Cutting 3mm aluminium checkerplate

Submitted: Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 14:36
ThreadID: 11738 Views:34159 Replies:12 FollowUps:5
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Hello,

I am making my own camping trailer in my garage out of the back of a Land Rover Series II. I need to know the best way to cut 3mm aluminium checkerplate, keeping in mind that I will be doing it in my home garage???

Thanks,

Scott.
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Reply By: Michael - Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 14:44

Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 14:44
Hi there, jig saw and file could be ok , depending on your proficiency, or you can buy a saw similar to a wood saw that takes a hacksaw blade on the leading edge, use a 18 teeth per inch not the finer 32 teeth. Good luck Michael
AnswerID: 52812

Follow Up By: Member Eric - Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 23:37

Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 23:37
I am probably wrong here , but I didnt think a plasma cutter could cut alloy , dosnt the metal need to conduct current for a plasma cutter to work ?
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Follow Up By: Ian Bee - Friday, Apr 02, 2004 at 17:37

Friday, Apr 02, 2004 at 17:37
Plasma will work just fine!
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Reply By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 14:49

Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 14:49
G'day scotthomewood Guillotine or plasma cutter - the former is better. You can buy a fine saw blade for a drop saw or any rotary saw that is very fast and quite clean on most metals including steel bar or plate. Mine was about $130 for the blade I think, tungsten carbide tipped for a 9" saw. Wow, will it cut!

An angle grinder at home will tend to tear and roughen the edges unless you use animal fat in the sides where abrasion is likely to take place. You may get a good nibbler to do the job but I have little knowledge of them.
Cheers,
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John

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AnswerID: 52815

Follow Up By: Member - Bradley- Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 14:58

Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 14:58
Geez John if youv'e got a plasma torch in your garage, i know where i will be doing my fabrication from now on :-)))))))))))

Dewalt have just released a new cordless cut off saw using a small carbide toothed wheel for cutting conduit and pipework etc.. flash new toy....
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Follow Up By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 15:16

Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 15:16
Bradley, hahaha, I was trying to indicate the best useage equipment is a little beyond a normal garage. So is an electric guillotine for mine, I tried the plumbers one on 2.5mm last week and it would not get far with two guys standing on it including 110 kg+ of mine. There is a plasma near by if I needed one.

Reckon you would be best to use the carbide tipped blades in a saw rather than a grinder you mention below. I have seen what happens to the shards. Wear gloves and all the protective for face too. Very important. Steel shards are very prickly and aluminium would be no less. These saws are teriffic on your corrugated fence tops too, and especially bone in fingers...........
Cheers,
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John

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Reply By: Member - Bradley- Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 14:52

Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 14:52
you can get carbide tooth wheels for grinders $$ but the best for home would be a metal blade in a jigsaw 18 or 24 tpi and take it slow. finish with a file if needed. you can also linish ally. or of course bandsaw..

NEVER use any sort of grinding or cutting disk or wheel on non-ferous metals as you will clog the disk and can cause the disk/ wheel to explode . very dangerous... Stick to the jigsaw - cheap and easy, but it will be loud :-)
AnswerID: 52817

Reply By: tim - Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 15:26

Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 15:26
I would get it cut at a metal fabrication place if you can.
They will use a guillotine and it will be cut straight and less hassles.
Cheaper than having to go and buy all the stuff req`d
Tim
AnswerID: 52819

Follow Up By: Member - Rohan K - Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 15:42

Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 15:42
Yep, and cheaper than having to replace half the material and do it all again because you stuffed it the first time around :(
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Reply By: Eric Experience. - Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 16:48

Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 16:48
Scott.
A standard carpenters electric saw with the normal tunsten carbide blade is best. cuts clean and striaght and not very niosy, Eric.
AnswerID: 52832

Reply By: thomo - Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 18:14

Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 18:14
5" grinder and some alloy cutting discs pretty simple really.
AnswerID: 52851

Reply By: Rosco - Bris. - Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 18:42

Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 18:42
Scott

Eric's on the money. Standard wood working tools are OK for aluminium ... that includes chisels, planes etc.

May dull the blades but won't stuff them.

Happy chomping
AnswerID: 52858

Reply By: Foss - Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 20:29

Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 20:29
G'Day scotthomewood

The recommended machining/cutting lubricant for aluminium is kerosene. Bit of a bugger to clean up afterwards but leaves your material and tools in much better condition.
Carbide toothed cutting blades on circular saws will work fine.Safety glasses are a must, the swarf will come of in tiny slivers that are very sharp.

Grinding impliments are next to useless on nonferrous metals, unless they are very specialised which = expensive.

As stated above, woodworking type tools will work on aluminium. However, I wouldn't be using my best cabinet making tools !

For ease of use and versatility I would stick to the jigsaw. A course toothed blade, a good measure of patience and someone with a tin of kero and a small paintbrush to help you. Don't draw your cutting lines with a texta :-)

Good luck with the project.

Cheers
Foss
AnswerID: 52871

Reply By: Fourth Ave. - Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 20:32

Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 20:32
If you cut aluminium with a carpenters 9.5 inch saw have a friend that will spray oil on to the saw blade.If you cut the aluminium with out oil the blade gets hot
the aluminium sticks to the teeth witch makes them bigger and thats when you
can get a kick back, its ok if the saw misses you as it flies through the air. If your right handed and you are leaning over sheet of metal the saw blade is in line with your right leg. Use a fine tooth blade and protect your eyes and hands.
I have some experience in cutting metals and wood.
PS the blade should just go through the metal sheet.This gives you more control.
Clamp a straight on the sheet to guide thje saw.
You have to be in cntrol of the saw.
I am not a know all I am just very careful
Michael
AnswerID: 52873

Reply By: Ian Bee - Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 20:44

Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 20:44
One word.........

Guillotine.

Aside from the best cut, have you considered the noise you are going to make at home?
AnswerID: 52875

Reply By: Member - Royce- Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 22:46

Thursday, Apr 01, 2004 at 22:46
I cut 3mm aluminium checkerplate for my offroader. I used 4 1/2" angle grinder with standard cut off wheels. DON'T DO IT! Well you can... 'cos I did [noisy, messy and not very neat].... there has to be a better way. Probably measure twice and have the place you bought it from cut once! Cheers Royce
AnswerID: 52885

Reply By: PETER - Friday, Apr 02, 2004 at 20:30

Friday, Apr 02, 2004 at 20:30
I recently made my own aluminium canopy for my dual cab ute. I used a guillotine at a local steel supplier for all the straight cuts, used his sheet folder too which was great. For all the other cuts, nothching out corners etc, I used a 5" grinder with the thin Stainless cutting dics, worked well. For the windows I used a jig saw with a fine metal cuting blade. Make sure you use a quality jig saw that you can vary the cutting action so it is not to aggressive. I also cut some bits on the drop saw, using a fine tungsten blade and go very slowly so it doesn't bite in. I wouldn't like to cut it using a circular saw but if it works, why not. Make sure your cuts are neat as filing/sanding is diffcult. I used 2mm checker plate. Good luck.
AnswerID: 52983

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