Cutting extrusion like MakerSlide

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Cutting extrusion like MakerSlide

Postby UrgeToBuild » Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:34 pm

I want to be able to cleanly cut MakerSlide or other extrusion. I do not have a laser cutter. I have tried a chop saw and it was not clean. Googling is giving me conflicting advice. Much of the cutting that shows as "easy" is with industrial tools.

What are my options for lets say $300 or less for cleanly and easily cutting aluminum extrusion?
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Re: Cutting extrusion like MakerSlide

Postby SpacedCowboy » Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:42 pm

I have had good success with 80/20 stock using an Al cutting blade on a cheap mitre saw. It goes through the Aluminium like the proverbial knife through butter. I'm assuming that Makerslide will be similar (at least I hope so, because I ordered a bunch of the 2m sections :)

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Re: Cutting extrusion like MakerSlide

Postby bdring » Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:52 pm

I get great results with my 14" Rage II saw as well as my 10" standard $99 chop saw. I would recommend the standard chop saw because the higher speed helps. I use a 10" 80 tooth blade I bought from harbor freight for about $25. It is made for wood, but I have cut over 450 pieces on one blade. A triple chip design might work better, but this is a standard combination tooth design.

I cut it at a speed of about 2 seconds per chop on MakerSlide. I like to chop it twice without moving the piece. The second chop polishes the edge and remove any chips that may have just folded over at the end of the cut. The finish is almost a mirror.

It might cut a little better cutting across the narrow profile, but I never do that because my fence system is setup for laying it flat.

Here is a lame video. I didn't realize how long it would take to refocus when I brought the cut close. It is only using a 32 tooth blade in the video.

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Re: Cutting extrusion like MakerSlide

Postby UrgeToBuild » Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:38 pm

Perfect I will give a try.

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Re: Cutting extrusion like MakerSlide

Postby crispyfry » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:09 pm

A hacksaw will go through it pretty quickly. Using light oil or cutting fluid to prevent the blade from loading up with AL chips helps a lot.
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Re: Cutting extrusion like MakerSlide

Postby lovebugjunkie » Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:58 pm

Hold the piece tight against the backstop or if the saw has a screw to secure the material use it. One thing you don't want to happen if you are holding it is for the spinning blade to contact the piece if it is not tight against the back stop. It only took about four months for my hand to stop hurting after I made that mistake once but I still had my hand and four working fingers and thumb. Considered my self lucky, did have to replace the saw.
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Re: Cutting extrusion like MakerSlide

Postby iGull » Fri Jul 27, 2012 7:18 am

I'm with Bart on this. I've cut loads of extrusion on a reasonable quality chop /slide saw - up to 90mm sq.
Taking it reasonably slow on a 20mm section - even pressure - well clamped both sides of the cut. I prefer mechanical clamping on both sides as it gives a free hand to spritz water as it cuts - it helps to curb the 'scuffing' (melted aluminium) you get on the cut face which can look ugly. I've used regular 80T timber blades and special aluminium cutting blades and to be honest, haven't noticed any difference (the ally blade doesn't 'grab' so much perhaps - but I have it clamped).
Clamping is an added time-consuming pain, but always gives an accurate cut - it can't make the cut longer sadly :lol:

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Re: Cutting extrusion like MakerSlide

Postby joskerel » Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:51 am

A little tip ;-)

Get a candle and chop this first so your blade/Tooth are loaded with paraffin.
It makes the blade last longer and you get a better feel of what you blade is doing.
And maybe if you have never cut steel or used the drop/mitre saw try to cut different types off steel this way you
get to feel all the different ways you saw behaves and gives you a precise knowing whats happening in the cut itself ;-)

Cheers Hanzer
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