Planing Aluminum

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Forum topic by Innovator posted 09-28-2009 05:38 PM 3222 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3584 posts in 3379 days

09-28-2009 05:38 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question jointer milling

I have a piece of aluminum angle iron that is 3/8” thick x 2” x 2” and slightly out of square. I was wondering if anyone has used a jointer to square it up. Or used the jointer for aluminum at all. The jointer I have is a powermatic with carbide heads.

I have already called powermatic and they were not sure if it could be done or not.

I am assuming it is ok but I wanted to ask first if anyone has done it before I subject my machine to it.


-- Whether You Think You Can or You Think You Can't, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

9 replies so far

View ondablade's profile


105 posts in 3164 days

#1 posted 09-28-2009 06:07 PM

My thought is that you would risk getting skewered by the piece of aluminium being kicked back, especially if as i think you are proposing to cut across a 2in wide surface. Or having the workpiece kicked out so the cutter is suddenly and unexpectedly exposed.

It’s not necessarily impossible, but at best it’d be a case of taking really light cuts (measured in thou), using pushers while standing well to one side, and proceeding very much at your own risk to self, machine and everything else!! Aluminium, specially in certain grades, has a tendency to pick up on cutters too – with the result that the reaction force suddenly increases.

I doubt you’d get anybody to stand over it from a H&S point of view….

-- Late awakener....

View treeman's profile


208 posts in 3415 days

#2 posted 09-28-2009 07:14 PM

I think I’d be going to a machine shop for this job.

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 3492 days

#3 posted 09-28-2009 07:38 PM

ditto… MACHINE SHOP or new alum

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View jack1's profile


2103 posts in 3993 days

#4 posted 09-28-2009 11:52 PM

I’ve seen aluminum pack into blades where you had to kind of chisel it out. I think I’d pass too.

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18247 posts in 3642 days

#5 posted 09-29-2009 01:14 AM

And it has a tendency to gall.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Scott 's profile


103 posts in 3325 days

#6 posted 09-29-2009 02:29 AM

The carbide is plenty tough enough to handle the alluminum but the machine isn’t set up to mill metals. The “blades” aren’t made to evacuate metal from the cut like spiral fluted mill tooling is so you get a build up up shavings. You would prob. not be happy with the results.

-- Scott, South Carolina

View Innovator's profile


3584 posts in 3379 days

#7 posted 09-29-2009 02:44 AM

OK, there seems to be a theme here…....

DON’T DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for the input, I will pass on it.

I will be able to shim it to make it square, I just dont want to worry about it going out of square.

-- Whether You Think You Can or You Think You Can't, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

View charlie48's profile


248 posts in 3135 days

#8 posted 09-29-2009 02:59 AM

depending on how out of square it is ,if you have a disc sander,make a jig to hold it and run passes untill square,if it isn’t to long.Slow but might work.

-- Charlie............Only time will tell if it was time well spent.

View Luke's profile


545 posts in 3260 days

#9 posted 09-29-2009 03:15 AM

I have an old delta table top planer that I will use to plane really thin aluminum. It is great for anything smaller than an 1/8 inch wide but it beats the blade up pretty bad. It’s hard to cut even wood now because it’s so dull but I don’t use it for that anyways so I don’t care.

I wouldn’t do it. I think if you are a strong person you could keep it under control but I am almost certain that it would come out looking like crap, if it even cut into it.


-- LAS,

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