

The following steps describe how to use a brush hook properly:

  1. To use the brush hook on a tree branch (Figure 25), lift the curve of the hook above the branch and make short, chopping strokes downward against the surface of the branch.
  2. To cut small brush or bushes (Figure 26), swing the brush hook horizontally. The hooked portion will keep the brush from bouncing away from the cutting edge.
Warning

Wear proper eye protection when working where flying particles may cause eye injury.

 


Figure 25 — Using a brush hook on a tree.


Figure 26 — Using a brush hook on small brush.

Care of Brush-Cutting Tools

Observe the following guidelines when working with brush-cutting tools:

 

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Review Questions

1. Saws have what type of blade?

A. Thick and flat
B. Thick and round
C. Thin and flat
D. Thin and round

2. What two categories of handsaws are available?

A. Crosscut and metal
B. Metal and wood
C. Ripsaw and crosscut
D. Ripsaw and metal

3. What type of saw is used for cutting down trees and sawing heavy timbers?

A. Backsaw
B. Dovetail
C. Nest-of-saws
D. One-man crosscut

4. What type of saw is used for cutting intricate decorative patterns?

A. Backsaw
B. Coping
C. Dovetail
D. Keyhole

5. What type of saw is similar to the backsaw?

A. Coping
B. Dovetail
C. Hacksaw
D. Keyhole

6. When using a crosscut saw, at what position should your thumb be at the start of the cut?

A. In the upright position pressed against the blade
B. Next to the line pressed against the teeth
C. On top of the opposite thumb
D. On top of the blade

7. When using a crosscut saw, at what time should you apply pressure?

A. At the beginning of the cut
B. At the end of the cut
C. During the down stroke
D. During the up stroke

8. When using a keyhole saw, what action, if anything, can occur to the blade if it is twisted too sharply?

A. Bend
B. Break
C. Nothing
D. Spin

9. When using a hacksaw, you should not exceed what number of strokes per minute?

A. 20
B. 30
C. 40
D. 50

10. What personal protection device should you wear while using a handsaw?

A. Apron
B. Ear plugs
C. Hard hat
D. Safety glasses

11. What material can clean the blade of a handsaw?

A. Emery cloth
B. Sandpaper
C. Soap and water
D. Wire brush

12. At what time should a damaged saw handle be replaced with a new one?

A. After the preoperational inspection
B. At the end of the job
C. Immediately
D. Prior to next use

13. What action should be done to the hacksaw blade when not in use?

A. Apply nitrogen to keep from rusting
B. Loosen the blade tension
C. Remove the blade
D. Tighten the blade to keep it straight.

