The edge of the nose skin needed to be trimmed back, and after a half hour I was getting increasingly frustrated with the wavy results. I had similar problems getting straight and smooth cuts on the rudder nose skin using snips at the Zenith factory, and the guys there assured me it wasn’t just bad technique - it’s an inevitable result of using snips.

I remembered a thread I had read online previously about a miracle cure, so I thought I’d give it a try. I ordered an Olfa plastic/laminate scoring blade from Amazon (1090486 PC-L) with PB-800 tungsten steel blades.

It arrived today and I gave it a try with great success. Just hold a straight edge against the skin, score (with fairly heavy pressure) 3-6 times, then bend it a few times and it will snap apart with extraordinarily clean and straight edges.

Bend the aluminum after scoring, then it will snap off very easily

Bend the aluminum after scoring, then it will snap off very easily

Quick and relatively easy way to get a nearly perfect edge on aluminum skin using a tungsten steel PB-800 blade

Quick and relatively easy way to get a nearly perfect edge on aluminum skin using a tungsten steel PB-800 blade

Compare those perfect edges above to these ugly cuts made using my old method with snips and a file:

Painful, labor intensive, wavy results of using aviation snips and a file

Painful, labor intensive, wavy results of using aviation snips and a file