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Fret Slotting Table Saw Blade Cutting Aluminum?

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i was wondering,

would a fret slotting table saw blade (AKA the Stew Mac blade) be destroyed if it was used on some thin aluminum that was inlayed on the fretboard? i thought up a nice inlay that would cover a few frets in length, and i would like to know if it would completly destroy the blade, or if since the aluminum would be so super thin, and its soft anyway, if it would actually work without becoming extremly dull. im sure no one has done it before, so im not sure what the answers will be. thanks if you can help.

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Why not just ask Stewmac directly? If anyone would know, it would be them (hopefully).

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Lubrication is always essential. :D

But I would not try using that blade on aluminum. HSS will cut aluminum, but that is too fine of a blade to trust it. A carbide toothed blade like you would use for general cutting will slice through like butter with no problems. But that is a heavier blade with a wide kerf.

Either use a handsaw or else mark out the slots on the aluminum and use a coping saw. Their blades are thin enough and if you destroy it, your out only a few bucks. Even if the cut ends up being slightly wider than the slots, the fret will cover the difference. A coping saw should have no problem with thin aluminum. Or if you have on, use a scroll saw with a thin blade.

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I cut aluminum all the time. Yes aluminum is sticky at high speeds, but I don't think you want to lube your blade and thus your fret slots. It also depends on how much you have to cut. If it was a solid aluminum neck I would say no. If it is a small section I don't see why it cant be done. Will it dull the blade, probably not. You can even cut it with a hand fret saw with a western tooth pattern, if you think that would be cheaper if it gets screwed up. Or even grind down a very fine hack saw blade.

Generally aluminum is cut using a negative rake triple chip saw blade and no lubrication. But aluminum can be cut with any wood working blade even a band saw blade.

DO YOU RUN SOME RISKS---YES. But given what you have said I cant see why you cant use the blade. Worst case is you have the blade sharpened locally.

Can you find a blade to cut aluminum fret slots ---NO. That is something you would have to have specially made.

Edited by Woodenspoke
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No. Do not use the stew-mac table saw blade to cut anything other than wood. Cutting through inlays has messed up my blade in the past.

I don't own the Sm blade but have a similar 6" blade. I also have a finer blade with 180 teeth which has served me for cutting through inlay. The second blade is made for cutting metal slots, a Jewlers saw. Now I have not cut aluminum using any of these blades, since I don't believe in putting aluminum on a fingerboard for reasons of contamination not for aesthetics. Maybe our poster has a solution ?

I dont know if the slots are already cut and my advise is assuming that they are. Otherwise using a ground down hack saw blade is a bad idea.

I also believe the harder material here is shell.

I think wood is good has to weigh his options and decide what is more important, the project or the saw blade.

I am sure SM will say NO to the idea.

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You're right. I must have misread and thought he slotted the plexi-glass templates and then transferred it over to the aluminum templates with a handsaw. Taking off 5/16" of aluminum at one time still sounds very risky to me. I have had trouble slotting the same depth on macassar ebony and cocobolo.

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