I need to cut a bunch of V notches in some aluminum u channel for 90
degree bends and thought my bandsaw the best way to do this. Besides
getting the appropriate blade is there anything else I should be aware
of? Can the aluminum shavings cause any or many problems?
Another thought I had was to try doing it on my router table, but that
seems on the dangerous side. ??
Aluminum is easy to cut. It's softer than many hardwoods. Use a
fine-tooth blade (the package will usually say it's meant for
"non-ferrous metals"), and back up the workpiece with some wood scrap to
get a cleaner cut.
If you're used to dumping the contents of your dust collector or shop
vac into the compost heap, you probably don't want to dump the aluminum
shavings in there. Other than that, I can't think of anything special.
If your blade gums up with alooneyum, just use some stick wax. They sell it
in cardboard tubes, so it is easy to "cut" into without turning off the saw.
Also, the wax can get pretty messy, so maybe you could look into an
alternative product that won't be as messy.
If you don't have a high quantity to cut, you may not need the wax.
I'd hacksaw it.
Aluminium filings in damp weather will corrode and can leave dark
streaks on timber afterwards. It's easier to hand-saw than to clean
the machine afterwards.
Make sure you can get the speed really slow too.
Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
What you want to look for is a "Bi-Metallic" blade that is designed for
cutting non-ferrous(non IRON) type metal. that means aluminum, brass,
copper sheet, probably zinc sheet and so on.
Go slow and don't cut too fast so you don't heat up the blade if the
stock is thick( which is to say, thicker than sheet copper, aluminum
etc.). I'd wax the blade a bit too, but I also think there are spray
lubricants for bandsaw blades made for this situation.
also make sure your bandsaw is tuned well. That is, make sure your cool
blocks and support bearings around the blade are properly adjusted
otherwise I think you may have the blade pop off.
"The measure of a man is what he will do while expecting
Don't need the bi-metal blade at all - any wood or metal-cutting blade will
work on aluminum.
The bi-metal blades have cutting teeth of high speed steel on a regular steel
back. The high speed steel teeth hold up well on steel and other hard alloys,
while the regular steel back is much less likely to break than a solid high
speed steel blade is.
I've cut aluminum on the table saw (standard woodworking carbide or steel
blades), on the band saw (woodworking speed), and with a router (carbide or
steel bits). Rod, bar, sheet, plate. Will use Aluma-Tap as a lubricant when I
feel like it, but not necessary. Only thing I don't like doing is cutting
plate on the table saw with the rip fence or sled. Never yet had it grab or
kick back, but maybe I'm lucky.
As Norm says, remember the goggles. Those chips hurt.
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