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Bit for cutting aluminum

This is a discussion on Bit for cutting aluminum within the Router Bits - Types and Usage forums, part of the Routers category; I'm looking for a bit that is hard enough and sharp enough to cut 1/8" ...


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Old 10-25-2011, 04:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Bit for cutting aluminum
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I'm looking for a bit that is hard enough and sharp enough to cut 1/8" aluminum. It just needs to be a straight bit. I will just be reducing the width of the flange of an aluminum channel by 1/8". The flange is 1/8" thick. The channel is 6063-T52 aluminum. Does anyone know where I can get a straight bit that can handle the job?

Thanks,
Mark

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Old 10-25-2011, 05:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Mark

I understand that most quality router bits can trim non-ferrous metals ( Aluminum, brass etc)

How much of this channel do you need to trim?
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Old 10-25-2011, 06:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi James,
I won't be trimming too much, about 40" total.
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Old 10-25-2011, 07:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Get a scrap piece of the same aluminum and try cutting it with your cheapest bit. I do not expect you to have any problems. If you do experience a problem - you've only spent $8 learning that it wouldn't work. A word of caution: everyone in the room needs to wear ear protection - not as much for hearing as for protection for hot flying shreds!
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Old 10-25-2011, 09:13 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OPG3 View Post
Get a scrap piece of the same aluminum and try cutting it with your cheapest bit. I do not expect you to have any problems. If you do experience a problem - you've only spent $8 learning that it wouldn't work. A word of caution: everyone in the room needs to wear ear protection - not as much for hearing as for protection for hot flying shreds!
OPG3
I agree on the ear protection... would also recommend eye protection. Both of which should be SOP anyway.
Here's a source for bit especially designed for aluminum in case you need to go that route
Aluminum Router Bits: Non-Ferrous Metal Cutting Router Bit Selection
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Old 10-25-2011, 10:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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For aluminum I prefer to use a face shield over just safety glasses. Hot aluminum on the face is very uncomfortable.
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Old 10-25-2011, 12:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Something short, something carbide, something cheap. The fixtuting is critical not the cutter.
Generic tool: 1/2 shank, 1/2: FL, Carbide faced or solid, single or double flute, spiral, helix or straight.
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Old 10-31-2011, 08:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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For aluminum I prefer to use a face shield over just safety glasses. Hot aluminum on the face is very uncomfortable.
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Good point, James; but it is a great way to remove a beard! OPG3
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OPG3 View Post
For aluminum I prefer to use a face shield over just safety glasses. Hot aluminum on the face is very uncomfortable.
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Good point, James; but it is a great way to remove a beard! OPG3
But wouldn't that leave something that resembles razor rash?
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:51 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Yes James,
The "razor rash" factor is a good reason to use the face mask! I've learned from my mistakes that hot, metal objects in my ear is not a recipe for a fun day. OPG3
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