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Hints, Tips and Solutions (Do NOT post requests for help here) If you have any useful general hints and tips for vintage technology repair and restoration, please share them here. PLEASE DO NOT POST REQUESTS FOR HELP HERE!

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Old 20th Jan 2018, 5:26 pm   #21
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Cedar Grove, Wisconsin, USA.
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Default Re: Cutting Aluminium Sheet.

Originally Posted by JHGibson View Post
I sometimes need to cut small pieces, sometimes with a straight edge, sometimes curved, from a large sheet of one sixteenth thick aluminium.Not having a guillotine I must use what the average home workshop has.
My main cutting tool is a jig saw with a fine tooth blade, but making a cut with half the sheet hanging over the work bench edge does not do a good job.
I was told to use a fine toothed circular plywood blade fitted in reverse on my table saw. It was just a straight cut of about 16 gauge aluminum sheet.
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Old 24th Jan 2018, 6:00 pm   #22
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Default Re: Cutting Aluminium Sheet.

Originally Posted by Craig Sawyers View Post
I realise that this is luxury, but my main hobby is amateur cabinet making and a good bandsaw is an essential piece of kit.
I suppose what one means by "essential" is a bit subjective, but my father was a cabinet-maker for most of his life (though it wasn't his main job) and he made do with a slightly iffy motorised fretsaw...
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Old 28th Mar 2018, 11:48 am   #23
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Location: Southport, Merseyside, UK.
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Default Re: Cutting Aluminium Sheet.

I have found a Dremel high speed device is most useful for small scale relatively light cutting work. Have had mine about 20 yrs.

They have a range of miniature bits and can run at up to 20,000 rpm (About 5 selectable speeds ).

The cutting discs are great for shaping small constructions in many materials and for dismantling old gear for parts recovery, can often simply slice of that seized nut in quite confined spaces.

Dremel are still available at B&Q etc and they staock a range of cutting discs etc.


NB a light touch on the workpiece is required or the ssytem slows.
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Old 29th Mar 2018, 10:19 pm   #24
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Default Re: Cutting Aluminium Sheet.

I go the jigsaw route for either aluminium or steel, if it's say a box or awkward shape. If its simple sheet then the bandsaw is more controlled. Of course the correct blade is a must!
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Old 29th Mar 2018, 11:02 pm   #25
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Default Re: Cutting Aluminium Sheet.

Originally Posted by John M0GLN View Post
For deburring a straight cut in aluminium a woodworkers plane with a cast iron sole will give a perfect edge.
Nice tip John, thanks

Those who lack imagination cannot imagine what is lacking...
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Old 29th Mar 2018, 11:54 pm   #26
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Default Re: Cutting Aluminium Sheet.

For non-radio reasons I have a plasma cutter. It's a brilliant tool (bad pun) on mild steel running with compressed air. On aluminium, the finish is less good, but it improves a lot if it is run with argon.

wooden templates can be created for commonly used sizes and shapes of holes. A plunge cut in the centre, slew the torch out to meet the template, then take it around the figure and watch the middle of the hole fall out. Sand to finish.

Can't afford the volcanic island yet, but the plans for my monorail and the goons' uniforms are done
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Old 30th Mar 2018, 7:05 am   #27
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Default Re: Cutting Aluminium Sheet.

For 2mm ish thick ali sheet i use an angle grinder - fine cutting blade, with a steel edge as guide, though sometimes dispense with the guide then deburr with a file.

To bend thick ali you need to "score" a line with the thin disc and use a triangle file to deburr the line. This also gives a better bend. That said when bending thick ali it isn't easy to get a neat 90 deg bend.

For thin ali I use scissors.

Curiosity hasn't killed this far.
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