Cutting aluminium
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    N.B. Canada
    Posts
    45

    Cutting aluminium

    Hi Everyone,
    Been working with aluminium for years and have been using carbide blades, lately been having issues with blades not having wide enough carbides and not cutting cleanly. Was wondering if any of you have favorite kind of blade for cutting aluminium sheets 1/8, 3/16 and 1/4".

    Thanks for reading GH

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    central Wis.
    Posts
    3,897

    Re: Cutting aluminium

    I've always used regular framing blades with the wax type lubricant that comes in a tube. If you don't have that, paraffin wax or use a bar of hand soap.
    Miller xmt304, Miller S22 p12, Miier Maxstar SD, Miller 252 w 30A, Miller super32p12, Lincoln Ranger 9, Thermal Arc 181I with spoolgun, Hypertherm 10000 ,Smith torches. Esab 161lts miniarc.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    262

    Re: Cutting aluminium

    Lenox makes some nice blades for aluminum, they have a special grind that won't chip so easily.
    ***********************

    CR

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Ct
    Posts
    2,003

    Re: Cutting aluminium

    Whatever brand home depot sells works great, I just cut up an ambulance, all 1/8 aluminum sheet metal and 2x2x1/8 tubing
    A slower rpm saw will work better,

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    602

    Re: Cutting aluminium

    Quote Originally Posted by goose hunter View Post
    Hi Everyone,
    Been working with aluminium for years and have been using carbide blades, lately been having issues with blades not having wide enough carbides and not cutting cleanly.
    Hmm. What exactly is meant by,"blades not having wide enough carbides"? In my experience, the narrower the teeth the better the cut. As far as my favorite goes, that would be a 40 tooth but they are overly expensive for the expected duty cycle and thus I go for a 24. Once they shed a tooth (and they WILL!) it's all downhill from there. I'm very happy with the Dewalt product, 24 T ordinary framing blade. Wax is NOT your friend as a lube. A whiff of WD now and then is all. Blades are a consumable. I pay around 10 bucks for one and when it goes wonky, toss, just like worn down stones. Trying to jam a cut with a worn out blade is beyond irritating and hardly worth it. It always amuses me that weldors will happily burn up a box of expensive AL stones grinding away, but blanch at changing the blade. Find the best deal that performs.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    602

    Re: Cutting aluminium

    Quote Originally Posted by MetalMan23 View Post
    Whatever brand home depot sells works great, I just cut up an ambulance, all 1/8 aluminum sheet metal and 2x2x1/8 tubing
    A slower rpm saw will work better,
    Actually, higher speeds are better.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Kenai, Alaska
    Posts
    637

    Re: Cutting aluminium

    I use the Diablo/Freud blades for skill saws and I'm happy with their sound reduction as well as cutting performance and longevity in use. https://www.amazon.com/diablo-metal-...utting%20blade they've proven to be the least expense for the feet of cut- in our shop. Cut the entire LOWER hull (deck line to keel portion of the hull) of a 34'er in 1/4" with one 7-1/4" blade, recently.

    I lube with the generic frying pan spray- "Pam" that is over-sell-by-date and the supermarket sells at a good discount. The vegetable oil lubes well, for drilling, recip sawing, rotary sawing and carbide burrs and router bits but... if some is left on after acetone wiping? - it vaporizes at much lower temp than hydrocarbons/wax/WD (fish oil and hydrocarbons)/and other products.

    I find it cheap, spray-on handy, and easy to clean up while still lubing the blades' edges to reduce melting (eliminate) and build-up... I also use it on the band saws' outer edges and it reduces drag there too.

    Been using the same lube since the 70's but changed blades for years, including custom blades made for purpose (waste of money) until I found the Diablo brand.

    Cheers,
    Kevin Morin
    Kenai, AK

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    602

    Re: Cutting aluminium

    Quote Originally Posted by CrookedRoads View Post
    Lenox makes some nice blades for aluminum, they have a special grind that won't chip so easily.
    I'm done with AL specific blades for skilsaws. I've tried numerous. I think, if one was set up to do ONLY straight cuts that they maybe worth it, but if cutting curves one is better off going cheapo. I mean, after ruining a $40 blade within a week....Here's what I've found, blades are soo much better these days all around that for me, the cost/benefit is way on the side of the cheapo. The 'thin kerf' concept is what makes it work along with blade harmonics.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    central Wis.
    Posts
    3,897

    Re: Cutting aluminium

    The thin kerf blades work well if you keep them from loading up. The paste type lube, wax, ATF or wd40 keep the chips free from plugging up the blade. ATF or wd40 need to be applied more often than the paste type lube and tend to make more of a mess that can lead to porosity or fisheyes if not cleaned up really well. The wax or paste seems to stay more localized , making it easier to clean.
    Miller xmt304, Miller S22 p12, Miier Maxstar SD, Miller 252 w 30A, Miller super32p12, Lincoln Ranger 9, Thermal Arc 181I with spoolgun, Hypertherm 10000 ,Smith torches. Esab 161lts miniarc.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    anoka co mn
    Posts
    314

    Re: Cutting aluminium

    Don't forget about bees wax ( toilet seal ring ). It works good on anything to do with aluminum. Especially for aluminum grinding disc.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Not there
    Posts
    2,772

    Re: Cutting aluminium

    The cheapest asz wood blades are fine for AL until you get to 3/8 or 1/2.I cover my table saw with canvas and wear a face shield and a heavy apron.Treat it as the hardest wood ever created.It isn't even hard but those chips are something else !

