I was at the Iron Fever metalworking show in Pa. a few weeks ago when I saw a gentleman cutting 3 inch aluminum round (solid) with a Makita chop saw. The blade looked like steel so I know it was not the abrasive type. He cut thru the bar in less then 30 seconds. I am aware that they make a chop saw that uses a 70 tooth blade for cutting metal and I think it runs about 1800 rpm (half normal) I was wondering if there was a way to run a metal toothed blade in my (fast) abrasive chop saw. Thanks!
A standard framing chop saw will do fine in aluminum. A standard blade will do for occasional use. But a dedicated aluminum blade will work better. These are generally negative rake with in the neighborhood of 72 teeth.
A plain HSS fine blade will actually cut aluminum real nice. It will also be less likely to through small pieces.
I have cut up to 3/4" plate with an ordinary skil saw and a carbide tooth blade with no problem.
Used to do it all the time on aluminum box tubing (3" 1/4" wall) with no problems. Cut like butter. I would imagine doing solid parts would be no different, just use a good carbide blade.
I guess it's the poor mans aluminum chop saw
I cut aluminum all the time using a chop saw and a Freud 10” cutting non-ferrous carbide blade. http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?p...4&cookietest=1 3 inch aluminum rounds are no problem as long as the round is clamped down.
The type of blade & saw are called a dry cut chop saw as opposed to an abrasive cut chop saw. The motor RPM is roughly half that of an abrasive saw, and the blade is carbide-tipped.
Makita, DeWalt, Milwaukee, Hitachi, Jepson, etc., all make their version - all are pretty much identical except for color They all claim phenomenal blade life which is true if you cut what they were designed to cut - gauge thickness metals & thin rounds. Start cutting larger material (like the 3" solid that was mentioned) and you might get 100 cuts per blade.
I bought the DeWalt Multicutter when it first came out & sold it a couple of years later - it was replaced by a wet-cut horizontal bandsaw. Quite a few reasons I didn't like it:
Tiny footprint (like all chopsaws). Easy to tip.
Very light construction.
Universal motor (brush type) means limited motor life.
Expensive blades that don't last nearly as long as claimed.
Noise level much like an F15 Eagle at takeoff with both engines on full burner.
There are, however, quite a few people who like them. For me, the cost per cut was the final straw - probably ten times higher than a wet-cut band saw.
I bought a 80 tooth 10" DeWalt 7665 negative rake non-ferous saw blade DESIGNED FOR USE IN A MITER SAW AT TYPICAL WOOD RPM.
I cut solids, mostly 5/8 x4" all the time with it, 2-3" rounds. 1.5" x 6" rextangles, etc... all easily.
the blade has not shown the slightest wear.
this is the same thing except 12" http://www.toolsforless.com/product/7856.html
use some stick wax lube. dont push the saw too hard. if you do you will be picking aluminum out from between the teeth.
easily the best purchase I've made for cutting AL stock.
Try using some bees wax on the abrasive blade. This keeps the aluminum from cloging. It also works great on grinding wheels and sanding discs. Also I would turn the stock a few times in the vise as you cut.
I have used a 10" Hitachi wood chop saw with the Freud 72 tooth carbide non-ferrous blade to cut many hundreds of aluminum rounds 2"-3" and also many hundreds of cuts in 1/2" thick aluminum plate. I use a solid wax lubricant such as Edge. There is no noticeable wear on the blade after perhaps thousands of cuts. “Noise level much like an F15 Eagle at takeoff with both engines on full burner.” True! But I use the same sound protection as those who work around jet aircraft. Also I use a full face shield in addition to safety glasses.
i have done it but not often enough to quote on the blde life front. the shower of chips sparle magicaly in the sun too. but the noise is somthing else perticualy on long thin hollow sections.