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Aluminum Cutting Tools


revian
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Hey, Yes I did post this as part of another thread, but figured it would get better response in here, because this is for tools. Anywho, I need something that is cheap and will cut aluminium-1/16 of an inch or thinner. Would a standard power saw work? I also need something to smooth the edge out with. Any Ideas?

Thanks!

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Those little single punchout hand nibblers that the discount tool catalogs have are great for aluminum, as long as you dip the tool in Ivory Liquid soap, or similar, to keep the little slugs from galling to the knife/anvil assy. The only drawback with these is that no cut is ever smooth because it is a series of little 3/32" or smaller "nibbles". A little time with a medium mill-bastard file (also dipped in soap" will knock the little tooth thingies down pretty quick. Since they cut so slow, and your hand gets tired, it is very easy to follow a Sharpie line or such. Can't make mistakes very fast when you are going slow. :D Remember one thing: when cutting diamond plate, you are ocassionally cutting twice the plate's thickness, should you cut through a diamond. Cut from the smooth side and get ready for a few tough cuts.

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a jigsaw with a blade designed for steels worked well for me (3mm checkerplate) it is reasonably fast aswell.but make sure you get the right blade for your metal and you'll need to clamp it down or have somebody stand on it (its faster to move a person than loosen and retighten a clamp or two)

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a jigsaw with a blade designed for steels worked well for me (3mm checkerplate) it is reasonably fast aswell.but make sure you get the right blade for your metal and you'll need to clamp it down or have somebody stand on it (its faster to move a person than loosen and retighten a clamp or two)

hey i never even thought of using a jigsaw for metal before, thanks man!

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if you're cutting straight edges a skill saw will work if you reverse the blade..if you don't it will grab and you could be seriously hurt. if you're cutting curves then follow the advice above about a jig saw with a metal cutting blade or a band saw. whatever you do be sure to use goggles..metal shavings in the eye are a pain in the ass...so to speak. :D

by the way, if you use a jig saw invest in a can of spray adhesive and temporarily mount your aluminum to a piece of 1/4" plywood and you'll get a much better cut.

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And to add to unclej's post, centerpunch before drilling. This is to make sure you have the exact center of the hole located and to prevent the drill bit from skating across the surface :D (if using a hand drill). Make sure you punch with the aluminum sitting flush on a hard surface. I use the little steel platform on my bench vise. If you punch over a soft surface the metal surrounding the hole will stretch and form a dimple.

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if you're cutting straight edges a skill saw will work if you reverse the blade..if you don't it will grab and you could be seriously hurt.  if you're cutting curves then follow the advice above about a jig saw with a metal cutting blade or a band saw.  whatever you do be sure to use goggles..metal shavings in the eye are a pain in the ass...so to speak. :D

by the way, if you use a jig saw invest in a can of spray adhesive and temporarily mount your aluminum to a piece of 1/4" plywood and you'll get a much better cut.

spray adhesive to mount it on plywood, thanks thats a good idea!

(why havent i thought of using a jig saw for this before???)

ps metal shavings in the eye ARE a pain in the ass because you cant see the metal shaving causing the pain to your ass, believe me i speak from experience

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