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Bandsaw blade to cut aluminum

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Forum topic by jimintx posted 07-10-2017 11:30 PM 699 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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jimintx

512 posts in 1422 days


07-10-2017 11:30 PM

Topic tags/keywords: metal cutting blade bandsaw question resource tip

I want to use an older Craftsman bandsaw to cut some aluminum. I would like to be able to cut 1/4” stock, but could live with thinner. I have the saw well set up and tuned and it works great for curvilinear cuts in wood.

After a fair amount of searching, I can’t find any straight-forward answer to the question of what type of blade I should get to try cutting the aluminum.
Could a few of you folks give me your input, please?

Also, I’d think i could cut a brass from time to time with the same blade – agreed?

I know this will get asked so here is the saw model: 12-inch, two wheel, model no. 113.243310, with motor rated at 1/2 hp, and 80-inch blade. I am aware that is not a huge motor, but its what i have for this situation.

THANK YOU

-- Jim, Houston, TX


27 replies so far

View KelleyCrafts's profile

KelleyCrafts

2680 posts in 577 days


#1 posted 07-10-2017 11:32 PM

Of it’s occasional cutting I use a regular bandsaw blade to cut soft metals like brass.

-- http://kelleycrafts.com/ - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

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MrUnix

6004 posts in 2036 days


#2 posted 07-10-2017 11:46 PM

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Loren's profile

Loren

9630 posts in 3485 days


#3 posted 07-11-2017 12:26 AM

Don’t do it. Standard woodcutting band
saws run way too fast. You’ll just wreck
the blade.

I did it once and got through about 18”
of 1/8” aluminum before my blade was
ruined.

A jig saw is a better choice.

View tyvekboy's profile

tyvekboy

1701 posts in 2851 days


#4 posted 07-11-2017 01:32 AM

You might check Lenox out to order bandsaw blades for non-ferrous metals.

I also heard that WD-40 is a good lubricant when cutting aluminum.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

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jimintx

512 posts in 1422 days


#5 posted 07-11-2017 01:36 AM

Loren, I think you have pointed out a key factor I was missing: blade speed. Thank you.

The blade speed on this bandsaw is 2,700 ft per min. That is noticeably higher than the recommended speeds that are shown in the chart posted by Mr. Unix.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

3655 posts in 2147 days


#6 posted 07-11-2017 01:58 AM

Are you wanting make straight cut or curved? What about using a jig saw. Most of them are variable speed and they sell metal blades for Jig saws.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/DEWALT-4-in-8-TPI-Aluminum-Fiberglass-Cutting-Jig-Saw-Blade-HCS-T-Shank-5-Pack-DW3755H/202550683

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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jimintx

512 posts in 1422 days


#7 posted 07-11-2017 03:57 AM

Alaska, you and Loren both said that the jig saw was the better way to go.
I now understand and agree.

I mostly had in mind making straight cuts, and maybe rounding around a few corners.

This idea got started for me as I was planning on going to purchase aluminum, 2” wide “bar” at my local hardware, probably 3/16’ thick, and make some plates that would be in the range of 6 inches long. Then I would be drilling a few holes, and rounding the corners of these.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

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Loren

9630 posts in 3485 days


#8 posted 07-11-2017 04:03 AM

You can cut it on a table saw or miter saw
safely. I’ve done that often. For safety
in cutting small aluminum parts you might
want to make some sort of carrier board
with a clamp. The hot chips can burn skin
but it cuts consistently and won’t seize
in the blade or anything like that.

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MrUnix

6004 posts in 2036 days


#9 posted 07-11-2017 04:11 AM

Get a cheap 7-1/4” carbide tipped circular saw blade and slap it in your table saw – that way you won’t trash a good blade. I have cut aluminium (and other non-wood stuff) on my TS, but I slow the blade speed down a bit, which not everyone can do. They do make specific non-ferrous cutting blades for the TS, but unless you are going to be doing a lot of cutting, probably not worth it.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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bandit571

18629 posts in 2521 days


#10 posted 07-11-2017 04:33 AM

They do make bandsaw blades for metal…..all you would need is the right length of blade.

Think Horizontal Bandsaws. Portable Bandsaws…

Have a shop vac sitting right beside the cutting action….

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

3655 posts in 2147 days


#11 posted 07-11-2017 05:00 AM

Deleted

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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AlaskaGuy

3655 posts in 2147 days


#12 posted 07-11-2017 05:03 AM


They do make bandsaw blades for metal…..all you would need is the right length of blade.

Think Horizontal Bandsaws. Portable Bandsaws…

Have a shop vac sitting right beside the cutting action….

- bandit571
</blockquote

The blades you speak of. Will they stand up to 2700 FPM?

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

3655 posts in 2147 days


#13 posted 07-11-2017 05:04 AM

Delete

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

18629 posts in 2521 days


#14 posted 07-11-2017 05:05 AM

Have to ask the pipe fitters that USE them….

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

3655 posts in 2147 days


#15 posted 07-11-2017 05:07 AM

When cutting aluminum on the table saw you want a full face shield. DAMHIKT

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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