2

I need to make some 200 cuts of aluminium profiles. Examples of what I'll be cutting:

  • Hollow box profile, 40mm x 40mm x 3mm:
    • 40 pieces of 400mm lengths
    • 12 pieces of 1500mm lengths
  • Hollow box profile, 40mm x 40mm x 1.5mm:
    • 40 pieces of 400mm lengths
  • U channel profile, 40mm x 40mm x 3mm:
    • 80 pieces of 40mm length

I need the cuts to be within a few millimetres accuracy.

How could I do this without giving myself RSI or spending a lot of money on a tool?

Thanks

  • Do you have a tablesaw or mitresaw or jigsaw? To me that would be best. – Hightower Mar 21 '15 at 10:54
3

Any circular saw will cut aluminum, copper, or any other non-ferrous metal easily with a sharp carbide-tipped blade.

Keeping the cuts straight, square, millimeter accurate and not damaging thinwall parts will require some guides. My preference would be a radial arm saw, the length is easily handled with a clamp on the fence. If you don't have one, buy or rent a cutoff saw and build a jig. Time spent building it right is repaid tenfold when you cut all those pieces.

Use a new blade - the one that made your deck 5 years ago will make a mess of the aluminum. And get some earplugs too - cutting metal tubing makes noise roughly comparable to the Space Shuttle lifting off.

  • Excellent - In that case, I have a mitre saw which I'd want to use. How many teeth should I be looking at for the blade? I take it it should be a CTC blade? Thanks! – CL22 Mar 21 '15 at 11:34
  • I use a cheap big-box cut-off saw with carbide blade for aluminum stock up to 2X4". That thickness will start to bog down the saw If I'm not careful. Aluminum is pretty soft, but you will have to replace/sharpen the blade more often than you would just cutting pine and oak. If you don't, you'll start melting your way through the thinner pieces. That's messy and imprecise. – Wayfaring Stranger Mar 21 '15 at 12:23
  • Don't know how much you want to invest in the project, but they make sawblades specifically for cutting non-ferrous metals. Just as an example, the Freud LU77M010. (But that's not an endorsement of that specific blade -- I haven't used it.) It has 80 teeth, a TCG tooth profile, and less hook than ordinary blades. Cut slow; wear hearing protection; throw a tarp down where the aluminum dust goes or forever hear complaints from your significant other about the sparkly driveway. – Aloysius Defenestrate Mar 21 '15 at 16:31
0

I just cut some 1/2" 6061 aluminum using a Rockwell Versacut 3 3/8" circular saw and it worked great. The saw came with an aluminum cutting blade which looks like a regular inexpensive steel blade. I made several strait and clean cuts thru the 1/2" aluminum without using a saw guide with no problem. While the saw has plenty of power to cut thru the 1/2 aluminum,it has a much smaller motor and blade and less torque than a 7 1/4" circular saw so potential kickbacks should be much easier to control. I made several long cuts and the saw never tried to bind or kickback except once when I attempted a plunge cut. The saw is very light and easy to handle and it comes with a laser guide.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.