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sophijo
03-17-2012, 02:44 PM
I need to cut one 8" x 18" rectangle from some 1/2" aluminum. Can I just buy a "metal cutting" for a circular saw and cut? These are not precision cuts.....frame for Bill Pace's belt grinder.

dalee100
03-17-2012, 02:48 PM
Hi,

I would think that a 1/2" thick plate might be getting a bit too much for a circle saw metal blade.

I would probably choose to use a saws-all myself.

dalee

barts
03-17-2012, 03:21 PM
A jigsaw or bandsaw will make short work of 1/2" aluminum plate; use a skip tooth blade if you have one. Fine tooth blade tend to clog; tapmatic fluid will help there. If you want to try the circular saw route, use a narrow kerf woodworking carbide blade, and wear ample ear and face protection, as it is loud and throws lots of chips everywhere. You'll want a saw w/ a lot of power and is easy to control, like a Skill 77 worm drive. I have cut 1/8" and 1/4" plate this way w/o problems.

- Bart

cuslog
03-17-2012, 03:27 PM
I've cut up to 3/4" AL on a table saw, do it all the time.
Use a carbide tipped, general purpose blade, WD40 for lube.
Eye and ear protection, do up your collar and your cuffs tight - those chips are hot and fly everywhere ! Sometimes I use a face sheild too !

Steve Seebold
03-17-2012, 03:49 PM
You could probably buy the piece you want cut to size for around $45.00.

It will cost you $30.00 in a scrap yard of off the rem rack, and you'll still have to cut it.

1woody11
03-17-2012, 04:11 PM
If you have access to a porta ban you could use that if too big for power band saw:)

Toolguy
03-17-2012, 04:43 PM
I have found that a worm drive saw works a lot better than a direct drive (hand held). I suspect the direct drive bounces back a little where the worm drive won't allow for any blade reversal.

Paul Alciatore
03-17-2012, 06:21 PM
I've cut up to 3/4" AL on a table saw, do it all the time.
Use a carbide tipped, general purpose blade, WD40 for lube.
Eye and ear protection, do up your collar and your cuffs tight - those chips are hot and fly everywhere ! Sometimes I use a face sheild too !

The thing I would be most worried about is the feed rate: too fast and the saw will jam and stop. Smoke will be released. I have cut thick aluminum on a radial arm saw and it worked just fine. It had a mechanism to restrict the feed rate which helped a lot. I imagine a table saw would also allow easy control of feed rate. Carbide or even a sharp wood blade would work fine on either: the more teeth the better. But I would hesitate to use a hand held circular saw due to the difficulty of controlling the feed rate. As others have said, saber saw would also work. But not too fine of a blade.

On the blade, about 8 - 16 TPI sounds right to me. If a circular saw, it can be coarser due to the high speed. Do try to have at least two or three teeth in the cut in any case.

Toolguy
03-17-2012, 06:32 PM
I have also had good luck using a chop saw for alum. bar stock and extrusions. Feeding straight down is very controllable. The saw does not try to pull itself into the work as with a radial arm saw. Just don't try to feed too fast, let the saw do the work.

oldtiffie
03-17-2012, 06:57 PM
I'd use a saw table or a good mitre saw - with plenty of parafin (kerosene here and in the UK and NZ).

http://www.austsaw.com.au/saw-blade-products/aluminium-blades

Ron of Va
03-17-2012, 07:13 PM
I bought this saw from Harbor Freight. http://www.harborfreight.com/7-1-4-quarter-inch-metal-cutting-circular-saw-8897.html

I cut slabs off a 1 inch piece of aluminum plate, 30 inches square, making three passes for each cut. I am not sure if it would have cut it in one or two passes. I was just using caution. Not a great tool, but gets the job done. I cut a 3/8 inch piece of diamond aluminum plate a couple of days ago. It cut the diamond plate in one pass.

I set up a straight edge with some clamps, and cut it like you would a piece of plywood.

darryl
03-17-2012, 07:39 PM
I have regularly cut aluminum plate on my table saw. What I've been doing the last few years is buying cheap 7-1/4 inch blades with the most teeth they come in- could be as few as 40- and using them on the table saw. Works fine, especially when they are new, and you can get them for as low as $3 each.

Being thin, they don't have to take out much material, but they also tend to sing quite a bit. I use a blade stabilizer to help control the sideways vibration. In this vein, a thicker blade would be better but would take more power.