14. When using a saw, your wrist should be in what position to the piece being cut?

A. Horizontal
B. Parallel
C. Perpendicular
D. Vertical

15. What device should be used to secure loose material to be cut?

A. Heavy wrench
B. Pliers
C. Strap
D. Vise

16. Which of the following are the two types of woodworkers’ chisels?

A. Ratchet and carbon
B. Ratchet and tang
C. Socket and ratchet
D. Socket and tang

17. Which of the following describes how machinists’ chisels are classified?

A. Construction material
B. Length of the handle
C. Shape of their points
D. Number of sides

18. Which of the following machinist’s chisel is used for cutting keyways or slots in metal and square corners?

A. Cape
B. Cold
C. Diamond point
D. Round nose

19. Which of the following personal protection device should you wear while using a chisel?

A. Apron
B. Ear plugs
C. Eye protection
D. Hard hat

20. What angle should the blade of a cold chisel be beveled to, in degrees?

A. 15
B. 25
C. 40
D. 60

21. What type of punch is used for starting drill holes?

A. Alignment
B. Center
C. Drive pin
D. Starting

22. What type of punch is used for removing straight or tapered pins?

A. Alignment
B. Center
C. Drive pin
D. Starting

23. What type of punch consists of two parts?

A. Catapunch
B. Grommet-inserting
C. Metal cutting
D. Sheet metal

24. What type of punch consists of a pointed head mounted on a coiled spring shaft?

A. Catapunch
B. Grommet-inserting
C. Metal cutting
D. Sheet metal

25. When using a center punch, at what position should the punch be in before striking with a hammer?

A. Laying down
B. Tilted away from you
C. Tilted toward you
D. Upright

26. When selecting a drift pin to use, what size should the punch be?

A. Half the size of the hole

B. Same size as the pin
C. Slightly larger than the pin
D. Slightly smaller than the pin

27. Which of the following gasket cutters, if any, will cut a gasket from 4 to 20 inches in diameter?

A. Bit brace
B. Circle
C. Hollow
D. None

28. The bit brace circle gasket cutter will cut a gasket to what maximum size, in inches?

A. 1
B. 4
C. 5 1/2
D. 7 1/2

29. To prevent rust on a gasket cutter, what material should be applied?

A. Dry cleaning solvent
B. Thick coat of grease
C. Thick film of oil
D. Thin film of oil

30. On a wheel type glass cutter, what diameter is the cutting wheel?

A. 5 millimeters
B. 5 centimeters
C. 0.5 inches
D. 5 inches

31. When cutting glass, what sound is an indication of correct pressure?

A. Breaking
B. Cracking
C. Crunching
D. Scratching

32. What term describes a utility knife?

A. Draw knife
B. Rubber cutting knife
C. Saddler’s knife
D. Shop knife

33. Which of the following knives is used to smooth wood after chopping with a hatchet or axe?

A. Draw
B. Pocket
C. Saddler’s
D. Shop

34. Except for a draw knife, in what direction should you cut?

A. Away from the body
B. Left to right
C. Right to left
D. Toward the body

35. Which of the following bolt cutters are used for all general purpose cutting?

A. Center cut
B. Clipper cut
C. Shear cut
D. Side nut

36. Which of the following bolt cutters are used to remove split nuts off of bolts without damaging the bolt?

A. Center cut
B. Clipper cut
C. Shear cut
D. Side nut

37. Pipe cutters are available in what total number of sizes?

A. 1
B. 2
C. 3
D. 4

38. Pipe threading sets contain an assortment of cutting dies, a handle or wrench, and what other component?

A. Carrying case
B. Cleaning brush
C. Locking screws
D. Oil can

39. When using a pipe cutter, turn the adjustment wheel what distance of a turn per rotation?

A. Quarter
B. Third
C. Half
D Full

40. When using a pipe threading set, after two turns of the die, you should back the die off one turn and apply what substance?

A. Air
B. Ice
C. Nitrogen
D. Oil

41. When storing a pipe cutter, you should clean and apply what substance to the cutter wheel roller guide and adjusting screw?

A. Air
B. Ice
C. Nitrogen
D. Oil

42. Tube cutters can cut copper, aluminum, and what other type of tubing?

A. Brass
B. Cadmium
C. Nickel-alloy
D. Steel

43. On a flaring tool, the cone forms what angle flare or bell shape on the end of the tube, in degrees?

A. 15
B. 30
C. 45
D. 60

44. If a crack or break is detected while flaring tubing, what action must take place?

A. Cut and reflange the tubing
B. Fill the break with solder
C. Tighten the flaring tool to smooth the crack
D. Torque the flare nut during installation to prevent system leakage

45. Hand snips are divided into which two groups?

A. Circular cuts and cutting length
B. Cutting length and handle grips
C. Straight and circular cuts
D. Straight cuts and cutting length

46. What gauge of mild steel can the bulldog snips cut?

A. 8
B. 16
C. 24
D. 32

47. The hawk’s bill snips are used to cut what design?

A. Large inside square and an outside diamond
B. Large radius inside and an outside circle
C. Small inside square and an outside diamond
D. Small radius inside and an outside circle

48. The aviation snips come in which of the following types?

A. Duckbill, left hand, and straight
B. Right hand, left hand, and straight
C. Right hand, duckbill, and straight
D. Right hand, left hand, and duckbill

49. What instrument can be used to sharpen dull shears?

A. Emery cloth
B. Grinder
C. Oilstone
D. Sandpaper

50. Brush-cutting tools are used for cutting underbrush, shrubs, tree branches, and what other type of material?

A. Fibrous gasket material
B. Logs
C. Tree trunks
D. Vines

51. Before swinging a brush-cutting tool, what step must be done?

A. Coat metal parts with light oil
B. Ensure no one is close enough to be injured
C. Replace the blade
D. Stack branches and brush in one pile to cut

Answers to Exercises

1. C
2. C
3. D
4. B
5. B
6. A
7. C
8. A
9. D
10. D
11. A
12. C
13. B
14. A
15. D
16. D
17. C
18. A
19. C
20. D
21. B
22. C
23. B
24. A
25. D
26. D
27. B
28. C
29. D
30. A
31. D
32. D
33. A
34. A
35. A
36. D
37. B
38. C
39. A
40. D
41. D
42. A
43. C
44. A
45. C
46. B
47. D
48. B
49. C
50. D
51. B

 

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Copyright © David L. Heiserman
All Rights Reserved