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Sechelt, BC
    Posts
    107

    Re: Cutting aluminium

    I use a carbide non-ferrous blade in my mitre saw and cut 1/4" aluminum no problem. Using a regular wood saw can give you hours of pleasure picking carbide chips out of your hide. Bonzoo's canvas is essential with wood blades.
    Do not believe everything that you think.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    602

    Re: Cutting aluminium

    About wax from American Welding Society Forum:

    "I consulted for a defence contractor several years ago that was involved with welding aluminum. The wax did prove to be troublesome if it wasn't completely removed prior to welding.

    I suspect you are correct in saying the vapor degreaser removed the wax prior to welding. We didn't have a vapor degreaser and the wax was a nightmare. We had a devil of a time removing it completely. We ended up prohibiting the use of waxes for joint preparation or for the excavation of welds to be repaired. We did use wax for finishing welds. However, when porosity was encountered while finishing welds, and they needed to be repaired, great pains were taken to remove the wax residue before rewelding.

    I recently consulted for another fabrication house that works with aluminum exclusively. They consistently produce some of the best aluminum welds I've seen. They use routers with carbide tools to prepare the weld joints. No wax is permitted except when finishing (i.e., grind the welds with "soft" pads and sand paper) completed welds and to "lube" the band saw blades when cutting material to length.

    I observed the welders wetting the carbide cutting tools with isopropyl alcohol to minimize "loading" by the aluminum. It is not as effective as the wax, but it leaves no residue on the aluminum. The welders were religious about flushing their tools with isopropyl alcohol before every use to remove all soils, grease, etc., as well as to help prevent "loading" the cutting edges. They also flushed the joint with isoproply before welding (not simply wiping the joint with a saturated rag). The welders were doing everything I "trained" the welders to do several years earlier at the previous company I mentioned.

    If you really wanted to tick-off the welders, just use the wax with their joint preparation cutters and stand back to watch the fire works. The welders would all but jump down the "finisher's" throat if they caught them using their tools with wax."

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    421

    Re: Cutting aluminium

    Quote Originally Posted by Yofish View Post
    Actually, higher speeds are better.
    I am not sure that is true in every situation. I spent a lot of time researching aluminum cutting, both high and low speeds have thier place.
    ESAB Rebels 215/235, Hypertherm 85, 45xp, Miller 350p, Synchrowave 350 LX, Thermal Arc 185, Everlast 255EXT, TD 60i

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    socal
    Posts
    459

    Re: Cutting aluminium

    I have had good luck with a sharp fine tooth blade placed on saw backwards, mark cut with a pencil & spray WD-40 on it. (<-WD dissolves felt marker mark!)
    ' ' ' ' "Move along, move along, theres nothing to see here, , , ,"

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Puyallup, WA
    Posts
    93

    Re: Cutting aluminium

    Sait A46N-BF cutting wheels. Specifically designed to cut aluminum. Will not load up, cuts like butter.
    In case it's related to my above post:
    AHP Alpha TIG 200x (2016)
    Eastwood MIG 175
    Eastwood Versa-Cut 40 Plasma Cutter

  17. #17

    Re: Cutting aluminium

    Hello Everyone,

    I found a good company, US Tube Supply, located in St. Petersburg, FL. They focus and specialization on piping and tubing, they dedicate to providing the right material for the job on time and on budget.
    Here's there website: http://ustubesully.com and phone number (800) 325-4170.
    Check them out when you get the chance.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    311

    Re: Cutting aluminium

    x2 diablo blades for circ saw aluminum.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    262

    Re: Cutting aluminium

    Quote Originally Posted by ustubesupply View Post
    Hello Everyone,

    I found a good company, US Tube Supply, located in St. Petersburg, FL. They focus and specialization on piping and tubing, they dedicate to providing the right material for the job on time and on budget.
    Here's there website: http://ustubesully.com and phone number (800) 325-4170.
    Check them out when you get the chance.
    You must like them alot since you used their name for your profile.
    ***********************

    CR

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Western Washington
    Posts
    1,510

    Re: Cutting aluminium

    Quote Originally Posted by CrookedRoads View Post
    You must like them alot since you used their name for your profile.
    Hey, when he likes something he really shows it!!!! but he sure can't spell...

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