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When I picked up my battery "baskets" from my local weld shop, I mentioned how difficult it is to cut 1/2 inch thick 6061 aluminum plate.

My guy told me to wax up the sides of my table saw blade and run it through :eek:

Well, we decided that we needed to trim our motor plate so we set the fence on the table saw, waxed the blade a little and ran the plate through like a piece of plywood!

It went as smooth as butter. No blade change. Same old blade that has been on my saw for years.

There's a tip for you guys :D
 

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When I picked up my battery "baskets" from my local weld shop, I mentioned how difficult it is to cut 1/2 inch thick 6061 aluminum plate.

My guy told me to wax up the sides of my table saw blade and run it through :eek:

Well, we decided that we needed to trim our motor plate so we set the fence on the table saw, waxed the blade a little and ran the plate through like a piece of plywood!

It went as smooth as butter. No blade change. Same old blade that has been on my saw for years.

There's a tip for you guys :D
A nice "low tooth" carbide ripping blade is great (and usually the cheapest blade you can get)

It also works great on a miter(chop) saw with a carbide ripping blade, for the smaller pieces and when you need nice square or angled cuts.

Using a router with decent wood bits, you can get very nice round overs or pockets that would be very difficult any other way.

Definitely worthy of a post if others aren't aware how nice it cuts with your average wood working tools.
 

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Not all Aluminum is soft. I ruined a bunch of metal cutting drill bits trying to drill a few holes in some aircraft aluminum I bought at Boeing Surplus. I would test the hardness with a file before I tried cutting it with a table saw.
 

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The skil saw had a metal-cutting blade from a grinder, if that helps. I could touch the aluminum right after cutting. but that is the job of a heatsink...
On the mention of the word 'Grinder' note that you should never use an abrasive wheel on aluminium as the metal gets ground into the wheel and then expands with heat causing the wheel to explode.
 

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On the mention of the word 'Grinder' note that you should never use an abrasive wheel on aluminium as the metal gets ground into the wheel and then expands with heat causing the wheel to explode.
I've never heard that before. You should have been around to tell me that a couple decades ago, Woody! :p I have used abrasive cutting discs on all types and thicknesses of aluminum for years. The only issue I have ever had is the aluminum gets hot and expands, as you said, and "grabs" the blade. Thicker pieces usually required stopping for hours to let the aluminum cool and contract, when it started grabbing the blade. I even used a 10-inch abrasive blade on my table saw to cut a 3/4" thick piece down to 3/8". I showed pics of the piece I made from that in the Inhaler thread - it was a curved shifter gate. I also have a couple aluminum shifter arms here I started ripping, with that same abrasive disc, but never finished.

I guess I've been lucky huh? :eek::D I always was one to take a risk... :)
 

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yep, discovered this years back. unlike wood though, the saw can throw some pretty dangerous shrapnel, so be careful, I wear my welding helmet when cutting alum on the tablesaw.

When I picked up my battery "baskets" from my local weld shop, I mentioned how difficult it is to cut 1/2 inch thick 6061 aluminum plate.

My guy told me to wax up the sides of my table saw blade and run it through :eek:

Well, we decided that we needed to trim our motor plate so we set the fence on the table saw, waxed the blade a little and ran the plate through like a piece of plywood!

It went as smooth as butter. No blade change. Same old blade that has been on my saw for years.

There's a tip for you guys :D
 

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I've never heard that before. You should have been around to tell me that a couple decades ago, Woody! :p I have used abrasive cutting discs on all types and thicknesses of aluminum for years.
I got told off when I was really young for putting some ali to a bench grinder. The ali melts into the wheel and then as it heats up again when grinding steel it expands, like ice in masonary, and can cause the wheel to crack and then explode.

yep, discovered this years back. unlike wood though, the saw can throw some pretty dangerous shrapnel, so be careful, I wear my welding helmet when cutting alum on the tablesaw.
I bought one of these recently for cutting metal.

Very good it is too, just noisy and lots of shrapnel.
I am going to get a helmet to use with it, one like this should do.

The extra cover should reduce the clatter of metal in the bath tub when I shower and wash my hair. Finding steel shavings in the soap is not nice.:eek:
:D
 

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I got told off when I was really young for putting some ali to a bench grinder. The ali melts into the wheel and then as it heats up again when grinding steel it expands, like ice in masonary, and can cause the wheel to crack and then explode...
Ahhh! Maybe the difference is the type of wheel. The thin abrasive cutting wheels probably disintegrate fast enough to not pose any danger. The guys who machined my rear mount uses a table saw to cut big pieces of aluminum plate down small enough to fit in the CNC. He also uses a carbide-tipped steel blade - that's the first time I had ever heard of this. He laughed when I told him I was using abrasive discs on my table saw, and asked how many I went through. :)
 
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