cutting 1/2" thick aluminum bars on a budget?

Completely ignored what? Using a file to achieve the necessary 15 degree angles on both sides of the aluminum. Even you expected I would "scoff at it" which I did. What was the point anyway?
What lesson? The saw was burned out yesterday, period. Nothing else has been done until I researched further, which was the primary reason for coming to this group.
Got it. GOT IT. Do YOU get it?
Now for that I stand corrected. The link I asked about above was not the link for the blade you were referring to for $15. Can our precious Larry forgive the oversight? Me thinks not and me doesn't give a rats you know what anyway.
If you weren't prepared for additional questions for what you perceived as obviously a newcomer, then you shouldn't have responded in the first place. Fortunately, I don't have time to sit here and argue with a has been and I am now adding you to my kill file so I will see no more responses. You ought to take the advice of other group members here and give people a break. You remind me of a serious narcissist that probably has some significant issues going on at home that warrant serious attention. What a pity that this is the only channel you have to vent your frustrations.... but it will no longer be at my expense. BYE!
Reply to
JBL
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Would you happen to know what size band saw? A neighbor has a 10" saw with 1/8 to 1/4" blades I could borrow.
Reply to
JBL
It will cut it with the right blade if you don't force it. Even a porta-band will do the job.
Reply to
clare
Ok, thanks for your response.
Reply to
JBL
How good does the finish need to be? You could use a vertical band saw but the finish won't be very good, not really good enough for a sliding fit if that's what you're looking for. But if you just need the angle for retaining then a bandsaw would be a fast and easy way to cut the aluminum. You will need to make some sort of fixturing to hold the aluminum at the correct angle and width. You could also use a carbide router bit with a rub collar if you have a router. Carbide router bits are great, they last a very long time compared to the HSS ones and are not very expensive. Eric
Reply to
etpm
Remember, when you send a boy to do a man's job, it CAN be done, but it will be done more slowly. Make sure the "boy" is properly supervized and not overworked.
Reply to
clare
. And do not feed too fast. wear eye and ear protection. The plywood bl ade has too many teeth and since they are not carbide tipped the teeth will get hot and then dull. And being dull will make them get even hotter.
I forgot to add that you might tell where you are located. Someone here mi ght be close and willing to help you.
Dan
Reply to
dcaster
Yeah, I --much-- prefer hack and bandsaws for cutting aluminum for that very reason.
Reply to
Larry Jaques

