How to cut slots on 1/2" thick aluminium.

How are slots made on 1/2" thick aluminium? Are they made from plasma cutters, carbide router bits or a simply a coping saw? A picture below shows a 1/2" thick
aluminum plate bolted onto a motor. Slots were cut to allow for belt adjustment.
http://www.bedair.org/Tmotor/XLEESON5.JPG
Thanks
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Tibur Waltson wrote:

If you have access to a milling machine, that would be the quickest way. Otherwise, drill a hole at each end of the slot and "connect" the holes with a jigsaw. Lay out your lines, and it will be pretty easy.
Good luck
--
John L. Weatherly
Nashville, TN
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Looking at the oblong slots, I would say they were done with either an Ironworker with an oblong punch, or CNC'ed with a cutter.
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One would cut those slots with a mill, basically. Manual or CNC, depending on what you had and how many you were making. You could just also cut them with a drill and a jig saw, if you were willing to take the time and file to fit. you could cut them with a hand drill and a file, if you were power-tool deprived and had a lot of time on your hands.
You could cut them with a plasma cutter and file to fit. You could punch them, I suppose, but not in a typical home shop...
Brian

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Tibur Waltson wrote:

None of the above. Typically these are cut with a high speed steel 2 flute helical end mill held in a vertical (Bridgeport) milling machine. In a pinch, Johns drill and jig saw method sounds pretty good.
A picture below shows a 1/2" thick

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Could he drill a series of holes and then finish off with a hand held router with carbide bit? If he can do this, he'd be able to get a very nice finish (when compared to a jig saw'd hole). David Todtman

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you can also drill one hole on each end of the oblong and then proceed to drill a series of holes between them by overlapping the drill holes ,that when you are done it will look like waves on both sides of the oblong ,then take a hand file and file them down make sure you had set up guide lines ahead of time so you dont go too far with the filing ,which means set up 2 lines for the width 2 lines on the end for the length and 1 one line right down the center for your drill guide . It's best to use a drill press if you got one for this method ,but you can use a hand drill but be extra careful of catching of the bit when doing that and always make sure your piece is secured ,it takes awhile to do but you can get it done by yourself and without expensive equipment . If in a hurry and dont have a milling machine take it to a machine shop to do and explain and if possible draw a picture of what you want . good luck
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If you are asking how the original were made my guess would they were Water Jetted. If you want to make one well, hmmm. The idea of drilling holes at each end and cutting with a jig saw sounds pretty good especially sense a Water jet, Laser, or punch (that big) are not available.
Glenn Houston, Tx
On Fri, 16 Jul 2004 12:50:24 GMT, "Tibur Waltson"

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I drilled a 1/2" hole on each end of the slot and used a jigsaw with a metal blade to connect the holes. I also used wd40 while cutting to keep the blade clean. I then used a metal file to clean it up a bit. Steve Bedair
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I would say a milling machine is what was used in a machine shop a small milldrill unit with a cross slide table would work .Milling machine citters are made to cut on the side of the bit

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The demension is not known. So perfection may not be required.
A skill saw may be all that is needed to put slots in 1/2" aluminum.

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Very effective. Great fun! Chips everywhere. I've also used a pneumatic router with a milling cutter.
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Use a Skill saw with a carbide blade. I have used this setup to cut up some 3/4" aluminum tooling plate, and it cuts the stuff as good as wood, however a little slower.

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