Bench Bandsaw Tutorial

Hello!

I am looking to get some pieces cut from an aluminum sheet but I have little prior experience working on a bandsaw with wood. Would anyone be available to walk me through safety tips on the bandsaw and possibly other metal cutting machines, on the coming Tuesday November 22nd?

Thanks in advance!

Jessica

Hey, how thick is the aluminum you are trying to cut. The wood bandsaw should not be use to cut aluminum. The blade speed is too fast. There are many ways to cut aluminum depending on the sheet’s thickness.

Hello! It is 0.019 inches or roughly 25 gage according to a quick internet search.

I have a few smaller intricate pieces I need cut as well so maybe the bandsaw isn’t the best choice?

If it’s really thin aluminum you should be able to use the scroll saw for that. We have two on the floor under the mini lathe bench.

You should likely do a bit of online research on how to use these. I’ve not used one before.

https://vanhack.ca/doku.php?id=tool:scroll_saw&s[]=band&s[]=saw

So the big green bandsaw is for wood only, in addition to the blade speed issue (the metal will melt into the blade), the aluminum chunks will embed in the rubber tires and could transfer to someones wood project later. Our blades are also way to coarse to safely cut thin materials.

Scroll saw would work, as would a jigsaw, or even a jewellers fret saw. For 25 gauge you could even just use some tin snips.

If using any sawblade type tool on thin sheet metal the rule you want to keep in mind is to have a blade fine enough to have at least 3 teeth in contact with the metal at all times. This will keep it from grabbing and catching.
here is a chart:
https://www.firemountaingems.com/resources/encyclobeadia/charts/771x

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A jigsaw will be super loud but also very safe as you’re moving a small tool not a giant(ish) sheet of aluminium. This would be my choice (as a hacker).

To a get a nice accurate result I think you probably need a guillotine or shear of some kind which we don’t have. Are you looking for a nice finish or a rough cut that will be (re)worked further?

Thank you for the feedback everyone! I’ve opted for some aviation snips :smiley:

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