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Cutting Aluminum on the table saw

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Forum topic by newwoodbutcher posted 02-19-2016 05:46 PM 816 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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newwoodbutcher

552 posts in 2316 days


02-19-2016 05:46 PM

Hello all,
Can I cut aluminum on my table saw without hurting the blade? Would you cut aluminum 1/4” bar with a good carbide tipped blade or would you use an inexpensive blade? I’m building a bracket to attach my Kregg Band Saw Fence to an 18” band saw. Any advice or warnings?

-- Ken


22 replies so far

View Gentile's profile

Gentile

262 posts in 1285 days


#1 posted 02-19-2016 05:50 PM

A buddy of mine worked in a picture framing shop. They cut Aluminum with a carbide blade chop saw.

-- "I cut it twice and it's still too short"

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TheWoodRaccoon

364 posts in 396 days


#2 posted 02-19-2016 06:11 PM

I don’t think you’d have a problem. I’ve seen people cut 1/8 inch alluminum, so i don’t think 1/4 would be too much. Not sure on what kind of feed rate you should use though.

Also, make sure the alluminum won’t slide under your fence during the cut.

-- still trying to think of a clever signature......

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MrRon

3926 posts in 2710 days


#3 posted 02-19-2016 06:12 PM

I cut aluminum all the time on my table saw, using any carbide blade I have. It won’t hurt the blade. I would use a crosscut blade as a minimum, not a rip blade. You have to take some precautions when doing so. Cut slowly; don’t jam the metal into the blade. Wear safety glasses and wear gloves. The metal chips that fly back at you are hot and sharp. I try to block the area with a piece of plywood to keep the chips from hitting my face.

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TheWoodRaccoon

364 posts in 396 days


#4 posted 02-19-2016 06:15 PM

The thought of using gloves at a table saw scares me…..

-- still trying to think of a clever signature......

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MrRon

3926 posts in 2710 days


#5 posted 02-19-2016 06:26 PM



The thought of using gloves at a table saw scares me…..

- TheWoodRaccoon


True!, but those hot and sharp metal chips can cut your skin.

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TheWoodRaccoon

364 posts in 396 days


#6 posted 02-19-2016 06:28 PM


The thought of using gloves at a table saw scares me…..

- TheWoodRaccoon

True!, but those hot and sharp metal chips can cut your skin.

- MrRon

Well, in that case he should keep his hands at least 10-12 inches from the blade with gloves. :)

-- still trying to think of a clever signature......

View gwilki's profile

gwilki

121 posts in 940 days


#7 posted 02-19-2016 06:44 PM

Turn off your dust collector. Those hot and sharp metal chips can also set fire to the sawdust in your collection bag/barrel. DAMHIKT

-- Grant Wilkinson, Ottawa ON

View Joe Andrews's profile

Joe Andrews

65 posts in 1465 days


#8 posted 02-19-2016 06:50 PM

I recently use my table saw to cut a bunch of 3/4” aluminum for my CNC router build. I got a blade from Amazon for around $20 that they said was good for cutting aluminum. It was an 80 tooth negative rake. First cut was great, but after that, I had to stop every couple of inches to clear the slag out from between the teeth. So I got one of those saw blade lubricant sticks and that helped immensely. Still had to go slow, but the cuts were nice and clean. Like others mentioned, the chips are very hot and tend to fly up straight at your face. Be sure to use goggles. I had mine on but a piece still found its way underneath them and into my eye. Not very comfortable. Still have the scar where another piece hit me just under my left eye and got stuck to my skin.

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ChrisK

1809 posts in 2548 days


#9 posted 02-19-2016 06:55 PM

There are blades made for cutting aluminum on table saws. A rip blade can foul with the aluminum in the areas between the teeth. This can cause problems. I also take the cut in three or four passes. less power needed and less hot chips on the hands. You will want gloves with slip resistant pads. The cut edge is very sharp and the sheet can be slick. The chips are not red hot, and I would leave the dust in the saw so that the aluminum chips will be easier to remove later. A good blade will be about $100. Well worth it for the faster cleaner cuts.

Freud LU89M010 10” Specialty Blade for example use wax or WD-40 for lube

http://www.freudtools.com/index.php//products?c=Saw_Blades&material=Non-Ferrous

-- Chris K

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MrUnix

4234 posts in 1665 days


#10 posted 02-19-2016 06:56 PM

I used an old beat up circular saw blade to cut sheet aluminium without a problem… but I also slowed the motor down so it wasn’t running full speed, which helped a lot. Ditto for cutting plexi and other stuff that tends to melt when cutting at full speed.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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ChrisK

1809 posts in 2548 days


#11 posted 02-19-2016 07:10 PM

Also wear ear and eye protection. The cutting is very loud and the metal chip in the eye sucks a whole lot more than a wood chip. i know.

-- Chris K

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bigblockyeti

3668 posts in 1187 days


#12 posted 02-19-2016 07:27 PM

Cutting aluminum would best be done with a dedicated saw and a non-ferrous blade. If anyone cut aluminum for any reason with any blade on my table saw they would need a footectomy from their derriere and they would owe me a new saw.

View Ger21's profile

Ger21

1047 posts in 2597 days


#13 posted 02-19-2016 07:53 PM

Cutting aluminum does absolutely no harm at all to a table saw.
Where you run into problems is the chips welding to the blade. Some grades of aluminum are much worse than other.

-- Gerry, http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/index.html http://www.jointcam.com

View Todd's profile

Todd

384 posts in 1143 days


#14 posted 02-19-2016 08:00 PM

I cut aluminum for my CNC build on my table saw with a cheap 80 tooth carbide blade from HF. I got very clean cuts.

I used my cross cut sled for control. I disconnected my DC while cutting and when I was done I vacuumed and blew out the aluminum shavings from inside my saw. Wear goggles at all times and be careful cleaning up. No problems since.

-- Todd, Huntsville, AL

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716

502 posts in 383 days


#15 posted 02-19-2016 08:03 PM

Here

-- It's nice!

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