Enyar
Enyar HalfDork
10/3/13 10:02 p.m.

Never really worked with fabricating out of aluminum but I would like to make something like this: http://www.bobsmachine.com/Transom-Backing-Plates-110-20000x.htm

Where does one buy that kind of aluminum and could I cut this with a jigsaw? I don't have access to a bandsaw.

TRoglodyte
TRoglodyte Dork
10/3/13 10:16 p.m.

Scrapyard? Roughcut with a high end Jigsaw and Carbide blade,finish with file and engraver . Pretty fiddly work.

ditchdigger
ditchdigger SuperDork
10/3/13 10:52 p.m.

A jigsaw will cut up to 3/16" 6061 sheet pretty easily. Up past 1/4" thick it takes forever. You will usually need a coarser blade (fewer teeth per inch) with aluminum, and the thicker the material the fewer teeth as well.

Do you have a router? A router with a high speed steel bit makes quick work of aluminum.

I use a belt sander to finish aluminum. Don't try and use a bench grinder with a standard stone. The soft aluminum loads up and they can get unbalanced very quickly with sometimes explosive results.

There are cutoff wheels and grinding discs available for your angle grinder that will work safely with aluminum.

2002maniac
2002maniac HalfDork
10/4/13 6:53 a.m.

+1 on not using a grinder! what's the width of the piece? It looks like you go pick up a piece of flat bar in the appropriate width and thickness from lowes or home depot(not the cheapest, but convenient), cut to length with sawzall, drill holes and finish radii with a file or sander.

yamaha
yamaha PowerDork
10/4/13 9:32 a.m.
ditchdigger wrote: A jigsaw will cut up to 3/16" 6061 sheet pretty easily. Up past 1/4" thick it takes forever. You will usually need a coarser blade (fewer teeth per inch) with aluminum, and the thicker the material the fewer teeth as well.

Bi-Metal blades by morse or lennox will take care of that. A portaband saw would be pretty nice in your situation. Plus the blades aren't that expensive and they are everywhere. 44-7/8" x 1/2" .020's should be great for this.

Gasoline
Gasoline SuperDork
10/4/13 10:14 a.m.

I spray WD40 on my radial wood saw. There may be a better way, but I have not really explored.

44Dwarf
44Dwarf SuperDork
10/4/13 10:53 a.m.

I've cut 1.25 thick Alum Jig plate with a worm gear skill saw and a regular carbide tipped wood blade. We used water soluble coolant in a squirt bottle.

Milwakee sells a nice metal cold saw...but $$$ maybe try the blade on a regular worn saw?

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 UberDork
10/4/13 11:45 a.m.

I have at least two metal suppliers close to me. The one I do business with carries all manner of steel and aluminum flat and angle, plus sheet metal and heaven knows what all else. They are more than happy to sell to anyone. They even take VISA.

MUCH cheaper than buying at the Depot.

Enyar
Enyar HalfDork
10/4/13 12:58 p.m.
yamaha wrote: Bi-Metal blades by morse or lennox will take care of that. A portaband saw would be pretty nice in your situation. Plus the blades aren't that expensive and they are everywhere. 44-7/8" x 1/2" .020's should be great for this.

For the jigsaw? I have some Dewalt Bi-metal blades, think that will handle 3/8" thickness? If not, looks like a good excuse to buy a router.

oldeskewltoy
oldeskewltoy Dork
10/4/13 1:52 p.m.

Dremel...?

ditchdigger
ditchdigger SuperDork
10/4/13 2:07 p.m.

This is what I want to try next

oldopelguy
oldopelguy Dork
10/4/13 2:45 p.m.

Mineral oil for lubricating drill bits and blades cutting aluminum.

I have always had better luck with bits or blades than grinding stuff.

Gasoline
Gasoline SuperDork
10/4/13 3:01 p.m.

Speaking from experience - 1-Clamp things down real good and prevent the inevitable, unavoidable, inescapable, inexorable, ineluctable, kick back or fly off. And 2 those little flying bits of aluminum are damn Hot!

Its about the only time spend any time looking for eye protection. I went to the emergency room twice in one week because my wife cant get aluminum out of my eye with a magnet.

patgizz
patgizz UberDork
10/4/13 3:12 p.m.

i cut aluminum on a table or miter saw with a regular wood blade.

at the production shop i used to work at we had tubes of wax like lube that you just ran the blade into a little bit to lube the blade.

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