Cutting Aluminum with Carbide Blade? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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Question Cutting Aluminum with Carbide Blade?

Hi all.

I've been terribly busy lately, but if I may impose for a question: Has anyone ever cut lightweight aluminum with a carbide tipped table saw blade? I have anou 36" of 1" square aluminum tube, .062" wall, and I need to "rip" it lengthwise, making a "C" shape. There are probably special blades just for this, but for only 1 cut?

Hence I thought, carbide is a lot harder than aluminum, so if I go slow (& maybe use a blade I don't care too much about), perhaps I can get away with it.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Tom
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 02:03 PM
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Tom, that is the way to do it.

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-01-2011, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Mike. It looks like the blades just for aluminum and other non-ferrous are just carbide tipped with perhaps a special grind and lots of teeth (96 in one instance) so I ought to be able to get away with it. I'll go slow!
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 07:21 AM
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There are blades for Aluminium and in fact I have one but am usually too lazy to change blades so use what is in the RAS. THERE IS NO WAY IN THE WORLD THAT I WOULD ATTEMPT TO RIP 36" OF 1" SQUARE TUBE. IF, IN MY OPINION, YOU ATTEMPTED THIS, I THINK THAT YOU WOULD BE SEEKING THE SERVICES OF SOMEONE LIKE DIMITRI, WHO IS AN ORTHOPAEDIC SURGEON.

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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 09:29 AM
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Cutting with carbide shouldn't hurt the blade at all other than the potential for meltings to adhere to the blade.(presuming no mishap causing bent blade or flying teeth)

I needed to rip a six foot piece of stock for a shower install, even with a special blade it was probably the one of the most "intense" procedures I've ever done.

Zero clearance insert is a must and perhaps cut one side just through, flip, lower the blade to just score the opposing cut and snap the tube at the score line, I wouldn't recommend trying to cut through the whole tube in one pass, way too much can go wrong with thin stuff.... flying spears of aluminum being the primary concern.

If you have a bandsaw that can get a good rip, might go that way (I would have but didn't trust the old saw to get a clean cut)
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 11:48 AM
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The chips are hot too. Wear a face shield like those used for turning on a lathe. A leather apron would be a good idea too. Also check for adhered bits of metal on the saw blade before each cut and remove them. They can build up and cause cutting problems.

An occasional cut of aluminum can be done safely on woodworking tools and with woodworking saw blades. Protect yourself from the chips, use a slow feed speed and a 40-60 tooth 10" carbide blade and you should be OK.

My son and I have modified a Delta contractor's table saw to cut metal. It uses metal cutting blades to cut aluminum, brass, copper, and steel. Yes even steel, up to about 1" thick. The right metal cutting blade and blade speed is crucial for metal cutting, and more crucial as the hardness of the metal increases.

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 12:21 PM Thread Starter
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Hey, thanks everyone! Just goes to show you the value of community! CharleyL, good points, I anticipated some heat. I like TomE's approach, again, I'd have never thought of it myself, and tha seems to be a very good way to handle this. Glad I didn't have time to get to it yet!

I'll let you know how it works out.

Best,

Tom
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 12:32 PM
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Hi

So many make it a big deal to cut Alum. with the router it's NOT.
It's true it will gull the bit but it's not a big deal to clean it off..
====

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumpy Old Tom View Post
Hey, thanks everyone! Just goes to show you the value of community! CharleyL, good points, I anticipated some heat. I like TomE's approach, again, I'd have never thought of it myself, and tha seems to be a very good way to handle this. Glad I didn't have time to get to it yet!

I'll let you know how it works out.

Best,

Tom



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Last edited by bobj3; 12-02-2011 at 12:42 PM.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-02-2011, 11:54 PM
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I have had great success cutting light aluminum with circular saws using carbide blades. I alway spray the blade with wd40 and lightly spray the material. The wd40 will keep the aluminum from gaulding the teeth on the carbide blade.
Good luck
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-03-2011, 12:13 AM
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Hi Joe


I do the same but I use PAM, that's right the same stuff you use on cook ware I also use it on my snow blower (8HP 2 stage) that wet stuff comes right out LOL ,without jamming up the blower..


===



Quote:
Originally Posted by J0seph View Post
I have had great success cutting light aluminum with circular saws using carbide blades. I alway spray the blade with wd40 and lightly spray the material. The wd40 will keep the aluminum from gaulding the teeth on the carbide blade.
Good luck



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