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Old 08-03-2012, 01:38 AM
metalhead metalhead is offline
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Exclamation Need Help "Shaping" An Aluminum Plate

Hi there, Everyone:

I know NOTHING about metal working, so please be patient with me since I don't know the correct terminology.

I need to "shape" the outside of a machined aluminum plate. The plate is about 1/8th inch thick, 6 inches wide, and about 8 inches long.

The problem is that at the front of the plate, it is actually SLIGHTLY narrower (by about 1/32 of an inch) than at the back of the plate. What I mean is that while it is a true 6 inches wide at one end of the plate (the back) it is only 5 and 31/32nds wide at the front.

It is NOT critical that the plate be exactly 6 inches wide. But it IS important that the plate is the SAME WIDTH through the entire length of the plate.

The side of the plate is supposed to slide SLOWLY against a piece of wood and by being slightly narrower in the front, it messes up the alignment.

I originally thought of "shaving" the side of the plate where it is wider (in the back), so that it matches the width at the front.

But if at all possible, is there some kind of adhesive / glue / epoxy / whatever that I could ADD to the edge in the front where it is narrow.

I don't want to bond the plate to something else. I would just put some glue or whatever on the side near the front to widen it a bit, then sand / file / whatever so that the whole thing is even.

The main requirement is that it would be durable, but still "sandable" so that I can get it nice and smooth (both so that the width is equal and so that it doesn't cut into the wood that it will be sliding against).

I don't mind if it is not a "permanent" solution. It is ok if I have to touch it up and re-sand every once in a while.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions. Oh, and please let me know what type / grit of sandpaper I would need.
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:03 AM
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GWIZ GWIZ is offline
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Welcome to the site.


I would try "J/B Weld" epoxy, then file it.
It's a gray color epoxy, maybe rough up the surface before applying.

it should hold for a while if you don't flex the plate.
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Last edited by GWIZ; 08-03-2012 at 02:08 AM.
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:27 AM
metalhead metalhead is offline
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Default Thanks!!!

Thanks for the suggestion to use J/B Weld, GWIZ.

Because I want to avoid it getting on the bottom or top of the plate if possible (I only want it on the side edge), is there anything I could put on the bottom or top of the plate so that the J/B weld won't stick to those areas? (like Vaseline or something?)

Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-03-2012, 02:39 AM
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I would try clear "Scotch tape", pull it off when the epoxy is hard.
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:19 AM
metalhead metalhead is offline
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Default One more question...

Thanks again, GWIZ:

I looked more closely at the plate and realized at the part where it is widest, it is a little bit rough - like there is a little extra material that was supposed to be removed when they machined it, but didn't get removed.

The area where the plate is slightly narrow is much more smooth.

So would it be better to try and remove the material instead from the wider area (instead of "building out" the narrower area).

Again, it is not crucial that the plate is 6 inches wide (a little narrower is fine). But it is important that the width is constant and that the edges are smooth (since it will be sliding against a wood block).

If I am going to remove that material (we are talking about 1/32 inch on an 1/8 inch plate) what would the best way be? Are there inexpensive hand tools (like a file of some kind or sandpaper or something)?

Thanks again.
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:59 AM
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Could you post some pics and tell us a bit about it's purpose??

sounds like you may need to find somebody with a milling machine to true it up.....

I personally an NOT a fan of JB-Weld.... have seen lots of good things ruined by that goopy crap...

the stuff has magic properties.... will stick to the areas.. where you do not want it.... and fall off of the ones where you do want it...

it is not metal and will not replace it...

Sorry GWIZ... I disagree...
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:36 AM
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I would clamp it between two pieces of metal or wood as a guide and file it even. Stroke in the long direction.
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:37 AM
metalhead metalhead is offline
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Hi there, H80N, and thanks for the input.

What I am trying to do is to true up the base of a circular saw.

I am not sure how familiar everyone is with a circular saw, so I will try and explain.

The saw has a base (1/8th thick by 6 inches wide by about 8 inches long).

There is a motor mounted on top of this base, and then the blade of the circular saw is mounted to the motor.

So, the blade hangs vertically while the plate is horizontal.

I need the side of the blade to be parallel to the edge of the aluminum base plate. unfortunately, since the plate is slightly wider near one end, the blade is NOT parallel to the blade.

(My circular saw does not have an adjustment for truing the blade to the base plate).

This is NOT my photo, but just to illustrate what I mean, I am using someone else's photo. (Sorry, it seems quite big). My circular saw has a flat, machined aluminum base (the one in the photo looks like it might be stamped metal... I don't know for sure... but you get the general idea).


I hope this helps.

It seems to me like filing / sanding the excess width might be the best solution???

What type of file / sandpaper should I use? What grit would be best?

Thanks in advance.
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  #9  
Old 08-03-2012, 11:38 AM
metalhead metalhead is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by USMCPOP View Post
I would clamp it between two pieces of metal or wood as a guide and file it even. Stroke in the long direction.
Thank you, USMCPOP;

Could you suggest the right type of file?

Thanks so much.
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  #10  
Old 08-03-2012, 11:50 AM
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Having a better idea what you are trying to accomplish..
I am even more convinced...

If you REALLY want it TRUE... spend a few bucks and have somebody mill it paralell on a bridgeport and be done with it... do it once and do it right...

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