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  1. #1

    Default Cutting .080" sheet aluminum

    What's the best way to handle this for home applications? I have a pnuematic hand-held shear, but it can't hardly handle it. If a hand shear advertises to cut 16 guage steel, is that the max capacity in 5052 aluminum also? I'm looking for something that won't eat up too much space as I'm already maxed out in the 2 car garage.

    Thanks,

    JD

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Kodiak, Alaska
    Posts
    15

    Default I use a circular saw

    I use a hand held circular saw to cut all of my aluminum. I make sure I have a good carbide tip blade and clamp a straight edge as a guide. I have in some cases on very thin stuff used a piece of wafer board as a sacrificial backing board. Just make sure you are covered up because the shavings are pretty warm and sharp.
    Millermatic 130
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Delmont, PA
    Posts
    290

    Default Cutting thin AL...

    Hey JD,
    The easiest method would to pick up a small bench-type band saw. I have a Delta Model BS100, 9" that I use to cut sheet AL to 3/8" thk. without any problems. Although the saw is for mainly 1/4" & 3/8" blades, I use a 1/2" .025 thk. 14tpi metal blades without any problems. The saw will handle them easily if you take care when cutting. I use WD-40 exclusively to spray on the piece to cut, as it keeps the soft AL from sticking to the teeth. It will cut quite easily and efficiently up thru .125, and will do thicker with slower feed. You can get the Delta at Lowes for less than $100 and would serve your purpose very nicely. Just a suggestion....Denny

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    1,788

    Default

    Get a Sears Craftsman 6-1/8" Twin Cutter, on sale now for $159.00 at www.sears.com. It is made to cut that stuff with no kickback at all. It will cut 1/4" aluminum no problem, and mild steel also. Plus it's no bigger than a 4-1/2" angle grinder so no storage problems.
    Last edited by envano; 08-21-2007 at 02:10 PM.
    Regards, George

    Hobart Handler 210 w/DP3035 - Great 240V small Mig
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    Hobart Handler EZ125 - IMO the best 120V Flux Core only machine

    Miller Dynasty 200DX with cooler of my design, works for me
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  5. #5

    Default

    Thanks for the great tips guys. I have a 14" bandsaw, but it's not deep enough for the sizes I need to cut. I need to cut approx 18" x 18" panels.

    I'm going to try the straight edge and circular saw method and see how that works for me.

    I also saw a 12" bench mount shear online that I might be able to use to cut the sheet to final size (if I hit it from both sides) after rough cut it first with one of these other methods.

    What is the benefit of the sears twin cutter over a 4.5 inch grinder with a cutoff wheel?

    Thanks,

    JD

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    upstate ny
    Posts
    4

    Default

    circular saw, carbide blade with as many teeth as possible.

    go slow for a better edge.

    I'll usually put some duct tape down for the saw to run on. the chips will get between the base plate and AL sheet and grind and scratch without it.

    you can even cut arc's with it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Noth Dakota
    Posts
    505

    Cool

    Before you run the saw over it, get a product called Alumicut. It is a lubricant just for Aluminum and smear some on both sides of the piece to cut.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    377

    Default

    Zero and Negative degree blades, 40 tooth and up, are designed for cutting metals using a circular saw. They produce the highest quallity cut without any furthure prep of the cut before welding.

    I use a 58 tooth blade, with 5 degree negative offset carbides, however a 40 tooth carbide blade for ripping plywood works as well, however it catches the material more often.
    Last edited by JonnyTIG; 04-19-2007 at 08:06 PM.
    Jonny

    Dynasty 300DX
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    1,788

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Loadsmasher View Post
    <snip>What is the benefit of the sears twin cutter over a 4.5 inch grinder with a cutoff wheel?

    Thanks,

    JD
    No kickback or pulling due to two counter rotating carbide blades, comes with the wax sticks to cut aluminum, no sparks just chips.
    Regards, George

    Hobart Handler 210 w/DP3035 - Great 240V small Mig
    Hobart Handler 140 - Great 120V Mig
    Hobart Handler EZ125 - IMO the best 120V Flux Core only machine

    Miller Dynasty 200DX with cooler of my design, works for me
    Miller Spectrum 375 - Nice Cutter

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Vero Beach, fl.
    Posts
    761

    Default cutting aluminum

    I do the same as some of these guy's with a 40 tpi or higher circular saw blade. A friend of mine does aluminum hurricane shutters and he says they use a skill saw with the blade turning backwards to reduce the ripping and jagged edge on light gauge stuff like you are working with, never heard of this before so now I got to try it to see if he is pulling my leg. Dave
    If necessity is the Mother of Invention, I must be the Father of Desperation!

    John Blewett III 10-22-73 to 8-16-07
    Another racing great gone but not to be forgotten.http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...modified&hl=en

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