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Thread: Cutting copper on table saw?

  1. #41
    swarf_rat is offline Titanium
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    Quote Originally Posted by SRT Mike View Post
    so even if it catches, it's not going to throw it across the room, just kick it back a half inch or so.

    It's just cutting non-ferrous metal with a carbide blade. I use the cheapest table saw Home Depot sells...
    Back when I had a homeowners Craftsman table saw I didn't believe in kickbacks. The blade and/or motor just stop. Then I got a real table saw. If you get a little sideways and get a kickback it will throw a half sheet of 3/4 ply across the room, without strain. So if you are trying to get kickbacks, stick with the Home Depot saw.

  2. #42
    specfab is offline Hot Rolled
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    I've done a lot of aluminum plate/sheet cutting on a 10" Unisaw, with both plastics and non-ferrous tooth forms (triple-chip grind, positive or negative rake respectively). The non-ferrous tooth forms seem to work somewhat better, as you might expect. Table saw seems to work very well and it's faster than a bandsaw in my opinion, but the thicker the plate, obviously the slower the feed, and the more time the heat has to travel through the material to one's hands. That would be a primary concern as I see it, as the OP indicated splitting a long narrow part in half, which will put a lot of heat quickly on the cross-section at the blade. Control of the part will be the main consideration after the heat exceeds 140 degrees F ("handling temp max"), which it most likely will in the first few inches of cut. The other item is chip formation and control, and I have no clue how a table saw setup will work in copper. If the copper is gummy, look out. If the chips stick to the blade and build up in the gullets, you could end up with some serious hammering and work-hardening, possibly welding chips back into the cut, and some serious follow-on problems. All in about 20 seconds.

    Implmex lays it out well, although I didn't see that we know the alloy. If the alloy is more like hardness of brass, you're probably in good shape. The heat and chip control could likely be both greatly assisted with a spray-mist setup at the blade, but it will be a mess. Don't ask how I know.... If I had only a table saw to do this, I'd perform incremental depth increases and cut from both sides like BigB mentions. I've done that a lot on MIC-6 plate starting about 1" thick and up. All in all, my preference would be a band saw for this. If the part were a different shape, I'd consider the table saw.

  3. #43
    rbent is offline Hot Rolled
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    It was alloy 145.

  4. #44
    JoeBean is offline Aluminum
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    Quote Originally Posted by implmex View Post
    True enough, some people are stupid enough to hurt themselves putting on their pants in the morning, but with even a tiny bit of care, you will be perfectly safe
    Best...quote...EVER!

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trboatworks View Post

    Table saws are dangerous.
    Mitigate risk whenever possible.
    .
    No, they're safe if you use proper technique. People figured out a long time ago how to be safe with table saws. It's not that hard.
    gmatov likes this.

  6. #46
    jrmach is offline Stainless
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    Table Saws and gloves is just fucking retarded.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrmach View Post
    Table Saws and gloves is just fucking retarded.
    Yes, if you're so dumb that you might get the glove caught in the blade.

  8. #48
    PeteM is offline Diamond
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    The one thing I'd urge in using a table saw to cut non-ferrous metal (as already noted above) is to use a good triple chip grind blade meant for the job. The cheapest Home Depot blade has too few teeth, too positive a rake, and a sharp tooth grind that's nearly as likely to send teeth flying as chips flying.
    John Welden, scojen and MikeS-54 like this.

  9. #49
    stephen thomas is offline Diamond
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    I routinely pick up my skill saw and saw long cuts off 3/4" & 1" thick steel plates.

    Previous owner sawed up large (6' long, IIRC) 1/2" thick bronze plates with it.

    Should work fine for copper with wax lube. I would not hesitate to put the 8" blade on a 10" cabinet saw and use it. Just be sure the saw fence is aligned, and I personally would like to use a sacrificial carrier board (plywood) under it so if it warps as the cut progresses, it does not bind and make the cut diverge (go screwy) in the $500 copper piece.



    Milwaukee 6370-21 13 Amp 8-Inch Metal Cutting Circular Saw - Amazon.com

    If sawing on the tablesaw; I would use deck screws with chunks of scrap plywood, to fasten the copper parallel to one edge of a sheet of 3/4" or 1" thick plywood. The plywood carrier should be wider than the copper, though, so the edge of the ply rides the fence, but the copper does not.

    Though all fooling around aside, if you already have a heavy vertical saw with metal cutting speeds, that is going to be the fastest method for one piece. Or saw it on the mill, as someone mentioned.

