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Cutting aluminum

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by TimeWarp, Feb 17, 2007.

  1. TimeWarp

    TimeWarp Registered Member

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    Someone wanted to know about cutting aluminum on another forom. I am not a member yet(yes it's a great site but I can only afford necessities untill bussiness is more steady).
    Anyhow I have a fair amount of experience with aluminum so I thought I'd try to help. A jisaw works quite well even for thiker material, however don't use a metal cutting blade. A bi-metal wood blade works much better. Something like a milwaukee 0540 or a porter cable 12318 most respected brands seem to be equall in quality. Just make sure it says Swiss Made on it. It should say clean wood cutting or something similar. I don't care for the downstroke blades because they will make your saw jump if you don't put presure on it.also your better saws have a pitch adjustment sometimes the lowest setting will ease cutting on aluminum. It wont help at all if you're using a downstroke blade. I keep an air nozzle in my other hand to keep debris off the surface ' it saves a lot of time removing scratches later. if your cutting 1/8" or thinner a trick I use is tolay it on top of 1/8" paneling or any thin scrap & cut through both of them. It keeps down vibration & chatter.
    Circular saws work well with a good 40 tooth carbide blade assuming youre saw is 7 1/4 dia. wear eye protection, I have been cutting wood on an almost daily basis for over 20 years & don't use eye protection as often as I should but if cutting aluminum I always wear it. long sleeves isn't a bad idea either. go slow on the thiker stuff. A table saw with a min 60 toth preferably 80 tooth carbide blade kicks @ss on aluminum. (dont wear long sleeves running a table saw, bad idea) just make sure your material is flat at the blade & tight against the fence. You may need to put a stip of 1/8" next to your fence 7 set youre peice on top of it if there's a big enough gap under it that youre piece could slide under. Go slow be carefull & don't panic if it makes a loud pop because your piece wasn't flat on the table at the blade. Just correct it & continue. If your new at this you might wan't to have a friend close by so if you get in trouble he or she can shut off the saw for you.
    there's my forty chapters. hope it's usefull
    Timewarp
     
  2. ntsqd

    ntsqd 1/2 ton status

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    Occasionally a little paraffin wax on the blade will help keep the aluminum from sticking to it. Seems like once the blade is just a little dull this rapidly becomes a problem.
     
  3. royjones

    royjones Trucker upper Premium Member

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    I use a little bit of oil on the cut line to keep the blade cool
     
  4. 4x4Suburban

    4x4Suburban Registered Member

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    Believe it or not, taking a thin piece of stainless steel and briefly hitting it on the blade will keep the buildup off the teeth. Don't hold it on the blade too long, though, it will dull it up. Keep up with the parafin wax also, this keeps the blade cool during the cut.
     

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