Metal cutting question- chisel edge - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 36 Old 09-14-2014, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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Metal cutting question- chisel edge

Hi guys- I know this is a wood board, but looking for the process or tools needed to make a chisel edge on a piece of 1/8" thick aluminum. I have some equipment just wondering if it was possible with what I have. Basically looking looking to make a piece that looks like a chisel from 1/8" thick aluminum flat stock.

Thanks
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post #2 of 36 Old 09-14-2014, 02:19 PM
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A file will work fine.Any power tools like a grinder will burn the edge.
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post #3 of 36 Old 09-14-2014, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronhl
Hi guys- I know this is a wood board, but looking for the process or tools needed to make a chisel edge on a piece of 1/8" thick aluminum. I have some equipment just wondering if it was possible with what I have. Basically looking looking to make a piece that looks like a chisel from 1/8" thick aluminum flat stock.

Thanks
Can't use a grinder aluminum will just load up the wheel. File will work providing its made for aluminum. Files for steel will also load up and clog. Aluminum files are more coarse.

I cut aluminum with my carbide blades and then sand with a coarse sandpaper on a flat surface.

Metal cutting question- chisel edge-image-2272210329.jpg

Here I'm working with brass but it's the same idea.

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post #4 of 36 Old 09-14-2014, 02:28 PM
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Use a coarse file, 1/8" will not take long, don't grind aluminium unless you know what you are doing.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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post #5 of 36 Old 09-14-2014, 02:30 PM
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Make sure you coat the file with something so it doesn't gum up bad, or buy an Aluminium file/coarse file.

Edit:Whoops, too slow.haha
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post #6 of 36 Old 09-14-2014, 03:19 PM
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Grinding doesn't work on aluminium. Like all said, it clogs up the wheels something fierce. If you need to cut out a shape and have too much material to take off with a file, the tools I've tried with decent results are a scroll saw and a bandsaw. I'd imagine a jigsaw would also work well.

Little tip to keep your files from clogging up, take some shall and run it across the teeth of the file. Acts as a lubricant of sorts
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post #7 of 36 Old 09-14-2014, 03:25 PM
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I hear an echo.

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post #8 of 36 Old 09-14-2014, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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The problem I see is that a file may take a long time? maybe if it's a coarse file it will be faster?

I am also wondering if I would need a jig or something to keep the angle right?

I have a scroll, band, and table saw. Maybe I can make a jig I could screw the piece of peal to and run it on the table saw
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post #9 of 36 Old 09-14-2014, 04:51 PM
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Just as a matter of interest this is why you don't grind aluminium:

http://web.mit.edu/machineshop/Grinder/aluminum.html

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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post #10 of 36 Old 09-14-2014, 04:53 PM
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It shouldn't take long at all with a coarse file if only 1/8" thick.
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post #11 of 36 Old 09-14-2014, 05:05 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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just use the bandsaw

I've cut all kinds of aluminum on a bandsaw. Just get the angle you want and feed, but don't force it. Then for a shiny edge use a belt sander. And for a real shiney edge use wet dry down to 600 or 1000 and then use a buffing wheel.

A lot of the parts on this prototype bandsaw I built are polished aluminum and were cut using a wood cutting bandsaw:


The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #12 of 36 Old 09-14-2014, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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What blade should I use on my craftsman 9" band saw to cut aluminum
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post #13 of 36 Old 09-14-2014, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronhl View Post
What blade should I use on my craftsman 9" band saw to cut aluminum
Personally id go with a 1/4 blade with as high a tooth count as you can find
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post #14 of 36 Old 09-14-2014, 07:38 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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Nope!

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Originally Posted by epicfail48 View Post
Personally id go with a 1/4 blade with as high a tooth count as you can find
The width of the blade is irrelevant unless you're cutting tight radius curves, in which case you'd want the appropriate blade width.

Depending on the thickness of the aluminum, you want 3 teeth in contact with the material at all times. A high tooth count blade is for thin steel, like 24 teeth per inch. Non-ferrous metals like brass and aluminum can be cut with a 6 or 10 tooth blade.