    It's not really that the sawing process on the TS is unreliable per se, so much as you don't know how badly the stock is going to warp, which could very well lead to major problems.

    smt
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  10. #50
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    Trboatworks is online now Stainless
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    Neat saw that Milwaukee- I had no ideal they were out there.
    We have all zipped through plenty of framing nails in lumber with standard circular saws but I don't think I would have the balls to chop up a old dumpster with one...
    I wonder what the speed is on on the blade.

  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trboatworks View Post
    Neat saw that Milwaukee- I had no ideal they were out there.
    We have all zipped through plenty of framing nails in lumber with standard circular saws but I don't think I would have the balls to chop up a old dumpster with one...
    I wonder what the speed is on on the blade.
    3700
    I have one as well....works great for steel and aluminum...never tried other materials...

    Used to cutup diamond tread aluminum all day long with it...

    Wore gloves too

    Edit:

    Cant remember the blade, but package was black with flames on it
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  12. #52
    digger doug is offline Titanium
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    Quote Originally Posted by doug8cat View Post
    Yup if your set up to do it. Where I used to work we routinly cut 90/10 NiCu along with a bunch of other specialized alloys. I'm talking about 96 x 110 sheets of thickness from 1/4 to 3"+. I forget the name of the saw but she was big and old, how ever it could still slice throught the stuff like butter 24"- 36" dia. blade (carbide tipped.). Also had multltiple air cyclinders that would clamp the piece down, about 1 every 2'.
    Sounds like a Tysaman or a Stone...traversing plate saws.

  13. #53
    BobRenz is offline Stainless
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    I wouldn't take a chance on it. Not so much for the value of the material, but for the potential for disaster. All the comments above are dead-on, and the potential for a big GOTCHA is there in capital letters. A bandsaw lets you back up and let things cool off, plus adjust the feed & speed as the material dictates.

  14. #54
    stephen thomas is offline Diamond
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    I had no ideal they were out there.
    We have all zipped through plenty of framing nails in lumber with standard circular saws but I don't think I would have the balls to chop up a old dumpster with one...
    It still gives me the giggles to pick it up and saw a slab of 3/4" steel about like cutting a piece of 3/4" plywood. Somewhat slower, but if you take the time to quickly clamp a batten on for a guide and give it a half-hearted slosh with some pipe cutting oil, it really is about as productive. And a smooth square cut, too.

    I've cut steel thicker than 1". but IIRC, the saw has a rating based on 1/2" thick A36 or mild steel. Above that, you have to pro-rate the time cutting vs time of the _motor_ cooling. It is not very long in cutting mode, but the saw can often complete a foot of cut or more in that time. IOW, the weak link is they used too small a motor, and compensate by giving it a duty cycle, like a low-buck (old school) stick welder.

    It's about irreplaceable for cutting largish slabs in the small shop.

    It is worth taking a minute to clamp a batten on. The one time I chipped a couple teeth was when I figured "this is going to be quick and the angle does not matter, let's chop it off" and the saw chattered sideways a bit a couple times starting. Again, not really necessary, but good insurance and a more easily straight cut.

    smt
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  15. #55
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    The blade i mentioned above is an MK....and has 48 teeth...i think its this one pr similar

    MK Morse CSM848NSC Metal Devil Circular Saw Blade, Steel Cutting, 48 Tooth, 8-Inch by Mk Morse http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0049SQ5YY/..._PbdLsb0KDNARH

    They call it metal devil....devils like fire so maybe its the same...lol

  16. #56
    Metalcutter's Avatar
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    Haven't you guys got that copper cut yet? What are you doing, trading bullshit for work?

    You've all put out some damn good recommendations! I'm glad to see all the warnings.

    Regards,

    Stan-

  17. #57
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    I'd tell them to go buy a piece of .75"x2"x48".

  18. #58
    Gary E is offline Diamond
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    I think the subject of this thread is a PRIME REASON WHY School shops were CLOSED UP / SOLD off
    and the numskulls that used to try to run it were properly steered into a career of hamburger flipping.
    traditional-tools likes this.

  19. #59
    yoke is offline Aluminum
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    Vertical Bandsaw. I see no reason to try a table saw. I had a large job a while back where I had to cut 1.25 x 6 and I was able to make the cut in 20 seconds or less. straight 6 pitch and spin fast feed fast before it heats up and grabs the blade. you can have that piece cut in the time it took to post here

  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary E View Post
    I think the subject of this thread is a PRIME REASON WHY School shops were CLOSED UP / SOLD off
    and the numskulls that used to try to run it were properly steered into a career of hamburger flipping.
    Ain't that the truth...

    None of the schools have shops anymore in my area...and what they do have for shops are so sparsely tooled, it's not funny...

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