Tips on Using Thin Slitting Saws?

I had to cut a thin slit part way along an aluminum tube, roughly 1/8" thick. I tried cutting a shallow slot along the length of the tube, going 10 mils deeper with each pass. I started with a 10 mil thick blade I had, which had very fine teeth. I tried to go slow, but it jammed up when I got to the end where it was cutting quite a bit of material at once & it snapped in 2.01 pieces. The 0.01 piece turned out to be a tooth that got stuck in the slot. I went up to a 14 mil thick saw blade, which worked OK until I hit the 10 mil tooth. That blade shattered, and I still haven't found all the pieces. Fortunately, I was wearing safety glasses.

I finally cleaned out the slot & finished the job with a 20 mil blade. I also changed to cutting all the way through the wall at one end, and then advancing down the length to keep the amount of material being cut fairly constant.

I have a very mixed collection of slitting saw blades in various diameters, thicknesses & pitches. Are there any special guidelines on working with thin saws? I suspect the tooth pitch on the first blade may have been too fine. Are the feeds & speeds the same as for regular work? There is no apparent "set" on the teeth, so it's hard to get the chips out.

Thoughts? Comments?


Doug White

Reply to
Doug White
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Doug, by what you have described, I would cut all the way through the wall of the tube at once, deep as possible, around 80 RPM on a Bridgeport for a

3" blade, and use WD-40, along with a stream of air applied, to lube and remove chips. Slow feed rate by hand, climb cut, let the saw have time to clear itself. A wedging shim may be needed in the kerf to prevent pinching the saw. We cut .010 slots 1/2" deep straight into the end of 1/8" brass rod at 1725 RPM on a production basis using only an air stream for cooling and chip clearing. The rod is fed by an operators hand into the slitting saw through a guide bushing, until a shoulder on the part stops it's advance. Fully guarded, no blade exposure except through the guide bushing.


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The Dremel abrasive blades with a coolant mister will cut thin slots well.

Reply to
Richard J Kinch

Slitting saws cut slow most people think they will cut as fast as a band saw ,they won't. Using a 2 inch dia. saw slow it down to 80-100 rpm and hold a brush with cutting oil on it aganist teeth.

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If you were not using an aluminum cutting fluid or something like WD-40 on the saw, the tooth gullets probably filled up with chips. This will rapidly destroy a thin blade like you were using.


Reply to
Randal O'Brian

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