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BWB
02-05-2005, 02:59 PM
Does anyone have experience with the Craftsman Twin Cutter saw? Is it suitable for cutting 1/8" to 1/4" aluminum sheet? I need to cut up large sheets for welding/fab. Use would be occasional and speed not too important.

zl1byz
02-05-2005, 04:40 PM
This came up a while back. Look here!

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//Forum1/HTML/009768.html

John,

Doc Nickel
02-05-2005, 04:52 PM
For 1/8" to 1/4" aluminum, a normal, typical circular saw works fine, costs less and gives you a thinner kerf.

For 1/8", just like selecting a bandsaw blade, you need a finer tooth. Just grab any decent steel fine-tooth blade and use WD-40 as a lube.

For 1/4", you'll still need a fine tooth count, but it might be worth stepping up to a carbide-tipped blade. Again, use WD-40 as a lube.

Wear ear protection. I rough-part up to 1" with a wormdrive SkilSaw that I got for $40 at a pawnshop, with a carbide-toothed blade.

Also, especially for the 1/8", a good strong jigsaw (sabre saw) is almost as fast as the circular, and has a kerf narrower still.

Doc.

happy02
02-05-2005, 11:34 PM
Depending on the width of the cuts, a wood cutting bandsaw works fine as well ditto the WD-40.

BWB
02-06-2005, 07:22 AM
Thanks all for the input, and the link to the other thread. Still I'm looking for someone who has actually used the counter-rotating circular saw, Craftsman or other, to cut large aluminum or steel sheets of mainly 1/8" thickness. I'm aware of the other options, but still wondering if this might be a better bet. Anyone have one?

astroracer
02-07-2005, 05:42 AM
My wife got me one for our anniversary. It will cut through just about anything. I cut a lot of tubing and it will go through 1 1/4" x .156 wall D.O.M. in a matter of seconds. The big drawback with the saw is a lack of accuracy. This saw is basically a modified grinder. Getting accurate cuts is nearly impossible because you cannot see the kerf through the blade guards and there is nothing to rest the saw on. It is a completely handheld cut. The saw also puts out some impressive chips. I use mine for rough cutting sheet metal, thin plate and tubing but it is just to get the stock down to a manageable size and I always end up finishing the cut with another operation.
I am going to pick up one of those adapter kits to turn a hand held grinder into a
"chop saw". I think that will make the tool easier to use for getting accurate cuts in tubing but it is still going to be tough to do that in off hand situations...
The tool works very well, don't get me wrong, but it is pretty much a roughing tool only and it does that with very little effort.
Mark

BWB
02-07-2005, 07:18 AM
Thanks for that report. I'd wondered about the lack of a foot or any kind of guides in the pictures of it. Do you think if something were fabricated and added that it might be a better cutting unit than a straight skilsaw with a negative rake blade for sheet aluminum work?

astroracer
02-07-2005, 11:16 AM
It may be better if you are just roughing out a piece. It does leave a very clean cut.
You may want to look into a hand held cold saw if you plan to do a lot of large sheet cutting. They are a bit more money but would be much more versatile and easier to use...
http://www.vansantent.com/metal_cutting_saw.htm
Mark

andy_b
02-07-2005, 11:57 AM
i second what Doc said. i use my Bosch jigsaw for all kinds of stuff. it will cut through 1/8" mild steel sheets like butter, and i've even done up to 1/4" (slower though). it leaves a relatively clean edge, plus you can use it for cutting wood.
http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

andy b.

rbjscott
02-07-2005, 02:50 PM
I have one of the saws in question (sears dual blades) wish I had not bought it. Accuracy and control are bad, or not good enough for my liking.. As a side business I work on airboats, most have aluminum hulls. The saws of choice are as follows:
band-saw(wood cutting), "Skill-saw with carbide blade and a good saber saw, Bosh or Milwaukee These are also the saws that are used by many people that build aluminum boat.
Ivory soap bars make good saw lub, that is easy to clean-up for welding.

BWB
02-07-2005, 03:58 PM
Thanks to all for your advice. This is very helpful.