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Old 02-05-14, 08:07 PM   #1
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I need to cut a piece of stainless steel.

I'm trying to get a piece of stainless steel sheet cut into the shape of my shoe, so that I can put it into my shoes, put arch support insoles over them, and ride. Any ideas how I can get this done in a fast, cost effective manner?
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Old 02-05-14, 08:21 PM   #2
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Isn't fast and cost effective like, mutually exclusive?

And what shoe are you doing this to and why do you need them so stiff? Are you riding competitively in loafers?

Right now I've got a pair of SAS shoes on that look like nun's shoes to which I added these great arch supports I bought years ago at like $90 for the pair from a specialty shop. I wear them when I know I'll be on my feet most of the day and do not care for style, but comfort.

I'll ride in them. But the soles aren't stiff. I've got Sidi's for that.
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Old 02-05-14, 09:18 PM   #3
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I'm commuting 20 miles to work, as much as 3x/week, and I don't want to do it with clipless shoes. SPD shoes has always given me trouble, and SPD SL is inconvenient, plus, I can only wear specialized, wide.
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Old 02-05-14, 09:47 PM   #4
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What is the thickness? Given my stash of tools, I might use my Dremel and a large supply of cut-off wheels, then grind or file to final shape. If you have a bandsaw with a metal-cutting blade, that would work, too.
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Old 02-05-14, 09:53 PM   #5
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Now, if you know someone with a CNC laser cutter, that would be the A+ option. Do a paper template and have the CNC machine do the hard work.
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Old 02-05-14, 11:41 PM   #6
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Scroll saw/jigsaw, plasma cutter, or just nuke it from orbit.

Seems like a lot of trouble. Aren't there affordable adequately stiff replacement insoles available?
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Old 02-06-14, 08:31 AM   #7
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Have you tried a piranha with a laser beam?

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Old 02-06-14, 08:51 AM   #8
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Or, you can mold a footbed fro fiberglass or carbon fiber. Messy, but relatively easy, and can be sanded to final shape. And it won't be flat so it will fit your foot better.
As for cutting the SS, use a band saw, or jig saw with metal cutting blades(you'll need a few if you use the jig saw). You can also use a hacksaw to get it to general shape then grind it to final shape. How hard it will be depends on how thick it is.
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Old 02-06-14, 09:06 AM   #9
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Or, you can mold a footbed fro fiberglass or carbon fiber. Messy, but relatively easy, and can be sanded to final shape. A
This sounds interesting.
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Old 02-06-14, 09:27 AM   #10
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Do you have insoles in your shoe now and access to an oxyacetylene torch? Trace it out and burn it. Victor is my number one tool at work.
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Old 02-06-14, 09:42 AM   #11
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You should make this from carbon-fiber. Because ... carbon-fiber.
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Old 02-06-14, 10:23 AM   #12
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You should make this from carbon-fiber. Because ... carbon-fiber.
He'll lose his foot when it asplodes!
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Old 02-06-14, 10:35 AM   #13
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Do you have insoles in your shoe now and access to an oxyacetylene torch? Trace it out and burn it. Victor is my number one tool at work.
That or a carbon-arc cutter... but that would be messy.
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Old 02-06-14, 11:40 AM   #14
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As others have suggested, I'm not sure stainless steel is the best choice. If, however, you do still want to go that route another option is to clamp the SS to scrap wood and use a hand held jig saw or even a router to cut it. It's the flexibility of most SS sheets that make it difficult to cut cleanly.
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Old 02-06-14, 11:57 AM   #15
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interesting suggestions. I've ordered a jewelers saw, along with a 22 ga steel plate.
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Old 02-06-14, 02:44 PM   #16
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If, however, you do still want to go that route another option is to clamp the SS to scrap wood and use a hand held jig saw or even a router to cut it. It's the flexibility of most SS sheets that make it difficult to cut cleanly.
There ya go. And then smooth off the edges with a bench grinder if you have access to one anywhere. File it down some if you don't.
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Old 02-06-14, 02:53 PM   #17
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By the sounds of what you want to do OP I think I'd opt for laying up some CF "insoles" to go under your real ones.. but hey that's me.
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Old 02-06-14, 03:23 PM   #18
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By the sounds of what you want to do OP I think I'd opt for laying up some CF "insoles" to go under your real ones.. but hey that's me.
I did find a couple of full carbon insoles. One of them was like $100 for a pair, and the other one was around $54, but it was designed to immobilize the big toe, and has a really weird shape - probably not ideal for cycling. I feel like steel is much simpler and cheaper.
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Old 02-06-14, 03:26 PM   #19
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I did find a couple of full carbon insoles. One of them was like $100 for a pair, and the other one was around $54, but it was designed to immobilize the big toe, and has a really weird shape - probably not ideal for cycling. I feel like steel is much simpler and cheaper.
I meant literally lay up your own CF insoles, custom sized to your feet Probably just as costly.. but more in your time rather than your wallet. I do get where your coming from though and I look forward to seeing how this works out.
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Old 02-06-14, 03:35 PM   #20
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I think there's a place that sell graphite carbon in the shape of your foot. you'd put it in the oven to heat it up, and basically mold it somehow. There's no way I'd do it using carbon fiber, unless I was opening up a shop.
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Old 02-06-14, 04:02 PM   #21
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Stainless is far from the ideal material for this. Readily availabe 22ga 18/8 or 304 is awfully thin and will proabably take a bend easier than you would wish for. Easiest way to cut it to shape is going to be with a plasma torch. Oxy/acet simply won't reach high enough temp. If usind a saw blade, use a fine tooth, plenty of lube, a high feed rate(lots of pressure on the teeth) and low linear speed(slow saw speed). I'll be very surprised if a jewelers saw and it's blades are capable of generating the sort of pressure (feed rate) you require to cut most readily available stainless.

