Cutting aluminium extrusions on a table saw?

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city17

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I got gifted some leftover aluminium extrusions, and I'm planning to build a stand for my bandsaw and drill press from it. However, I'll need to cut it to length and I don't own any specific metal cutting tools.

So I was planning to cut it with my table saw using a special blade for aluminium (-3 negative angle, special teeth). The extrusions would be firmly clamped to a table saw sled. The extrusion is 45mm thick.

extrusion.jpg
However, I'm not 100% confident on how safe this method is, considering the blade rotation speed of a table saw meant for woodworking, which is not ideal for aluminium. Has anyone had success cutting this size extrusions on a table saw?
 

Hornbeam

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Yes I have cut ali extrusions on both a table saw and a chop saw.
Make sure it is well clamped and a slow feed speed with the right blade, It will spit bits of aluminium everywhere so no ifs buts or maybes, glasses or goggles are a must. Make sure you give everything a good clean afterwards to get rid or the swarf
 

Sideways

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I cut this 2040 the other day with an 80T wooworking blade on a sliding mitre saw.
The poor cut on the L is me. Square but smeared.
The clean cut on the R is made by the supplier's proper pendulum upcut saw.
If using a tablesaw, i'd say you need a sled or rigid mitre gauge with minimal slop, clamp the extrusion to it, and keep control of the cut.
A proper metal cutting blade should do better than mine. Pay attention and wear safety glasses, but nothing to be afraid of.
 

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city17

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Thanks all, just ordered the alu saw blade. Would you recommend lubricating the saw blade (with WD40 or similar)? Or would it work fine without as well? Would be nice if I could keep my table saw sled clean (apart from the alu bits).
 

Sideways

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I didn't want to clean up the mess so I cut dry. On the lathe, ally cuts well dry if you have a fast, controlled feed. Slow feeding by hand I think a lubricant would help but I don't want the mess and clean up.
If you had it and way to set it up, and good eye protection, compressed air to cool and clear chips also works well on aluminium, but you'll be hoovering it up forever...
 

Sporky McGuffin

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I used to do lots of drilling in aluminium, and a drop of Fastcut meant nothing stuck to the drill bit.

As others have said, cutting dry will be easier to clean, but you may end up with some aluminium sticking to the saw blade.
 
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jonn

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I got gifted some leftover aluminium extrusions, and I'm planning to build a stand for my bandsaw and drill press from it. However, I'll need to cut it to length and I don't own any specific metal cutting tools.

So I was planning to cut it with my table saw using a special blade for aluminium (-3 negative angle, special teeth). The extrusions would be firmly clamped to a table saw sled. The extrusion is 45mm thick.

View attachment 122756
However, I'm not 100% confident on how safe this method is, considering the blade rotation speed of a table saw meant for woodworking, which is not ideal for aluminium. Has anyone had success cutting this size extrusions on a table saw?
One is supposed to use methylated spirits for lubrication, which I have never done. But I have used cutting oil. Another thing is to avoid feeding too fast, let the blade run freely. And go very gently if you use a coarse toothed blade. The negative angle is a definite plus. Cutting alu on a wood bandsaw is a piece of cake, speaking from extensive experience, also with curves on 25 mm thick plate (6 mm blade).
 

mondo

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Having been a glazier for 45 years we cut aluminum extrusions all the time with table saws and miter saws. You want to use a carbide blade with a negative hook and a triple chip configuration. Stickwax is a must not so much because of cut quality but because aluminum is sticky and will fill the gullets of the saw blade and have to be pried out to get it to cut at all.
 

city17

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Thanks for the advice all. Trendiwax seems to be a UK specific brand that is a bit expensive to import to NL. Do you know any good alternatives, or the generic name for this type of wax? I do have some dry lubricant, and a wax that I use for the thicknesser table (mostly paraffin I think).
 

mondo

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Not sure how much use I can be because I'm in the states, but the two use are. # 1 CR Laurence Cat. #WS140 Wax Lube, #2) Lenox Lube Tube. Of the two I prefer the CR Laurence because it has a higher beeswax content which works better for lubing screws in metal. The Lenox is better for screws in wood because it is cleaner. In the states CR Laurence only sells to the glazing industry, or related, I don't know how it works over there. If you have a glass shop nearby you might be able to get it from them.
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voyager

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Another plus here for the TRENDIWAX,
had a helluva time cutting dry as the Alu would build up on the blade teeth after application of the wax nothing stuck to the blade.
 

city17

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I ended up using Silbergleit, a German product for lubricating planer and table saw tables, which consists mostly of paraffin. It worked really well, as nothing really stuck to the saw blade and I got very clean cuts.

I clamped the extrusions to my crosscut sled and used an aluminium cutting blade, results were perfect.
 
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