Step 3: Cutting the metal
Guesstimate the amount of metal required and scribe out some cutting lines with the point of a safety pin.
Using a c-clamp, clamp the metal to a work surface and then use the jeweler's hand saw to cut along the scribed lines.
The jeweler's handsaw is an amazing tool. You can cut almost anything you want with it. It requires no physical strength, only zen-like patience. Admittedly, it takes a few tries to get the hang of using it. You can purchase saw blades for a very reasonable price at Widget supply (www.widgetsupply.com). Periodically coating the blade with beeswax helps prevent breakage.
If the metal is too hard to cut, you can soften it by placing it on a stove top, cranking the heat and letting the metal sit on top of the flame until it turns burning bright red throughout. Then, with some tongs, drop the metal into cool water. It will sizzle and look oxidized, like this metal does here, but then afterwards the metal will be much softer and more pliable and easier to cut.
If you're using metal with unknown constituents, be careful not to breathe any fumes that might be generated by super heating it. So, turn on the fan, maybe step outside for a bit.