best method to cut 3/4" aluminum tubing?

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hi,
I am using 3/4" OD aluminum tubing as balusters for deck rails. I need to cut almost 400 of them to length. I was hoping for suggestions on the most efficient and painless way to do this. I have woodworking tools such as band saw, table saw, miter saws, jig saw, etc...
any advice appreciated...
thanks,
david greenville, sc
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Personally, I prefer to use a tube cutter. Perfect cuts and quick and painless.
Kevin Daly http://hometown.aol.com/kdaly10475/page1.html
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http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/Self-Feeding-Midget-Cutters /
These things look cute but are expensive; you should be able to find comparable products at a local retailer.
snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnospam (Kevin Daly) wrote in message

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnospam (Kevin Daly) writes:

Not as quick as a hand-held bandsaw, especially when doing four hundred. More accurate, I agree.
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wrote:

Since you have 400 of them to do, why not install a non-ferrous metal cutting blade in the miter saw? These are usually available at any home center. You could also set up a stop block and measure once, cut 400 times.
For just a few, I'd probably use a tubing cutter or hacksaw.
Barry
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Barry ...
<<Since you have 400 of them to do, why not install a non-ferrous metal cutting blade in the miter saw? These are usually available at any home center. You could also set up a stop block and measure once, cut 400 times.>>
Don't you mean "measure twice?" <g>
Lee
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On Thu, 9 Sep 2004 17:31:25 -0400, "Lee Gordon"

No. You measure the second time after you cut 400 too-short poles.
Where would the challenge be if you KNEW the parts were right the first time?
Barry
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Barry ...
<<No. You measure the second time after you cut 400 too-short poles.
Where would the challenge be if you KNEW the parts were right the first time? >>
That's how I would do it. And the second 400 would come out wrong too. <g>
Lee
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I have my miter saw set in a bench that provides table top to each side. It is quite easy to rig a stop.
If it is round tube, you run the risk of part(s) spinning in the cut - not good - if you try to cut a bunch at once. I would try to get going with 2 at a time and develop a good rhythm. Won't take long. The biggest deal will be dealing with the finish pieces.
Good technique and blade should give you a clean, burrless cut.
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Good points mentioned already: stop block jig and 2 (or more?) at a time.
I forked over $50 for a Freud diablo non-ferrous blade for my CMS. I still didn't believe it would cut the aluminum picture frame moulding I needed to miter, but it did a fabulous job. Maybe it's overkill, but I suspect you would be happy with its performance. If it were me, I'd use a 10" abrasive disc for a chop saw ($5 or so) in a CMS, as the edges will remain hidden.
Notable idea: Maybe you could buff them with some metal polish or rouge before installing for a chrome type look.
Good luck!
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Abrasive disks do a lousy job on aluminum. Often load an refuse to cut. If they do cut there will be one huge burr to clean up.

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I'd look for the right kind of blade for the miter saw and set up a jig for length. 400 pieces with a tubing cutter will make for very tired hands/wrists. I know they make carbide toothed blades for cutting non-ferrous metals, or use an abrasive blade.
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Like another post suggested, use a pipe cutter. If you use a miter saw with a metal blade, wrap electrical tape around the pipe one time where it is to be cut to prevent burrs.
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I have used my table was with a carbide blade. I was cutting 3/4 aluminum tube for wind chimes. BE CAREFUL of flying chips, where gloves and face protection. Just my opinion. Frank
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Aluminum guys use a miter saw with a metal cutting blade ... no tape. I had them in my yard for a week putting up my screen cage so I got a good look at their tools.
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With the right blade, I've never had burrs with a miter saw, even without tape.
Barry
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Any carbide blade in your mitersaw will work. We just finnished up cutting 4X12 1/4inch plate with a circular saw with standard blade...Had to cut 11pcs....Brian
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I have been cutting small amounts of aluminium angle recently using my mitre saw. Use a non-ferrous blade (lots of teeth. It will make a *huge* mess so ensure you do it in an area that is easy to clean. Note that aluminium curlies stick to everything - shoes, wood, shop dog paws - everything.
For 400 cuts:
eye protection (fully enclosed) - definite hearing protection - definite assistant - highly desireable tape - unnecessary file to deburr if needed stop to ensure length of repeat cuts - essential
Technique: set stop cut test piece in place commence bulk cuts have assistant place tubing, you pull handle every so often ensure chips are clear of stop block so each cut isn't getting shorter. finish job cleanup (for days)
Lastly, shave your head, it's easier than getting aluminium curlies out of it one by one.
Do While stockslast Drink beer. Loop

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I would add a bit of wax to the blade to prevent build-up of aluminium on the teeth.
Dave

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And a full-face shield.
Just my opinion, guaranteed not to reflect the opinion of everyone.
jlc

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