Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Cutting Aluminum with a Skill Saw

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Cutting Aluminum with a Skill Saw

    Friend of mine shows up the other day with a chunk of aluminum that was 3/4 inches thick and 4 foot square. He had rescued it from the scrap yard and wondered if I had any idea on how to cut it into manageable pieces. Not sure what type of aluminum it is but it took everything two of had to be able to pick it up and get it on two saw horses in my shop. Wasn't exactly sure what I was going to do with it and he kinda left me with the chore of figuring out how to cut it.

    Started thinking of using one of my skill saws but didn't really have a blade I thought would work well on aluminum. This prompted a trip to the big box store to see if they had anything that might work better than a wood blade. Only blade they had that said anything about metal was a Lenox blade made for cutting steel. Wasn't sure about how a made for steel blade would cut aluminum but figured what the heck if it didn't work I could always use it cutting tin panels.

    It actually worked really well, a little slow but it cut just fine and at no time did I feel I was doing anything really dangerous. I used WD40 on the cut line but think it did more for easing the saw shoe running on the rough aluminum surface than it did for the cut. No problem at all with aluminum sticking to the blade but sure made a mess of aluminum chips in my shop. Already vacuumed most of it up before I shot the pictures. The result is mostly leaning on the back of my golf cart, good stuff for allot of future projects.




  • #2
    I use the same setup at work only it's a Porter-Cable saw. We cut a lot of alum. that way. Up to an inch and a quarter thick. use eye and ear protection.

    Comment


    • #3
      One of my neighbors cut some alum. sheet with a saw like that. End result was chips found their way into vented end of the motor where the com and brushes are and shorted the motor out. It took him a while to figure out why the breaker kept tripping and the saw was growling.

      JL..............

      Comment


      • #4
        Messy, and loud, but there's no faster way. I also do it all the time at work. I use wax stick lubricant on the blade as I find it less messy than sprays. BUt wd-40, or a9 also work great.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by JoeLee View Post
          One of my neighbors cut some alum. sheet with a saw like that. End result was chips found their way into vented end of the motor where the com and brushes are and shorted the motor out. It took him a while to figure out why the breaker kept tripping and the saw was growling.

          JL..............
          Ya, I use that saw because it was basically given to me and no big loss if it blows up.

          Comment


          • #6
            I cut a lot of aluminum on my table saw with a carbide tooth wood blade before I got a bandsaw for severing bar stock. The key was lubricating and a cast iron constitution. Its pretty scary. I've broken down sheet stock by clamping it down on a piece of sacrificial MDF and set my worm drive circular saw for just enough depth to cut through with a carbide tooth wood blade. Even though the keey seems to be a shallow cut to maximize tooth time in the metal, really high tooth count blades did not do well. The would gum up with aluminum. Low tooth count blades would grab and throw or tear the metal.

            Never ever be in the path of the piece coming off. I get hit in the gut by a piece coming off my table saw. The one time in my life being a "Fat American" was good for my health. It didn't penetrate, but I now have a scar on my gut that looks a lot like a bullet wound.

            Always wear eye protection, and I recommend a full face shield. Chips, and pieces are very dangerous.
            *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

            Comment


            • #7
              Why cut it until you need a piece? You never know what size you may need/want in the future.

              Comment


              • #8
                I have found that a worm drive saw works better or one of the "2 counter rotating blade" saws. With the plain type saw, the saw teeth seem to bounce back some, with the worm drive, they can't go backward.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Toolguy View Post
                  I have found that a worm drive saw works better or one of the "2 counter rotating blade" saws. With the plain type saw, the saw teeth seem to bounce back some, with the worm drive, they can't go backward.
                  Same is true in wood. If you can justify spending the $$ on a worm-drive saw, do it! Much smoother and quieter.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Bob,
                    Same here with the belly scar from a chunk of aluminum from a table saw! Knocked the breath out of me and sent me to the floor moaning. My employees at the time were all standing around wondering who shot the boss!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I use cheap circular saw with undersize blade also occasionally to cut steel. 1/2” key stock goes supringly easily with 5” blade on a 9” circular saw (watch out for your fingers with the small blade!)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Way back in the dark ages of the 1970's when I was in machinist school, we used to get lots of government surplus stuff. We had several large sheets of GI surplus 2" thick aluminum and we would cut it up in manageable pieces with a worm drive Skil saw and a fine toothed carbide tipped blade. One guy would run the saw while another would squirt kerosene on the cut. Messy as heck and took a long time since you had to take small cuts, but it did get the job done.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yeah , I WOULD TAKE ONE slice off, and leave the rest intact.
                          If you ever need a bigger piece, the price will make you regret cutting it up.
                          Best done outside where you can sweep up easy..
                          I once bought a chunk of 1 inch i think 3 ft by 3 ft or 4 x4 at a scraotard 200 bucks or maybe 300.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Well now all the pieces are small enough that one man can move them around and cut off additional pieces as needed. If I had left it in one piece I would have had to either call a buddy or use an engine lift to move it. No regrets about cutting it up at all.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              That's a Black & Decker saw.
                              "Let me recommend the best medicine in the
                              world: a long journey, at a mild season, through a pleasant
                              country, in easy stages."
                              ~ James Madison

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X