View Full Version : Cutting Aluminum

11-05-2004, 07:21 PM
This may be an old topic, I am new to this forum. I am trying to get some opinions on cutting aluminum, just convenience sawing to hack off pieces of 18 guage plate, or 1 inch bar stock. Our club president gnaws through aluminum with an old 28 tooth 10 inch steel saw blade on a table saw. This works, but it feels and sounds like a machine gun. We all hide when he is at it, but he just smiles and ramrods it through. I tried a fine blade and it gummed up immediately. Same as a fine hack saw. Coarse hack saw works okay, but my problem is I need to cut long strips from the plate, and a table saw would be ideal. Is there a better style of steel blade that would work? I have been afraid to try a carbide tipped blade, although cold cutters use this.

Any suggestions?

11-05-2004, 07:29 PM
Use a high tooth count, negative hook carbide blade.

11-05-2004, 08:31 PM
Cross cutting blade with 60 to 80 teeth (10 inch blade) carbide tipped. It will still be pretty noisy but the "interupted" cut will be less so the "machine gun" sound will be less. You will also get a fine edge. JRouche

11-05-2004, 08:58 PM
i use my dewalt reciprocating saw for alot of stuff like that...you can buy all sorts of blades for it...great machine!


11-05-2004, 09:17 PM
plasma cutter, or just take it to be sheared.

11-05-2004, 09:24 PM
Any good carbide tipped blade will work fine,just make sure that the blade is cranked all the way up so as to limit the chances of kickback.
I find it helps to spray some WD-40 or Pam cooking spray on the top of the plate to help prevent chip loading.
Of coarse don't ever cut anything too small to hold onto.Use a cutting sled for those.

11-05-2004, 10:09 PM
I've cut a bunch of 4'-0" x 8'-0" x 1/4" sheets of aluminum with a skill saw (and the proper blade). No problem at all. Clamp a straight edge on it for a guide and it makes fine smooth straight cuts.


11-05-2004, 10:34 PM
There's a spray product called 'tool kote' I think, not to be confused with the tool handle rubber coating product. That seems to help lube both the blade and the table.

Excitable Boy
11-06-2004, 01:05 AM
Vertical bandsaw? Works for me.


Pursue Excellence and the rest will follow.

11-06-2004, 09:03 AM
If your long strips are going to be cut from the 18 gage sheet you would be better off shearing them. You will get a better edge and no deformation in the strips. Lot safer also.

Horizontal bandsaw with a coarse 6-8 blade will do the 1" barstock.


11-06-2004, 01:23 PM
If you don't have a band saw (first choice) then a circular saw works very well. Table saw isn't nearly as safe. I have been cutting up a bunch of 3/4" 6061 plate with a 40 tooth carbide blade in my Skil saw and it works fine. Isn't even very noisy. Wear a full face mask.

To avoid scratching the aluminum put some wide masking tape each side of the cut.

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 11-06-2004).]

11-06-2004, 02:33 PM
And dont forget the age old lubricant,vaseline...er kerosene.

Don Clement
11-06-2004, 03:20 PM
I use both band saw and 10" circular chop saw to cut 1/2" -2" thick aluminum rounds and plate. The 10" circular saw uses a Freud 72 tooth carbide blade for cutting non-ferrous metals. The 14” metal/wood band saw uses 6-8 tooth variable bi-metal blade. On the 4x6 band saw a 10-14 variable bi-metal blade for cutting up to 4.5" diameter rounds. For the 4x6 band saw mist coolant is used. Solid stick lubricant, such as Edge or Cut-Ease is used on both the 14” band saw and 10” circular saw. Surface speeds for the 14” band saw is about 1200 fpm and aluminum cuts just like hardwood as does the 10” circular saw. For thin aluminum sheet, I also use a metal shear/brake /roller combo (the pasta machine) or a 16" scroll saw with a jewlers fine tooth blade.

Don Clement
Running Springs, California

[This message has been edited by Don Clement (edited 11-06-2004).]