My recommendation would be to simply lay up a few layers of carbon or glass on a smooth surface. Then cut your insoles from that. You might even find a suitable laminate plate already fabricated from which to cut your insoles. Keep in mind most shoes don't have the internal volume to accept much additional insole thickness.
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Old 02-06-14, 04:16 PM   #22
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I think there's a place that sell graphite carbon in the shape of your foot. you'd put it in the oven to heat it up, and basically mold it somehow. There's no way I'd do it using carbon fiber, unless I was opening up a shop.
More like you'd make a mold of the bottom of your foot and lay up your insole on that. Probably would want some buffer on the mold to accomodate spacing for a real insole.. but you get the idea I think.
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Old 02-06-14, 04:49 PM   #23
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Stainless is far from the ideal material for this. Readily availabe 22ga 18/8 or 304 is awfully thin and will proabably take a bend easier than you would wish for. Easiest way to cut it to shape is going to be with a plasma torch. Oxy/acet simply won't reach high enough temp. If usind a saw blade, use a fine tooth, plenty of lube, a high feed rate(lots of pressure on the teeth) and low linear speed(slow saw speed). I'll be very surprised if a jewelers saw and it's blades are capable of generating the sort of pressure (feed rate) you require to cut most readily available stainless.

My recommendation would be to simply lay up a few layers of carbon or glass on a smooth surface. Then cut your insoles from that. You might even find a suitable laminate plate already fabricated from which to cut your insoles. Keep in mind most shoes don't have the internal volume to accept much additional insole thickness.
yea, that's probably a better idea, except carbon is more expensive, and perishable
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Old 02-06-14, 04:52 PM   #24
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yea, that's probably a better idea, except carbon is more expensive, and perishable
More expensive, perhaps. Perishable? Since when does carbon "spoil"?

What alloy of stainless spring steel have you selected?
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Old 02-06-14, 05:46 PM   #25
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You know, having figured out what spectastic wants to do; make his shoe stiffer for low dough, I might try some inserts of foamcore first. I ride a bike all the time in sneakers and mini clips for miles. I'm not killing it but I keep up. I think stiff soles are for pure roadies, but hey!, I could be wrong, I often am, Ask my wife.
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