Blades for cutting aluminum?

I'm just getting into metalworking, and will need to be cutting square
aluminum tubing. I was under the impression that I should be getting
a chop saw with an abrasive wheel made for aluminum, but then I found
this today while poking around the internet:
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What the first post says makes sense to me, but I'm not clear on what
exactly I should be buying. Should I still get a chop saw and use the
toothed blade on that? And does anyone know of a brand/product name I
should be looking for in terms of blades? Thanks.
Reply to
dan *5
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Dan, Take a look at this video, it will show you the operation of a "cold Saw"
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We have one like this and we cut up to a thousand pieces of ss tubing per shift.
greg
Reply to
greg
A carbide tooth saw blade, the exact same thing made for wood cutting, will cut aluminum just fine. Go to one of the big box home improvement stores and get a 80 tooth blade. I usually get the cheaper ones, under $20 and throw them away when they get dull. Or you can spend upwards of $100 and have them re-sharpened when they need it. Feed slowly, especially if the tubing is thin walled. You'll get a feel for it pretty quickly. Oh, wear safety goggles or better yet, a face shield. 42
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Reply to
42etus
Buy a good quality *carpenter's* chop saw, a carbide blade for non-ferrous metals, and a tube of stick wax. I use a Freud LU89M010 blade, but you may find something you like better on this page:
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If you want accurate cuts, the chop saw should have a stock clamp, as the triple-chip grind non-ferrous blades tend to push the work around more than a typical woodworking blade. Unless someone with contrary experience speaks up, I'd avoid the sliding miter saws - you want a good rigid setup that won't self feed.
The blade will also work on a table saw, but a chop saw is the way to go if you're making lots of cuts on cross sections within the chop saw's capacity. Ned Simmons
Reply to
Ned Simmons
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Cheap wood blades work. Make sure that the tubing is securely held in the vise on the saw, or unhappiness results. (same if you were using abrasives, actually)
A Skilsaw and a steady feed (don't gronk it against the metal) will do a pile of cutting.
Some like to wax the blades with a cutting lube stick, but I find that it just makes the saw hard to clean.
Cheers Trevor Jones
Reply to
Trevor Jones
page:
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Thanks...the tubing I'll be using will most often have a .125" wall thickness...would you still recommend the Freud LU89M010 for that, or could I go with one of the cheaper ones like the TK706 (from the same page) ? I can't really tell what causes the price jump between models just from the info on that site.
Reply to
dan *5
page:
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Thanks...the tubing I'll be using will most often have a .125" wall thickness...would you still recommend the Freud LU89M010 for that, or could I go with one of the cheaper ones like the TK706 (from the same page) ? I can't really tell what causes the price jump between models just from the info on that site.
Reply to
dan *5
page:
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Thanks...the tubing I'll be using will most often have a .125" wall thickness...would you still recommend the Freud LU89M010 for that, or could I go with one of the cheaper ones like the TK706 (from the same page) ? I can't really tell what causes the price jump between models just from the info on that site.
Reply to
dan *5
If I were to try using a cheap wood blade, do I install it backwards? I remember reading that somewhere, but I sort of dismissed the idea.
Reply to
dan *5
snip---
Not just no, but hell no, especially if it's a carbide blade. A steel blade is installed backwards for sawing plastics, which avoids hogging, but applying a carbide blade in that manner will shuck the teeth instantly. Carbide has very low tensile strength and won't withstand forces pulling against the cutting edge, and they don't like shock loads. They're plenty tough on compression, however.
Harold
Reply to
Harold and Susan Vordos
page:
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If you look at the "more info" links it appears the LU89 is supposed to be a sturdier blade, with buzzwords like "micrograin carbide tips" and "Tri-Metal brazing impact resistant tips" sprinkled about. I think the TK706 also has a slightly thinner kerf. For thinwall aluminum, I'd spring for the inexpensive blade.
As others have pointed out, a cheap woodworking blade will also work. In my experience, the non-ferrous blade and stick wax will yield a better finish, if that's important to you. If not, and you have a carbide combo blade around, it may be all you need. You won't hurt the blade by giving it a try. Ned Simmons
Reply to
Ned Simmons
Per advice given here, my 40 tooth carbide blade worked fine (of course 80 would be better). It made a surprisingly very nice smooth/even cut. The only problem was my miter saw sprayed aluminum dust all over me. Good luck.
Reply to
John Doe
Ned Simmons wrote in news: snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com:
We cut a lot of thin-walled aluminum extrusion on a daily basis with a Rigid miter saw. In my experience, a 60 tooth non-ferrous blade is the optimum. An 80 tooth blade, which I had to purchase last time because McMaster dropped the 60 tooth (sigh), doesn't have enough gullet clearance and clogs too easily. A 40 tooth doesn't get enough teeth in the cut and can be downright dangerous to use.
Reply to
Anthony
60 or 80t in 10" you definately want negative 5 degree hook angle and a triple chip grind. The work must be clamped or it will get destructively slammed, the teeth must be lubricated because if the chips stick the gullets will load/jam.
Be advised in 80t there is more chance of a tooth and it's steel shoulder ripping free, there just isn't much room to put 80 teeth 80 shoulders and 80 gullets on a 10" circle, so the shoulders are small and weak in comparison to a 60t..
Reply to
beecrofter

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