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  • Saw

    What is the easiest way to cut some 3/4" 6061 plate that is too large and heavy for my bandsaw? Skil saw and carbide tipped blade ok?
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  • #2

    I would use a router with a carbide bit. Run the outside edge of the router base along a straight edge and the cuts will look very nice. Saw will work okay, but I have better luck with the router since I don't have to go full depth for the cut.



    [This message has been edited by Mike Burdick (edited 06-07-2004).]


    • #3
      I cut it on my table saw with a carbide blade. I have heard that triple chip blades are best, but I have use a standard combinatioin (Budke) blade. It really throws the chips - protect yourself.


      • #4
        How big? If you have a table saw, that would most likely be your best bet. I rough out all of my work (aluminum)using a table saw. I would (and do)use a 10" 80 tooth TC&F carbide blade. I try not to cut 3/4" too often though. I buy 2'x4' sheets up to 1/2",and cut out on table saw. I have supplier rough out anything thicker. Saw should have some decent H.P. to cut 3/4" plate, mine has a 3 H.P. motor. I can cut 3/4" 6061 fairly easily, though it does get hot. As with any type of material, do not over feed saw. Use some sort of lubricant for best results. I use CUT-EASE (TM) as a lubricant. You could use wax in a pinch. If the saw has some sort of kerf keeper with anti-kick back blade guard, use it. It will keep most of the hot chips off of you. May also save you from some serious injuries should piece jam and kick back. I think a skil-saw would be seriously overloaded trying to cut material that thick. Any saw you use will be quite loud/noisy though. Be careful!
        Paying Attention Is Not That Expensive.


        • #5
          I don't have a table saw, only an old 10" radial arm saw and I don't trust it to be rigid enough. The plate is about 6 feet by 14". The router sounds like a good idea. Not sure what I have for a bit in carbide, will have to look. I only need to cut it into a couple or three pieces to make it manageable. I also use Cut-Ease.

          [This message has been edited by Evan (edited 06-07-2004).]
          Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


          • #6
            Skillsaw and wd-40 ocassionally,I cut 2" plate routinely,be sure and run it with the blade all the way down to reduce the chance of kickback.-

            [This message has been edited by wierdscience (edited 06-07-2004).]
            I just need one more tool,just one!


            • #7
              I have cut 1/2" aluminum plate with a Skill saw with no problem. I have cut aluminum pipe 4" diameter with a radial arm saw no problem. I have cut 2" thick aluminum plate with a table saw with no problem. I use standard carbide tooth saw blades of the "combination" tooth pattern and I do not use any coolant or lube. Wear ear protection and eye/face protection. It also pays to wear a cap to keep chips out of your hair. I feed the saw relatively fast depending on the load on the motor. If you feed too slowly you get things hot from all the rubbing. I have used a router to cut 1/4" aluminum plate and it is too slow because you have to take multiple passes to keep from overloading the motor. The 22k rpm with not much torque capacity is a problem. If you take a lot of small passes the cut surface looks nice and if you have a mist coolant system spraying WD 40 the router will do a nicer job but it makes a huge mess of fine oily chips flying everywhere. We once had a production job using a router to cut some grooves and round edges and that ran inside a clear plastic housing to contain the chips and mist. Nasty but it worked very well. Sounds like a skill saw will do what you want.