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Topic Review (Newest First)
01-28-2010 12:24 PM
evolvo nix on the Jig saw, it will have that panel flopping around on your bench like a fish out of water .[/QUOTE]

To avoid all that flopping find yourself a piece of that 2" thick hard foam insulation used in the building industry. 2' x 2' is a good size. You can just lay the piece of alum on the insulation and hold it lightly with your off jigsaw hand and easily cut to your scribe lines. The blade will be buried in the insulation and not even know its there. The material does not slide around either. Just make sure the blade doesn't protrude out the bottom of the foam, stack two pieces if required. This works great.
01-27-2010 11:01 PM
pepi If just trimming a file is the route, alum is soft as you know take advantage of that . use some tape, green,blue whatever to mask the area front and back, protect the finish . Mark the areas to be trimmed and have at it .. it will not take long

nix on the Jig saw, it will have that panel flopping around on your bench like a fish out of water .
01-27-2010 08:59 PM
Irelands child
Quote:
Originally Posted by Longboard
I wish I had a band saw, however, anyone use a cut off wheel uisng a Dremel? I agree with the difficulty of holding the jig saw steady.

This is a dash insert and I'm only trimming the sides just a little for a better fit. Do you think going slow with the Dremel is still going to bind and mess up the aluminum?

BTW Thanks for all the help. I'm truly over my head on this one

Those little bitty Dremel cut off discs will disintegrate about as fast as you can install 'em. Even their little 1/2" sanding discs will disappear fast. Yeah, I know their commercials show them cutting a bolt, but it for sure it can't be anything but a soft #10 machine screw. I have a Dremel, but use it for very light work, including elongating a couple of holes today in the cowl of my AVATAR car so I could mount the hood bracket.

If you are only doing a small amount of trimming, you can use a disc or belt sander or even a disc with a $5.00 1/2" arbor adapter on a bench grinder or even a surplus motor bolted to your bench.(use your goggles, regardless)

Dave W
01-27-2010 07:26 PM
Longboard [QUOTE=

A cut off wheel will bind and break for me (aluminum will heat and expand, then grab the wheel) - so don't I wont use except on the heavier stuff.

Dave W[/QUOTE]

I wish I had a band saw, however, anyone use a cut off wheel uisng a Dremel? I agree with the difficulty of holding the jig saw steady.

This is a dash insert and I'm only trimming the sides just a little for a better fit. Do you think going slow with the Dremel is still going to bind and mess up the aluminum?

BTW Thanks for all the help. I'm truly over my head on this one
01-26-2010 03:40 PM
Irelands child I use my little Crapsman band saw up through 1/4 inch and have even done some half inch. It cuts fairly slowly and you can follow a line pretty easily - which I, at least, cannot do with my jig saw even with a good metal blade. I don't even change blades with the band saw but I do a real good clean up of chips, especially the wheel coverings. As far as holes - a good bimetal hole saw, not the cheap ones, works nicely, though you should slow the speed.

A cut off wheel will bind and break for me (aluminum will heat and expand, then grab the wheel) - so don't I wont use except on the heavier stuff.

Dave W
01-26-2010 01:21 PM
heathj1 when cutting aluminum with a jig saw spray wd40 on blade and it wont load up then. jig saw it from the back side so you don't have to worry about scratches
01-17-2010 05:26 PM
S10 Racer
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldred
Don't try to use a cut-off disc on an angle grinder unless the disc is specifically for Aluminum, not sure there is even one out there. I tried it with my 4 1/2' grinder and one of those thin cut-off discs and the darn thing exploded on me! I guess I must be a slow learner because I tried it again and the same thing happened after cutting only a few inches, it wasn't cutting worth a darn anyway so I gave up and used a Milwaukee sawzall.


Anyone else have this happen? I meant to ask about this a couple of weeks ago when that happened but just never got around to it so when I saw this thread I thought I would mention it.
Actually I use the thin disk all the time for cutting aluminum but the disk I use are the Metabo brand. I also cut slow and if cutting steel or aluminum sheet, I first make a shallow cut on my line then go back over it until it's cut through.
01-17-2010 01:41 PM
OneMoreTime The Puerto Mill...router on a router table and use the trim bits with the ball bearing guide to run on the edge of the template that you made.. hearing and eye protection is a must..Hole saw for the gauge holes does work though I just rough the hole and do the finish cut on the router..

Sam
01-17-2010 01:36 PM
ogre make a hardboard template, trim to within an 1/8" and use a router with a carbide bit in it. it will turn out like a machined piece.
fiberglassforums.com had a very involved build where the owner made some very intensive aluminum pieces with a router.
his whole thread was accidently deleted/crashed and he is currently rebuilding it.
01-17-2010 01:28 PM
geezer69 first choice,band saw. second choice, jig saw. use plenty of tape with the jig saw or even a piece of thick paper. like a shoe box glued to the bottom of the jig saw. sometimes the tape will break through.ive had that happen.
01-17-2010 12:56 PM
bentwings There are cut off wheels specifically for cutting aluminum. They work great. I make a lot of use out of them. I'd opt for the jig saw for this case if available however . Maybe use the aluminum cut off for some trim work if necessary.

I get them from Fastenall. 3M make them too. There is a cutting wax used on saws that works great on flap wheels for aluminum that I use. I think it came from Fastenall too. Had it forever.
01-17-2010 08:29 AM
Rickracer I've found that a cutoff wheel works great for "trim" cuts if you keep the blade speed high and let the wheel do the work, don't push it. For long cuts, a jigsaw with the appropriate tooth count works pretty well, but as posted before, the bandsaw is king,
01-17-2010 06:14 AM
bondo Ayuh,... Working with aluminum is done with standard wood working tools,...

A jigsaw does Ok, but if you have acess to a Bandsaw, it works better, 'cause it's running in 1 direction, instead of back,+ forth...

The bar of Soap trick is a Good 1,.. I've found that Bee's Wax is even Better...
And,...
To stop the metal from loading up the cutting teeth or disc,..
Keeping a handful of Ice(or Snow this time of year) on the piece, somewhat near the work area will pull the heat away,+ allow longer cuts between picking the bits of metal from the saw teeth...
01-16-2010 08:24 PM
jsaw
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake_Dragon
Soft metal will plug up the holes in abrasive wheels then when it expands with heat it will make it crack and explode.

Jig saw and a sanding disk to smooth it.
I have had the best luck this way also. I like doing it this way better than I do using a plasma cutter. Less grinding & it comes out nicer.
01-16-2010 05:26 PM
eloc431962
Quote:
Originally Posted by poncho62
Jig saw....Cover the piece with masking tape to avoid scratching the heck out of it.
This is how i have done it in the past works real well. JMO

Cole
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