I did a lot of cutting for one job a few years ago with a blade made for aluminum. The last time I used that machine (same blade) it was cutting just as well as it did when I started the job. You just need to be careful of a few things- the cuttings are hot and sharp, and the piece you're cutting can heat up quite a bit. You don't want to find yourself instinctively letting go of the piece when your fingers get hot.

lane
03-17-2012, 08:58 PM
Just use your skill saw are what ever you have with a carbide blade with lots of teeth. Do it all the time up to 1 inch material no problem. Put some cutting fluid down the line you are cutting and put a face shield on. Then get with it .I love reading all these crazy answers these folks give. You don`t know who to believe . I been a machinist for 40 + years and know what will and what wont work.

sasquatch
03-17-2012, 09:46 PM
Thanks Lane for clearing this up as i too have some 1x4 inch aluminum i have to cut up soon.

johnhurd
03-17-2012, 10:29 PM
I didn't know I was doing wrong, cut aluminum (Fortal) so thick on the 10 inch table saw (dry) that I had to turn it over to finish the cut...........carbide blade.:eek:

Forestgnome
03-17-2012, 10:48 PM
I've cut up to 3/4" AL on a table saw, do it all the time.
Use a carbide tipped, general purpose blade, WD40 for lube.
Eye and ear protection, do up your collar and your cuffs tight - those chips are hot and fly everywhere ! Sometimes I use a face sheild too !
Agreed. Do it all the time. Don't get a metal cutting blade, just a standard carbide tipped as stated above.

gwilson
03-17-2012, 11:07 PM
I also used to just use a wood bandsaw for soft metal. Aluminum is no problem. I would use a USED wood cutting carbon steel bandsaw blade for sawing 1/2" brass. Somehow,it seemed to actually make the used blade a bit sharper! Maybe a little false edge buildup?

sophijo
03-17-2012, 11:16 PM
Thankyou gentlemen! I have a 10" table saw, wired with 220 and lots of blades so I'll give that a try. I saw a guy on you-tube who suggested using automatic transmission fluid as a cutting oil...how's that sound?

Evan
03-17-2012, 11:45 PM
Skill saw will make short work of 1/2" plate. Use some WD-40 while cutting with a fine tooth carbide blade. Wear protection, the chips are HOT and it is noisy as heck. I have cut up to 1.5" with a skill saw. I wouldn't use a table saw. There is much more to go wrong. Just clamp a board to the stock to guide the skill saw.

I see Lane gave the same advice. Trust me, he's right.

LKeithR
03-18-2012, 12:33 AM
Just use your skill saw are what ever you have with a carbide blade with lots of teeth. Do it all the time up to 1 inch material no problem. Put some cutting fluid down the line you are cutting and put a face shield on. Then get with it .I love reading all these crazy answers these folks give. You don`t know who to believe . I been a machinist for 40 + years and know what will and what wont work.
Another 40 year guy here and I'd say this is absolutely right. We routinely cut 1" plate in our shop with a Makita direct drive saw. Cheap blades with lots of teeth. Use them till they stop cutting and then throw them away. We use a good wax stick for lube. Put it on the bottom of the plate so it's drawn into the cut. Makes a world of difference...

Rustybolt
03-18-2012, 10:03 AM
I need to cut one 8" x 18" rectangle from some 1/2" aluminum. Can I just buy a "metal cutting" for a circular saw and cut? These are not precision cuts.....frame for Bill Pace's belt grinder.



I do this all the time on1/2 and 3/4 alum. with a Milwaukee 7/1/4 circular saw. You don't need a metal blade. I use a carbide blade used for paneling as it has more teeth. Use a blade guide or you'll bind worse than wood.That's all I use that particular blade for, never wood.
Shoot a little WD 40 on before you start. Don't crowd the blade, and wear eye and hearing protection.
Alum. Chips are going to get everywhere, so sweep up before you go in the house.

Dan Dubeau
03-18-2012, 08:49 PM
We do it all the time for 3/4"-1.5" mic6. I used a skil saw (direct drive) last week to split two 5"x5"x22" 6061 blocks down the middle (lengthwise). Two passes from each side left about 0.5" connected in the middle which was quick work on the bandsaw (much quicker than the whole depth). Worked, great, and was actually faster than I expected. Would have been much faster if I had ordered the correct material in the first place though.......

Wear a face shield, and earplugs. It's loud, and messy.

jgstraeter
03-19-2012, 05:55 PM
When I was a kid (about 45 yrs ago) my Daddy had a barn built covered with tin. I remeber my Daddy always used a tin snip to cut tin but these guys put a saw blade in their skil saw backwards. Kinda made my Daddy look old school.

SGW
03-20-2012, 11:02 AM
I bought this blade http://www.amazon.com/Oshlun-SBNF-072560-Diamond-Knockout-Aluminum/dp/B0012YKRYW/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1332255385&sr=8-4 for my circular saw. Worked fine. In the past I've used a regular carbide blade on a table saw, which was also satisfactory.

Whatever you do, you WILL NEED ear and face protection. It is LOUD and chips go everywhere.