How to cut composite aluminum/hard steel rails?
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    Default How to cut composite aluminum/hard steel rails?

    Wondering the best way to cut these Isel linear motion rails? They are hardened steel shafts mounted in aluminum. Seems like an abrasive cut-off blade that could handle the steel would clog up with the aluminum.

    Prefer to do it in my shop, have 14" abrasive chop saw and surface grinder

    isel-rail.jpg

    Edit- should have mentioned that I only have to cut 4 or 6 of these
    Last edited by richard newman; 07-10-2019 at 07:42 PM.

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    You can whittle through both with a 1/4" carbide 4fl endmill, use a bit of oil, around 600RPM. Perhaps easiest on good manual mill, slow feed while cutting through the rods. Depending on the size of the rail, might try clamping it in the vise on the top and bottom faces (so rotated 90 deg from the pic) at full depth for each rail/rod section. Flip to do the second. That should minimize risk of changing rod C-C as if you clamped it as shown.

    Watch the steel chips, they'y be sharp slivers. And change out the endmill if it starts getting chipped, don't try to bull through the cut.

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    band saw, cut thru with the speed and feed for the rail material. low speed, big feed. An abrasive even with coolant has chance for fire on the wheel (thermite).

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    This might be a candidate for friction sawing.

    Putting a spark into cutting productivity


    Put an old blade in your bandsaw ..... BACKWARDS
    Run it as fast as the saw will go. A vertical bandsaw for wood might provide appropriate speed. Apply lots of pressure, you're creating enough friction to melt the metal.

    It's freaky the first time you try it, everything is wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richard newman View Post
    Wondering the best way to cut these Isel linear motion rails? They are hardened steel shafts mounted in aluminum. Seems like an abrasive cut-off blade that could handle the steel would clog up with the aluminum.

    Prefer to do it in my shop, have 14" abrasive chop saw and surface grinder

    isel-rail.jpg

    Edit- should have mentioned that I only have to cut 4 or 6 of these
    "Best way" isn't much use if you don't HAVE anything resembling it, yah?

    Hand hacksaw and files, then SG for a precise clean-up. My Kasto PHS could cut them, but they'd still need a clean-up.

    You didn't mention a mill, but I/we thot you have one?

    Saw in a horizontal might be "best way" as to getting it done in but one setup, one operation per each cut and "on the numbers".

    I could also do these with a woodchoppers sliding miter-box saw. Blade would be expensed, though. Maybe more than one? A proper cold-saw it was never.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thermite View Post

    I could also do these with a woodchoppers sliding miter-box saw. Blade would be expensed, though. Maybe more than one? A proper cold-saw it was never.
    These guides use hardened steel rods, around 60RC. Not going to hacksaw that without carbide grit blades. It would be iffy going through the Al, but might work. No-go on using a miter saw unless you enjoy sparkly fireworks with a hint of thrown teeth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milland View Post
    These guides use hardened steel rods, around 60RC. Not going to hacksaw that without carbide grit blades. It would be iffy going through the Al, but might work. No-go on using a miter saw unless you enjoy sparkly fireworks with a hint of thrown teeth.

    NOW I have the mill(s). H and V. And the big Kasto. Chopsaw, too. I COULD even part these on the shaper, but it would be silly-slow.

    But I didn't always have ANY of the machine-shop-ish stuff, so got those blades and more.

    Thing is, the "wood" saws - I've also used a $99 Taiwanese table saw - are cheap enough to risk tearing-up. Most are short-lived, "Harry homeowner" (Kobalt, etc) anyway.

    So is a portable bandsaw fairly cheap. Or an angle-grinder, grit blade.

    There might be the excuse to buy one of those if yah don't already have one or more.

    Clamps, jigs, fixtures as-needed, I'm sure he can rig up.

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    I'd just use an angle grinder with a 1mm cutoff disc and have it done in less time than it takes to read this thread.

    PDW

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDW View Post
    I'd just use an angle grinder with a 1mm cutoff disc and have it done in less time than it takes to read this thread.

    PDW
    LOL! You WOULDN'T read this thread. Nor I.

    But newman needs some options to select from. And he's a good egg. So he will.


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