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Old 03-20-2021, 08:36 PM
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Default Best way to cut

The man wants the legs cut off of these aluminum channels which are three feet long and less than a 1/8" thick. they are going to show when done so he wants them nice and neat. He wants the leg cut as close as possible to the main part of the channel. My options are a mill or a table saw. The saw seems a bit scary and the mill would take some setup. If I use the mill what would be the best cutter to use? All ideas are welcome.

1 three foot long

2 end view

3 another end view

4 what he wants when done
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Old 03-20-2021, 08:56 PM
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Table saw, carbide blade, material up against fence then file off the burrs.
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Old 03-20-2021, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by milomilo View Post
Table saw, carbide blade, material up against fence then file off the burrs.
Yeah, should work fine. Make yourself a couple good, solid push sticks so you can control the workpiece. Also set you saw up so the fence is exactly parallel to the blade or has a very slight gap at the outfeed side. You don't want those things to bind.

A mill would do a nicer job but it would be much slower. Also, a lot of smaller mills don't have 3 ft. of 'X' table travel, either...
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Old 03-20-2021, 11:11 PM
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UPDATE: I just noticed your last pic--you want to "rip" the Al lengthwise. Table saw could work if you create a "box" to secure the stock flat against the blade, which should be on the shallow side. The stock may want to "lift" as you cut. OR maybe clamp/screw stock to a table edge and clamp a guide and run a circular saw down it. I suppose the more you take off, the less you have to grind...

For cutting to length, I would just use a regular ol' chopsaw with carbide blade (and I do) to cut Al. The "issue" you can have is the blade could grab the stock and deform the material. A table saw could grab also... Their blade speed is 5000rpm or so (not near my saws to check) which is a bit high for Al but will leave a nice, clean, sharp cut.

WARNING! Cutting Al with a "wood" chopsaw (or table saw) is a dangerous endeavor! Razor-sharp chips will fly in all directions so a box behind the saw to "contain" cuttings is a good idea. AND you need to fully protect your body (arms, hands) from chips. A face shield over safety glasses along with hearing protection makes the task less dangerous. PS: with smaller, lighter pieces the blade can grab and fling the piece!

The more secure you can get the stock against the fence, the better. Lay stock flat and feed slowly. The blade may "vibrate" and increase the width of cut if you push too hard. Mill bastard file and deburr tool will make the edges pretty and smooth. I've cut 10s of 1000s of ft of Al stock this way.
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Last edited by mccutter; 03-20-2021 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 03-21-2021, 12:12 PM
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Success!!!!!! Took a fine tooth carbide blade from my skill saw and used the table saw and it was a piece of cake Thank's for the advice. I have cut aluminum before but always used a coarse blade and it was always a hairy experience.
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Old 03-22-2021, 01:52 AM
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Also, I've followed the advice to set the table saw blade as high as possible to take advantage of a more downward bite of the teeth against the aluminum.
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Old 03-23-2021, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
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Success!!!!!! Took a fine tooth carbide blade from my skill saw and used the table saw and it was a piece of cake Thank's for the advice. I have cut aluminum before but always used a coarse blade and it was always a hairy experience.
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