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Curring aluminum plate

741 Views 0 Replies 1 Participant Last post by  ranman
I made a router lift from 1/4" aluminum plate. 4 plates actually. Top and bottom, plus two movable center sections. I cut them to size on my old Makita table saw. To keel everything in perfect alignment, I drilled and tapped, then screwed all 4 pieces together while drilling all the holes I wanted in them.
I got the plates pretty square, but the back side of the lift is where I put the out of square edges of the plates.
Somehow, I made the access cut for inserting the router on the wrong side, meaning the fronts of the plates (the best edges) are now in the back. :frown:
Anyhow, the top plate was 1/16" out of square, so yesterday I decided to correct that using the router.
I searched forums about cutting aluminum and everything from WD-40 to paraffin, butter, bacon grease, industrial lubes were mentioned. I was gonna use paraffin. That doesn't coat all that well, so a light bulb came on....... A wax toilet ring came to mind, and I had one. Worked like.. like butta!.
I smeared a thin film on the inside of the cutter, then a tiny amount on the edge I had set up to cut. Worked super nice and now I have three perfect sides. THe two 9 inch sides are within .006 and the 12" sides are probably close to that. Perfectly straight too.
Not real messy, but paraffin would probably not leave a residue like the toilet ring wax, so you need to be careful about the surface you are cutting on. You probably can''t remove that wax from wood.
It also makes millions of tiny shavings that float to the ground..... not up in the air, they go out and down. They look kinda like silver sprinkles for a cake or cookies.
Zero buildup on the router bit and no need to stop and reapply during the 12 in long cuts. It took just a tiny film of wax on the inside of the bit, not filling the cavity full.
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