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cutting aluminum


 
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Chris Jones
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Joined: 16 Jan 1998
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:14 pm    Post subject: cutting aluminum Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I was given the pole from a broken pole pruner and the saw blade that bolted on the side of that pruner. The pruning head on the end of the pole that held the blade broke and was discarded. I have decided to insert a wooden dowel (broom handle fits perfect) into the end of the aluminum pole then slit the pole and wooden center lengthwise about 4 inches to sandwich the saw blade inside. I'll drill two holes through the pole, wooden center and blade and bolt it on giving me a sturdy pole saw.

I'd like to cut them at the same time so the slit lines up but I could do it separately and hope I hit center on both. I have a wood band saw but the only blade I have is pretty course and it cuts crooked. I have a metal band saw too but it's made for cutting steel. I have a table saw with a variety of wood blades and abrasive blades for steel. Other options are hand sawing with a coping saw or hack saw or I have a 3 inch air cut off tool with abrasive blades. What's the best way to split the pole and wood dowel.
 
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Stick welding
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:55 pm    Post subject: Re: cutting aluminum Reply to specific post Reply with quote

A metal cutting blade would cut both. A zip disc in an angle grinder would work too.
 
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MarkB_MI
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:38 am    Post subject: Re: cutting aluminum Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Your best bet is to put a metal-cutting blade in your woodcutting bandsaw.

You should be able to do the cut freehand. But if you want make sure the cut is perfectly straight, do this: Take a piece of scrap wood and mark a line parallel to one edge. This should be on the edge where you would want a rip fence to go if you hand one, probably on your left-hand side as you face the saw. The rip line should be offset from the edge the same distance as the radius of your pole. (half the pole's diameter). Rip this line for a few inches, keeping the blade right down the center of your line, then stop without moving your scrap from the saw. The scrap will be at an angle to compensate for the drift of the saw blade. Now clamp another scrap of wood to the the saw table to form a fence for the first piece. You can then continue to saw the scrap and adjust your fence until the blade tracks your mark perfectly. You now have a fence set at the right position to split your pole.
 
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jon f mn
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:24 am    Post subject: Re: cutting aluminum Reply to specific post Reply with quote

A regular carbide wood cutting blade works perfect for cutting aluminum. You can use anything that would use that blade, hand saw, table saw, mitre saw. Most places that sell aluminum by the piece use a wood mitre saw to cut aluminum pieces now. Any metal saw will work also, but they will kind of gum up with aluminum. You can prevent that by spraying them with lube like wd40 or nozle dip or spray for welding works even better. Candle wax also works. Grinder blades will also work, but again will get gummed up. Just run them against a candle or smear some nozle dip on them first to prevent that.
 
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Dusty MI
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:32 am    Post subject: Re: cutting aluminum Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I would pick the saw that left a kerf the same width as the saw you are going to install in it.

Dusty
 
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PJH
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:31 am    Post subject: Re: cutting aluminum Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Chris - if it is a Fiskars brand pole trimmer, they have a very good warrantee. I got one for Father's day a couple of years ago. Broke something on the head - called the company and they sent a whole new head out to me. No charge.

Otherwise - as Dusty said - the blade slot needs to be the thickness of the blade that goes in the slot. . .

Paul
 
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Dauber
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:10 pm    Post subject: Re: cutting aluminum Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Rubbibg the cut off blade with a bar of soap works great too. I use Dial.
 
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jon f mn
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:29 pm    Post subject: Re: cutting aluminum Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I bet bar soap would work good. Never thought of that.
 
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Chris Jones
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:35 pm    Post subject: Re: cutting aluminum Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I decided to cut it with a 7.25 inch blade on my 10 inch table saw using a carbide ripping blade. It's done. The project could have gone smoother but it wasn't bad.
 
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Pops1532
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:52 am    Post subject: Re: cutting aluminum Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I guess I'm late to this thread.....a plywood cutting blade installed backwards on a table saw would have been the best.
 
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Chris Jones
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:06 am    Post subject: Re: cutting aluminum Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Your probably right. I'll try to keep that in mind for next time. Of course my plywood blade isn't carbide toothed but given how easily it cut I think it would work fine.
 
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Pops1532
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 4:22 am    Post subject: Re: cutting aluminum Reply to specific post Reply with quote

It doesn't need to be carbide.
I've cut over a thousand of squares of aluminum siding (cutting through 5 or 6 pieces at a time) using non carbide blades.
 
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evilboweviel
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:38 am    Post subject: Re: cutting aluminum Reply to specific post Reply with quote

never run a carbide blade backwards
only use a steel blade backwards
 
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