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Author Topic: Cutting aluminum?  (Read 1922 times)

mightywombat

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Cutting aluminum?
« on: July 03, 2013, 10:28:29 AM »
I have a brick-sized block of aluminum that I want to cut in half lengthwise for a project. Does anyone know if we have the capability to do that? Thanks in advance!

Sent from my phone. Please excuse my brevity or any typos.

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Hybridsix

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Re: Cutting aluminum?
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2013, 01:09:07 PM »
The horizontal bandsaw should be able to do that, or the chop saw, depending on thickness.


P47

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Re: Cutting aluminum?
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2013, 02:01:57 PM »
I've done this many times with my own tools, and it's always a little scary when using a high speed blade (ie: table saw, chop saw,etc). The safes I've done it is using my Milwaukee hand band saw, it cuts slow and has a lot of torque. With that in mind I'd lean to the horizontal band saw as Hybridsix suggested. I've done it on my table saw with a special 'Aluminum Blade', and cut just a small amount on each pass. Just be real careful when using a high speed blade, and try to clamp the piece down if possible.

Hybridsix

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Re: Cutting aluminum?
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2013, 02:08:07 PM »
To be clear, when I say chop saw, I mean the specific metal cutting abrasive blade one, not our miter saw.

mightywombat

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Re: Cutting aluminum?
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2013, 03:44:44 PM »
I was planning towards the bandsaw as well,I just wasn't sure if we have a blade for cutting metal for it or not.

Sent from my phone. Please excuse my brevity or any typos.

If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign? -- Albert Einstein

Hybridsix

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Re: Cutting aluminum?
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2013, 03:46:16 PM »
Yep, that's what the horizontal bandsaw is for! Its the big green one on the ground, btw. Cutting oil would be helpful as well. I'm not sure if we have any.

mightywombat

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Re: Cutting aluminum?
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2013, 03:49:19 PM »
Okay, cool. I think I was thinking of the saw over by the CNC shop bot. I'll get some cutting oil for my next trip and have a go at it. Thanks, Hybridsix.

Sent from my phone. Please excuse my brevity or any typos.

If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign? -- Albert Einstein

P47

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Re: Cutting aluminum?
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2013, 04:56:28 PM »
Don't know if the monster bandsaw has extra blades, but if it does try some coarser ones like 4, 6, or 10 tpi as that would be best. If you can't find cutting oil you can use some squirts of WD40. If you get jammed, let me know and I'll bring my portable bandsaw in, and have it cut in a few minutes.

P47

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Re: Cutting aluminum?
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2013, 12:14:18 PM »
Ed and I cut the brick of Aluminum. We wanted to use the big horizontal bandsaw, but the piece wasn't big enough to fit in the clamp the direction needed. I had brought my Milwaukee Portable Band Saw in as a backup. Here are some pics of the fun.














SUCCESS! It took a while to cut through this slab of Aluminum. We got it done, and it was fun.


P47












Matt

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Re: Cutting aluminum?
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2013, 04:53:21 PM »
Just an FYI, I have not gone over that horizontal/vertical band saw since I brought it in. It's a little quirky and needs some TLC but I've been busy and forgot about it. I'll try to get it in ship-shape form soon (it works as it sits, you just need to know some of the tricks). Also, the coolant system is shot at the moment but it shouldn't be needed for 99% of the cutting jobs we would encounter. As I'm sure you're already aware (and I've mentioned in the initial thread when I brought the saw in) that thing is probably one of the most dangerous tools in the shop and no one should use it without proper training. The training isn't terribly involved, but it is important lest someone lose a limb :(