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05-27-2005, 01:04 AM #1
I have some 1/4" plate i would like to cut up, it's 6061.
What kind of blade do I need to get to be able to cut this? Will a simple carbide blade work?
05-27-2005, 02:06 AM #2
I needed to do this a while back on a sheet of quarter inch 6061, had to trim all four sides at about 3 1/2 feet long each. Just used a standard carbide tipped wood blade on a regular Milwaukee circular saw. It cuts pretty good, if you are not too pushy I don't even think it loads the saw to much worse than a sheet of three quarter-inch plywood. The 6061 was cut dry, although some lubricant like WD40 would probably be a good addition. Despite this dry cutting, the sawblade did not load up with aluminum, but the potential is certainly there. The job I did was not planned out in advance, so our only choice was to grab the nearest blade was available. I don't know if they make one, but a carbide tipped blade with about 50 or 60 teeth and a triple chip grind would be the ultimate blade to use for this application.
I will give you two very important things to think of. First one is you absolutely must wear safety goggles when doing this, the aluminum chips seemed to fly in all directions with a great deal of force, and they are both very sharp edged and extremely hot! And you better use some good hearing protection too, the noise generated when sawing a large sheet of aluminum like that is absolutely amazing.
05-27-2005, 02:28 AM #3
We had a blade at work for the 10" Dewalt that was used to cut 80/20, it worked great. However, I didn't order it, so I dont know where it came from, or what type it is...etc.
I was planning on just trying it with my plywood blade...it's only ten bucks if it doesn't work.
05-27-2005, 03:57 AM #4
We've done up to 3/16" sheet al. at work with a carbide tipped circular saw blade. Ours is helical drive. Definitely wear safety goggles (NOT glasses, those aren't enough) and ear protection. The chips are large, and as mentioned hot and fast flying.
05-27-2005, 04:09 AM #5
I think a typical carbide blade will do teh trick, just take it easy.
I had always heard you could cut corrugated galvanized roofing metal with a skilsaw blade turned backwards, so i tried it when I rebuilt my shop doors last summer. Works great. Heed the ear protection advice. I had only a couple of short runs to make, but that is the loudest racket I have ever been exposed to (and I was a rock 'n roll bass player for 12 yrs)! The only thing that might come close is sticking your head in the intake duct of a running T-37 jet (those who know the "dog whistle" will appreciate this).
05-27-2005, 05:21 AM #6
Today I cut some 1/2 inch thick aluminum, some 5/16, and some 1/8 on the tablesaw. I just use the blade that's on it, and it happened to be one of the el cheapo carbide skilsaw blades. Works fine, but the blade should be stiffened up with some large washers made from plate, something like that.
Yes, chips are hot, fast, and sharp. I had it in my hair, all over my arms, down my shorts, in my jeans pockets, and inside the back of my shirt. Some makes it into bed with me, that's irritating.
05-27-2005, 08:29 AM #7
We needed to trim two edges on a 1" thick plate of 6061 but the plate was larger than any of our machine capacities. One of the guys grabbed the circular saw that we use to cut plywood for shipping (with a carbide tipped blade) and with a straight-edge "C"-clamped to the plate he made some pretty nice cuts.
05-27-2005, 09:50 AM #8
Ditto the above, but with a full face shield. Those hot chips go everywhere. I only do this outside & with hearing protection as well.
05-27-2005, 10:17 AM #9
I like the black and decker Pirahna blades. a nice high positive blade that cuts like butter as long as its sharp. I once did a fab job using 2" square aluminum tube and had one of these on a woodcutting 10" power miter saw, worked great on the whole project that took 52 lbs. of aluminum welding wire.... We have cut up to 2 inch plate with a circular saw and a pirahna blade. Works best under 1 inch though.
05-27-2005, 10:31 AM #10
When my brother cut the floor out of his boat (aluminium), he got a finer than normal blade, and some lubricant, I think in a stick form, made just for this type of cutting. Sorry, can't help with the name...I would ask someone who makes aluminium boats for the info.
05-27-2005, 11:01 AM #11
The local hardware store had a blade labeled as being for non-ferrous metal cutting. If "True Value" stocks it, they can't be very uncommon.
I used it on .125" 6061 and it worked fine.
05-27-2005, 11:24 AM #12
I cut up to 2" thick 6061 with a carbide construction (eats nails etc...) blade.
the less rake on the teeth the better.
it's nasty, noisy, hot, sharp, business. but FAST!
05-27-2005, 01:02 PM #13
we used to cut alot of al plate and extrusions up to 1 in plate on a table saw with a good slding fence and a 12 in blade with skip tooth carbide, I think a 96 tooth. gave a cut as smooth as glass.
05-27-2005, 01:22 PM #14
A friend has a Milwaukee metal cutting power handsaw. This saw uses a metal cutting blade. The blades are 7-1/4 inch with carbide teeth. The set on the teeth is not much.
I have used this saw on 1/2 inch AL and it cuts with very little effort. Leaves a very nice finish. The saw is built with a side guard and it does not throw much of the chips. Also it is not a great deal of noise. Works fantastic. Very nice saw. I believe the blades are pricey.
I don't know where he bought the saw. He got it with and extra blade.
05-27-2005, 03:30 PM #15
05-27-2005, 03:35 PM #16
we cut up to 4 inch on a heavy table saw all the time use a lot of oil on plate draw a line where the blade will go and oil the plate push slow cuts great. if you dont oil it gums up on the blade bad and will pull off carbides,jim
05-27-2005, 07:31 PM #17
Have you looked at Tenryu?
There have been positive reports on their blades on the newsgroups. Someone, somewhere posted a link to video showing one of their blades cutting steel - pretty impressive.
05-30-2005, 01:38 AM #18
Loud is an understatement.
But damn it works good.