This is common metal cutting practice, so I'm puzzled where you got your information.... on the internet? FYI I've been turning, cutting and welding metals for about 50 years, so I know a thing or two about the process. I've even made a few truck bodies along the way:
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/membe...f-road-thingy/

Rear engine small block Ford. It could do wheelies on call:

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 09-14-2014 at 07:40 PM.
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post #15 of 36 Old 09-14-2014, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
The width of the blade is irrelevant unless you're cutting tight radius curves, in which case you'd want the appropriate blade width.

Depending on the thickness of the aluminum, you want 3 teeth in contact with the material at all times. A high tooth count blade is for thin steel, like 24 teeth per inch. Non-ferrous metals like brass and aluminum can be cut with a 6 or 10 tooth blade.

This is common metal cutting practice, so I'm puzzled where you got your information.... on the internet? FYI I've been turning, cutting and welding metals for about 50 years, so I know a thing or two about the process. I've even made a few truck bodies along the way:
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/membe...f-road-thingy/

Rear engine small block Ford. It could do wheelies on call:
Practical experience mostly. Like I said, I was saying what I'd use. Sure, my way may not be the "correct" way, but its always worked pretty well for me, to the point where I wouldn't mind recommending it to others as an option. The reason I'd go with a 1/4 inch blade over, say, a 3/8 is heat buildup. Less blade in contact with the metal being cut, less to heat up. Again, may not be the correct practice, but the correct practice is also using a dedicated metal cutting saw with a lubrication drip.

As I've said, this is all just stuff that's worked out for me, Mr garage builder doing this with a minimum of money. We can't all have 50 years of professional experience, but that doesn't mean I'm completely clueless
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post #16 of 36 Old 09-15-2014, 01:46 AM
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If you are experienced with a router, it may be an option. Slow speed, sharp carbide bit, and firm work holding would be important.

For just a little more, you can do it yourself.
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post #17 of 36 Old 09-15-2014, 06:35 PM
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I would just clamp it to hold it at the correct angle and cut it on the table saw. The cut will come out much cleaner. Actually if you take a second pass at the same setting real slowly it will really come out smooth. That's how I made the micro adjuster, on the table saw.

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post #18 of 36 Old 09-15-2014, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epicfail48 View Post
The reason I'd go with a 1/4 inch blade over, say, a 3/8 is heat buildup. Less blade in contact with the metal being cut, less to heat up. Again, may not be the correct practice, but the correct practice is also using a dedicated metal cutting saw with a lubrication drip.
Since you stated that my posted response may not be the correct practice unless, you will probably get a "corrected" response. And here's why:
Aluminum does not need a metal cutting blade with a coolant wash ....unless you are running a very high speed blade at 3000 or so FPM for extended lengths of time and cutting very thick stock.
For an occasional cut, a woodcutting bandsaw with a woodcutting blade will work absolutely fine. The width of the blade is irrelevant. The only portion of the blade in contact with the material is the set on the teeth, not the bare portion of the blade...no heat generated, no contact.... unless you are cutting curves and even then you may want a greater set to the teeth OR a more narrow blade depending on the radius.


Here's a project I made using all aluminum which I cut using my woodcutting blade 6 TPI, no coolant:
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/membe...-modification/






The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #19 of 36 Old 09-15-2014, 07:55 PM
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Yes aluminum will gum up on a grinding wheel but if the job was small I would go ahead and do it. The aluminum in the wheel will wear off quickly or can be cleaned off with a stone dresser.
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post #20 of 36 Old 09-15-2014, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronhl View Post
The problem I see is that a file may take a long time? maybe if it's a coarse file it will be faster?

I am also wondering if I would need a jig or something to keep the angle right?

I have a scroll, band, and table saw. Maybe I can make a jig I could screw the piece of peal to and run it on the table saw
You are not really trying to make a real chisel are you?

George
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