Aluminum is one of the most common types of metals. It is used for the construction of buildings, to the coke can on your desk to even a bike frame. – Not only is it one of the most common types of metals, it is one of the most popular for jewellery. Aside from Gold and Silver. Doré have decided to write a guide to show the correct way of cutting aluminum.
Step 1 – Equipment
If you are a hands-on type of person, then you are more than likely to already have a good collection of power tools and for step 1 that is exactly what you need! Make sure you have all the necessary equipment including your safety gear such as masks, gloves, goggles, and noise-reducing ear pieces, because cutting aluminum is VERY loud.
Step 2 – Cutting Tool
Next is to choose the right kind of cutting tool to use – The tools vary from, hand-tools; such as a chisel & hammer, which are found to be the cheapest type of metal cutting systems available. You can also purchase industrial cutting tools such as a water jet or laser. In this example we are using a wood-saw/circular saw. A common reason people use wood-saws for metal cutting is due to large carbide tipped blades. It is better to choose blades which are going to create narrow cuts.
Step 3 – Lubricants
On your blades you need to apply a cutting lubricant. This can vary between saw wax and oils. You can use WD40 to cut aluminum.
Step 4 – Blade Size
When cutting wood you can use the circular saw to its full capacity – Cutting metal is a very different technique, so you need to be careful and get the right sized blade for safety reasons. A common size blade for wood cutting is around 10inches however you should reduce the blade to around 7 inches and this will decrease the cutting speed. If reducing your blade size is not an option buying a machine which has a speed select, this will be more expensive but more effective.
Step 5 – Clamping
Make sure you have a reliable clamping system which is going to firmly hold the aluminum in place. You need to make sure you have enough room for your fingers, you can also use a wooden stick as added safety between the clamping system.
Step 6 – KickBack
Slowly, you must feed the aluminum through the blade. You must complete this a lot slower than if it was a wood piece due to safety hazards. A huge safety hazard which is commonly seen in cutting aluminum is the kickback. – The kickback is mainly found behind the saw and happens usually after a cutting of metal. The cut off pieces are usually thrown off by the saw, so you MUST wear all protective clothing.
Step 7 – Cutting Aluminum
This step is the vital part as it is the time to actually shape your aluminum into what you would like it to be. You can get tools which help the shaping more accurate.
Watch out for Part 2 We hope you found this useful when it comes to you cutting aluminum. If you have any more questions we will be happy to answer them on our twitter so head over there now for the latest of metal. – @DoreMetals