I was easy on him (helping) until I saw his 3rd post admitting more and more culpability and tool abuse. He should take your link and run with it.
Reply to
Larry Jaques
I just recently picked up a Craftsman router table, but no router yet. I've never seen a router in use or used one myself and I have started checking videos on the topic. At some point, I'll pick up a used router.
I suspected the band saw might be a bit problematic for the long angled cuts I needed unless I added a fence maybe... I'm just going to go with the carbide blade the others mentioned, go much more slowly and add small amounts of cutting depth at a time using the table saw. I managed to find a cheap Craig's List replacement over the weekend. I tried to salvage the prior saw, but motor windings tested open for continuity and a replacement motor was far more than I paid for the saw, so just cheaper to get another used one.
Reply to
JBL
If you go asking for a used motor, this is called a Resilient mount.
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-jsw
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
(snips)
Something that small needs to be clamped down for safety! If they are going to have any holes I would pre-drill them and bolt or screw the parts being cut to a scrap of plywood. Can also attach another scrap as a guide to keep your cut straight.
Agree with all the advice about carbide! Personally prefer a 40 tooth though they are a bit more expensive. Also use stick wax as a lubricant on the blade. Short as your cuts are you can probably get away dry cutting. Even candle wax will work once the blade gets warm enough to melt it. Try some on the second cut and see if it helps.
No current access to a machine shop so I have a bit of experience with improvised metal working. See
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for what can be done with (mostly) a skill saw.
Reply to
William Bagwell
...
Good choice.
Here's a tip when you're cutting bevels on a table saw: when you're cutting the second bevel and the 1st one is against the fence, don't have the "point" of the bevel down. It can slip under the fence and even just a little slip can ruin the cut and/or jam the work against the blade.
Having the point up may mean that the fence has to go on the other side of the blade, but that shouldn't be a problem.
Reply to
Bob Engelhardt
I have cut 3/4" aluminium with my wood cutting band saw, 1/2" 5T.blade which I use for general shop work. Bonus - you can tilt the table rather than the blade.
Reply to
Gerry
Don't try to route aluminum. At work we do have a Biesse CNC router and a 35' 4 axis router that we do aluminum on every day, but that Craftsman will be too fast for the diameter of cutter you're likely to use, and doesn't support the work firmly enough. You'll probably end up sending the work piece through a wall, and anybody standing between it and the wall. A carbide tipped blade in a table saw will probably be the best tool at your disposal. The cutting force from the saw is mostly in a vector down toward the table and isn't trying as hard to launch the piece as a router would be.
Reply to
Mark Storkamp
I am attempting to make a few "dovetails" which are brackets used to attach a telescope to a telescope mount. If purchased outright, for the kind of dovetails I need, the expense is beyond my budget. I recently acquired some 1/2" aluminum sheet/ bar. The dovetail needs to be 1.75" wide at the base, with the sides cut at a 15 degree angle. Length can vary a bit, but usually about 12-14". My plan was to make at least 3 for the various telescopes I have.
I thought I'd be able to get away with an old circular table saw I had. Last week, I made some 1/4" thick dovetails of a slightly different design using my table saw fitted with a plywood blade. This went well, but when I tried to make these thicker 1/2" dovetails today, I ended up burning out my saw.
Ideas for a cheap way to make these dovetails would be welcome. I've been watching Craigslist for another circular to replace the burned out one, but I don't think it's the best tool for this job without a $30 plus blade made to cut metal and even then I'm not sure it will do it.
Thanks in advance for your help, John
***
While not ideal for it I have severed a lot of 1/2 aluminum flat bar (and thicker) with a 10" table saw. With plenty of lubrication it does ok actually. I wouldn't saw any old carbide blade would do, because I had a couple cheap ones that ripped off all the teeth in one pass, but most name brands do ok for atleast a few cuts. Now I wouldn't put this on an elcheapo table saw, but my Ridgid contractor saw Is only middle of the pack as saws go. I've used it for 13-14 years or so for all kinds of projects. For a couple years it was my dedicated aluminum hacker. Now it only gets used for wood since I bought a horizontal bandsaw for the metal shop.
I don't know if I would venture to cut dovetails with it, but I suppose it might be possible some care and proper feeding. (pun intended) The problem is going to be keeping the blade lubricated Maybe if you could figure out how to make multiple passes you could fill the slot with cutting oil between.
I think a variable speed router and a router table Might be the next totally wrong for it option to consider. I used router as spindles on my early CNC machines. They didn't last long, but one would probably last long enough for the job your describe. Be pretty dangerous too.
The right tool of course is a milling machine and a dovetail cutter. Could probably still use a carbide router bit if you plan lubrication and chip clearance.
Reply to
Bob La Londe
BTW - for cutting something as thin as 1/2", you don't need a 10" blade - a 7-1/4" blade will do. $5.99 at HF::
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Maybe they are better now, but I think the blades I ripped all the teeth off of described in my other post came from HF. They were 10" blades.
Reply to
Bob La Londe
Thanks. Well, for now, it's all on hold. I've run out of money for this hobby stuff and will have to now wait until the next paycheck to go any further. I actually did manage to properly cut one of the dovetails on the first table saw before it burned out. It wasn't easy and I probably should have tried lub as you and the other suggest, plus it wasn't the right blade. This time, I'll start off with a better blade, more careful and slower cutting, and some lub. That is, when I acquire the spare funds. The idea was to make myself several dovetails first and then use those as templates to make a few more maybe to sell to others. I lack a drill press too, which is a major stumbling block since holes need drilled into the dovetails. I do have one of those small drill holders that accepts a drill and then can drill straight holes. This can actually work before I start cutting any dovetails, but once the much smaller dovetails are cut, there just isn't enough surface area left for the device to line up correctly.
Reply to
JBL

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