Cutting Aluminum Extrusions

Can anyone recommend a miter or compound miter saw that would work well for cutting aluminum extrusion material like the 80-20 product? I've tried my
5200 RPM, 10", $88 Delta but don't think this is really the right tool for the job. 80-20 recommends something quite a bit slower but I can't seem to find anything. Your help is appreciated!
Mike
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You need to buy a 10" "non-ferrous" blade. Usually 80 teeth or so. Remember to wear protection as cutting aluminum gets a bit scary with woodworking tools (eye and hearing protection, covered arms, face shield, etc.)
Regards,
Robin
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wrote:

I use an Amana 80t negative hook blade - works great. Just be careful to watch for kickback and when cutting small pieces off the end, watch out for the off cut that will inevitably go flying who knows where.
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In article <6hNpe.8726$QK1.4809
says...

I use a regular chop saw (it's even a Delta, I think) for exactly the same thing and am very happy with the results. I bought a Freud non-ferrous blade and apply a bit of stick wax every few cuts. A clamp is required for best results - the nonferrous blades tend to push the work around if it's not secured.
That said, I use the stuff (usually Item rather than 80-20) all the time and rarely cut it myself anymore. I find it's well worth figuring out exactly what you need and ordering the pieces precut. Item charges $1.50/cut on small sections, and there's no difference in the price of the material whether buying cut pieces or full lengths.
Ned Simmons
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We use a 14" compound miter saw. Thing is, you need a metal cutting blade for it, not just your standard carbide tipped wood saw blade. It is also is *highly* recommeded you get the clamping kit for your particular saw. Sawing aluminum while trying to hold it with your hand is *not* a good idea.
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Anthony

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Prior to switching to a TIG welded aluminum frame, our robotics team built the entire robot out of 80/20. We cut it with a cheapo miter box (delta I think) or a RAS with a fine tooth carbide tip wood blade, but these are just delaying the inevitable. What we use entirely now is a small 4"x6" portable chopping metal cutting bandsaw. We have the MSC one http://www1.mscdirect.com/CGI/NNSRIT?PARTPG=NNSRAR2&PMPXNO285785 but any one would work such as the Grizzly http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.cfm?itemnumber=G1010 . These saws have much slower fpm ratings than wood bandsaws and use the weight of the saw to cut throught the material. They use special metal cutting blades designed for this kind of material. They are non abrasive, so they work especially good for aluminum and this type of stuff. Also have a vise to hold the work, and an auto shut-off when they are through the material. You just keep squirting on oil and they will cut their way through a 2" dia aluminum shaft.
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Prior to switching to a TIG welded aluminum frame, our robotics team built the entire robot out of 80/20. We cut it with a cheapo miter box (delta I think) or a RAS with a fine tooth carbide tip wood blade, but these are just delaying the inevitable. What we use entirely now is a small 4"x6" portable chopping metal cutting bandsaw. We have the MSC one http://www1.mscdirect.com/CGI/NNSRIT?PARTPG=NNSRAR2&PMPXNO285785 but any one would work such as the Grizzly http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.cfm?itemnumber=G1010 . These saws have much slower fpm ratings than wood bandsaws and use the weight of the saw to cut throught the material. They use special metal cutting blades designed for this kind of material. They are non abrasive, so they work especially good for aluminum and this type of stuff. Also have a vise to hold the work, and an auto shut-off when they are through the material. You just keep squirting on oil and they will cut their way through a 2" dia aluminum shaft.
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Thanks everyone.
To woodworker88, we currently have a horizontal band saw which we use for steel and aluminum. I really need the simple miter adjustment ability the miter saws offer. Thanks for the thought though.
Mike

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Mike wrote:

Mike,
I cut extrusion for quite some time with just a miter saw. I then bought a fully auto non ferrous saw[weighs about 2000#] but with the right blade, as mentioned, you will get satisfactory results with the miter box. In a pinch a thin plywood/paneling blade will work, but the aluminum blades are pretty common these days.
I cut material for people all the time, odds are good someone local to you will too, if you need really nice length/finish, a big cold saw is the way to go

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I worked in a shop for awhile that went through lots of 80/20, Bosch, and so forth. Any well made miter saw will do the job, given the right blade. I think ours was a Ryobi or a Delta. We had a couple handheld band saws mounted on tables (can't think of what they're called) that we used to cut Textube, but they were too slow for thick aluminum pieces like that. The laser was really nice, but never close enough to the cut. I never clamped the extrusion myself, but I did try to cut a piece of simple angle on it one time and held it by hand. Saw grabbed, broke the back rest casting, demolished the angle, jammed my thumb and elbow badly, and left some interesting bruises on my pinky finger. That said, make a clamp that will hold more than one type of material, or several easy to use clamps. Our table was mounted between two much longer tables that would allow us to cut up a full length piece to eight inch pieces easily. Had measuring tapes on it, a stop, and all the good stuff you can get for/with 80/20. Should have been a variety of clamps, and I made a replacement sign that read: "Do not cut angle stock with this saw. It will hurt you!!" The boss there forgot to warn me earlier.
| Can anyone recommend a miter or compound miter saw that would work well for | cutting aluminum extrusion material like the 80-20 product? I've tried my | 5200 RPM, 10", $88 Delta but don't think this is really the right tool for | the job. 80-20 recommends something quite a bit slower but I can't seem to | find anything. Your help is appreciated! | | Mike | |
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