Kinda OT: making a square out of aluminum

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richard wrote:

_Really_ bad advice.
If you're going to do this, only do it because you're making a habit of it and really need to. In that case buy a new blade, specifically for soft non-ferrous metals. Looks just like a plywood blade, but the rake angle is different. If you're using a chop saw this is a good idea. If you're using a table saw then it's damn near essential for your survival - wood blade angles on aluminium will "work", but you're just asking for a kickback.
Aluminium will also fill your machinery with aluminium shavings. These are nasty scratchy little things that ruin surfaces of planed timber. If they ever get damp, then they're also tiny black pencils that will scrawl on the surface of clean timber.
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If you're going to use a miter or table saw remove the dust bag first and blow out all the saw dust, otherwise you may risk a fire or even an explosion. Don't ask me how I know this.
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I've seen many references to cutting aluminum on the TS with a carbide tipped blade. There are also special blades made just for this purpose if you expect to do it more than occasionally. Personally, I have never _intentionally_ cut any aluminum on my tablesaw...
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richard wrote:

I did it twice, latest time was a week ago. The threshold on the pre-hung door I bought overhung by about 1/2" so I needed to trim it. This is pretty thin stuff (maybe 1/16) but it still made me uncomfortable. I used a cheapo combination blade (40T) and as others have said it makes a mess. I did it because it was thin and I needed a straight cut I couldn't do with the jigsaw.
It doesn't really cut the Al as much as it smashes through it and sends pieces everywhere. Goggles are a must and you really need to clean up afterward because one little speck of the shavings could easily ruin the next thing you are working on.
Not something I would recommend but can be done in a pinch.
BTW, a backwards plywood blade in a circular saw does a great job on Vynil siding.
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I wonder if you could put two identical circular carbide blades together like the Craftsmen metal cutting saw with one blade facing forward and the other reversed?
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On Sun, 21 Jan 2007 21:22:13 -0700, richard

Yep. I've routed it and turned it on a wood lathe, too.
It will tend to gall on your blades if you cut a lot though. If that happens, you'll likely have to pick bits of aluminum off from the teeth of your blade.
But to make a simple square, I think I'd avoid the mess. A pretty good one can be had cheap, and without dulling your tools or getting aluminum chips all over.
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