If you are using a piece of aluminum for a shed's roof, you'll need to know how to cut it. It isn't as difficult as you might think, but you do need the right tools and a little bit of patience. This guide demonstrates how to create the perfect cut on a sheet of aluminum.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Go to the home improvement store and pick up the following items, in addition to the aluminum:

  • set of sawhorses
  • clamps
  • yardstick
  • pencil
  • handheld rotary tool
  • reinforced cut-off wheels
  • thin gloves
  • protective eye wear
  • coarse sandpaper

Step 2: Set Up the Work Area

Set up the sawhorses across from each other in your garage or other workspace. Then lay the aluminum on the sawhorses, making sure there is empty space beneath the sheet in the approximate area you're cutting and between the sawhorses. Attach the clamps to the sheet and sawhorses to hold it down while you're cutting.

Step 3: Measure and Draw the Line

Place the yardstick on the sheet with the end lined up with the side of the aluminum sheet. Then make a mark on the edge. Do the same on the other side. Draw a straight line connecting the two marks, using the yardstick as your guide.

Step 4: Cut the Aluminum

Put on your protective eye wear. Attach the reinforced cut-off wheel to the handheld rotary tool. Turn it on and place it on the edge of the sheet where you drew the line. Slowly cut the aluminum along the line. Apply small, yet even, pressure as you go along to the other side.

Hint: The rotary tools come in manual or electric styles. Both are acceptable to cut aluminum. The key to getting a great cut is to apply even pressure, no matter which type you're using.

Step 5: Sand Rough Edges

Put on a thin pair of gloves and glide your thumb, gently over the cut edge to check for burs or other imperfections. If you feel any, sand them down with coarse sand paper.

Cut your own aluminum sheets to save money and to add a little more creativity and ownership to your project. Ask your contractor, such as Front Range Roofing & Siding, for help if you should run into any problems when cutting aluminum sheets. Share this with others who want to take on shed roofing project with aluminum, so they will know how to cut it to size.