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Cutting 2" thick aluminum

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  • Cutting 2" thick aluminum

    I have been offered some 2" thick scrap aluminum plate for .38 a pound, maybe less. The only snag is that it is in the form of a LARGE sheet and I don't really want 700 lbs of it.

    I know about cutting aluminum with a skilsaw but has anyone cut any this thick, and do you have any suggestions to make it go a little easier?
    Location: North Central Texas

  • #2
    I cut lots of 3/4" with my old Skilsaw recently with no trouble. Cutting 2" will probably work, just a lot slower and use plenty of WD40. Oh yeah, I also cut 1 1/2" by two feet and that worked fine, it was two pieces of the 3/4" nailed together.
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    • #3
      If you clamp down a piece of angle iron or something similar for a guide, you can cut it taking multiple passes, deeper each time. I use wax for a lube on aluminum, but WD 40 will work too. If you are feeling queasy, you can just cut 1/4" or 3/8" at a pass. Be sure to wear a full face sheild, earplugs, gloves, and button up sleeves and collar. Noisy, and those aluminum chips are hot when they come flying off the saw.

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      • #4
        Reiterate the full face shield, ear protection, as little exposed skin as possible.....

        ----------
        Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
        Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
        Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
        There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
        Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
        Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie

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        • #5
          If you've got the time, a sawzall will do the job with no problem. (May loosen your teeth though).
          Ed Pacenka

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          • #6
            That aluminum would make a nice work bench top if the shape is right.

            Joe

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            • #7
              skill saw. carbide construction blade. the kind that supposed to handle nails etc. earplugs under ear muffs. saftey glasses under face shield.

              let her eat!

              I cut up 2" x 3" bar this way. you just have farther to go.

              no sawzall blade will survive that. imho

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              • #8
                Yes,I have a 500# chunk I have been whittling on for awhile now.

                Skilsaw(prefeably wormdrive type)and a sharp thin kerf carbide blade.All I do is spray WD-40 on the underside of the cut before starting and then cut.

                Other than that,use an old saw that your not afraid to see burn Oh and make sure you set the blade depth all the way down(safer that way)
                I just need one more tool,just one!

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                • #9
                  We do it all the time at work with the skil saw and carbide blade. Ditto on the personal protective equipment. I have found that setting blade depth just so the carbide tips clear the underside of the work works best. Let the chips fly!
                  Arbo & Thor (The Junkyard Dog)

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                  • #10
                    Well, I made 2 long cuts in the 2â€‌ thick 6061 and learned that power is everything in this application. I started off by clamping down my guide bar and trying a full depth cut. It became quickly apparent that this was not going to work. A helper regularly and frequently spraying a quick shot of WD 40 where the blade entered the work did make a large improvement, but even reducing the DOC to 1â€‌ proved much too abusive to my good old HD Craftsman circular saw. I just couldn’t keep the feed rate heavy enough without seriously bogging down the saw. It was easy to tell when the feed rate was right because the cutting rate went up dramatically. The saw needed to be cooled down several times if I expected it to survive the experience. I ended up reducing the depth to about 7/16â€‌ per pass so I could keep up the aggressive feed. I continued using the WD 40 as it seemed to make a fairly significant improvement regardless of anything else.

                    I sure can see how this would have gone MUCH faster with a high HP wormdrive saw. Surprisingly, I didn’t have any particular problem with hot chips or noise. I suppose the sheer mass of the piece did a good job of dampening the tendency of the aluminum to reverberate.
                    Location: North Central Texas

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                    • #11
                      Joel,wormdrive is the only way to go.I used to weld prep 1" aluminum plates with a 5" od 1/4radius milling cutter mounted in an air driven one,aluminum corn flakes everywhere
                      I just need one more tool,just one!

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