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rockgator6
02-24-2005, 07:03 PM
I just purchased a chop saw from harbor freight and in the instructions it says that "this saw is desined to cut iron metal. Do not cut wood, brick, aluminum, or magnesium; tool damage and/or personal injury could occur."I have some small square aluminum tubing that i need to cut. am i going to ruin my saw by cutting aluminum with it? is their another method for cutting aluminum.

Thanks for any help you can give me.
rockgator6 :)

tigman
02-24-2005, 07:17 PM
No you will not ruin the saw. If it has an abrasive wheel on it switch to a carbide tipped blade and cut away. If the saw came with a carbide blade then it was designed to spin slower, it will still cut aluminum but go easy on the feed and always clamp your work.
Scott

Mike W
02-24-2005, 07:19 PM
Welcome rockgator6. :) A grinding wheel used on aluminum will load up and may fracture. One of my metal suppliers has a big honking cutoff wheel that they use to cut alum and stainless. I don't know what makes it special. :rolleyes:

rockgator6
02-24-2005, 07:24 PM
where would i get a carbid tipped blade? untill i can get a different blade could i use a thin cutting blade in my 4 1/2 angle grinder ?


rockgator.

Dman033189
02-24-2005, 07:51 PM
I wouldnt its the same deal as your chop saw blade the aluminum gets in the blade then expands when its heated up and could crack the blade and make it break apart when your using it. :eek:

DUMB_HUNTER
02-24-2005, 08:30 PM
from what i have been taught you never use abrasive wheels for aluminum or brass, as stated earlier they collect the particles and then the blade breaks. i would not want to be nearby with that schapnel flying about. seen it happen and those pieces can get moving accross a room mighty fast. think safety!!!! i use a recip saw to do most of my work.

tigman
02-24-2005, 08:56 PM
You can get cutting and grinding wheels made especially for aluminum. you could use a aluminum zip disc on your angle grinder. You could get them at your welding supplier but I prefer industrial supply businesses. Scott.

bcraytor
02-24-2005, 09:09 PM
Carbide blades....
Tractor supply has a metal cutting circular saw (Clarke brand) with a metal carbide tipped metal cutting blade for less than $100.00. Methinks that blade might fit a cutoff saw arbor. Wear full face and body protection as the sawdust (that is metal sawdust) is hot and hits hard. (Don't ask me how I know.) Sears also has a metal cutting saw with counter rotating carbide tipped blades. It works like a champ! Blade sets are $40.00 a set. Saw is about $150.00 (with a set of blades). A hacksaw does a mighty fine job and builds some muscle in the process. A sabre saw with a metal cutting blade works well too. For cutting sheet aluminum siding an ol' contractors tip is to use a regular wood carbide tipped blade mounted backwards in the saw. Cuts nice, straight lines fast. I don't know how that would work on tubing.
Regards,
Bart

53sparks
02-24-2005, 09:27 PM
I was working with a cabinet guy and he was using a regular mitre saw cutting wood with a carbide blade. Then he cut a piece of alluminum plug mold we were amazed and asked if that ruin the blade he said oak hardwood is about the same density as al he switched back and forth all day between wood an al maybe this will help. Ron

rockgator6
02-25-2005, 12:09 AM
Hey thanks for the answers. I dont want to spend that much money on a special blade so i will either use a hacksaw or get a blade for my sawsall.



rockgator :)

Sberry
02-25-2005, 12:24 AM
I cut alum on mine on occasion, a couple cuts on light tube wouldnt hurt. I dont cut heavy or many on it. Use some pressure and cut quick.

brianw
02-25-2005, 08:49 AM
Some manufacturers make special aluminum grinding wheels and small cutoff discs, I am not sure if anyone makes larger cutoff wheels designed for use in your cutoff saw. The reason a normal steel disc will load up is because the bonding agent is too hard. The easiest and safest solution is to use a wheel designed for masonry, the bond is soft enough to prevent loading. If you have trouble finding a masonry disc designed for your cutoff saw at the local supplier you can use one desinged for a high speed handheld saw. Just be sure to get the right arbor size. Good luck.

hankj
02-25-2005, 10:53 AM
Grab yourself a sawzall blade and go for it. You'll want some spce between the teeth or the blade will load up, too. I use 10TPI on tube and 1/8" and larger stock.

What ever happend to them first 5 Rockgators? ;)

Hank

Roospike
02-25-2005, 02:14 PM
No you will not ruin the saw. If it has an abrasive wheel on it switch to a carbide tipped blade and cut away. If the saw came with a carbide blade then it was designed to spin slower, it will still cut aluminum but go easy on the feed and always clamp your work.
Scott
If you look at the chop saws with an abrasive blade and then look at the chop saws with the carbide blade you will notice they are set up to run at different RPM's so its NOT a good idea to put a carbide blade on a chop saw that was made for a abrasive wheel . The abrasive wheel saw runs much faster in RPS's. The smaller hand saws might be a different story but BEWARE not to do this on the 14" chop saws. :cool:

tigman
02-25-2005, 04:52 PM
If you look at the chop saws with an abrasive blade and then look at the chop saws with the carbide blade you will notice they are set up to run at different RPM's so its NOT a good idea to put a carbide blade on a chop saw that was made for a abrasive wheel . The abrasive wheel saw runs much faster in RPS's. The smaller hand saws might be a different story but BEWARE not to do this on the 14" chop saws. :cool:
Roospike all I have used for the last ten years is a abrasive chop saw with a carbide blade for aluminum and brass not for steel. Putting a carbide blade on a chop saw that runs higher rpm to cut steel is a no no but perfectly safe for aluminum.
My last employer had six wood mitre saws with aluminum carbide blades that we used to cut aluminum extrusion, I have cut probably 30 tons of the stuff with these. I believe wood mitre saws run higher rpm's than an abrasive chop saw.
My concern would be cutting aluminum on a cold chop saw designed for cutting steel with a carbide blade as they spin so slow that you could end up grabbing the aluminum if you put to much pressure on it. Scott

diesel
02-25-2005, 06:04 PM
Just cut a piece of 1/4 inch plate with a circular saw. Huh? What's that? I can't hear you. I'll be cuttin' a lot of Al this way from now on. Carbide has no equal! That worked pretty slick. I used a blade with a lot of teeth.
d.

jph
02-25-2005, 06:43 PM
I have a friend that used to work for a company that repaired aircraft parts. They would use a circular saw to cut thick sheets of Al, like 3/4" or more. They would buy the cheapy Skil brand saws and use the blade that came on them. He said it worked great. I'm too chicken to try it.

Jeff

Alaskaskiff
02-25-2005, 08:49 PM
Carbide blades in circular saws and chop saws will cut aluminum just fine. Ask any aluminum boat yard, a common practice. However, the noise is terrible, the chips are hot, and the blades will start shedding the carbide teeth as they get tired. These really sting!!

There are speciality blades for cutting aluminum, and they are more expensive, but work better and quieter. The difference is the angle of the teeth. If you were to draw a line along the edge of a tooth on a woodcutting blade towards the center, it would be angled away from the center, the metal cutter will have the tooth edge running through (or nearly so) the center of the blade.

A good aluminum cutting fluid or WD40 will make any cutting, drilling, tapping task easier, but contamination for welding is a problem.

bcraytor
02-25-2005, 09:07 PM
Just cut a piece of 1/4 inch plate with a circular saw. Huh? What's that? I can't hear you. I'll be cuttin' a lot of Al this way from now on. Carbide has no equal! That worked pretty slick. I used a blade with a lot of teeth.
d.
Whats that you say??? My chop saw's got my hearing organs numb too. LOL Good one Diesel!!!