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Old 09-21-07, 05:08 PM   #1
phantomcow2
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Aluminum on a table saw

I cut aluminum on a table saw today at work. It's a carbide tipped blade, and I needed to cut some 5/16" thick Mic-6 plate. I learned about this in my highschool shop class. Well I did it and a co worker (formerly a boss) saw it and flipped out. He was very upset and told me he is writing me up. I don't get why this is bad. I've cut aluminum on table saws for 3 years with no issue, obviously I feed it slower than wood! I never stand directly in front of it so that if it kicks back, it won't come at me. Is it really that unsafe to cut aluminum on a table saw?

Not only that, but it's Mic6. That stuff is so soft it's only a few steps up from Delrin or maybe Garolite.
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Old 09-21-07, 06:50 PM   #2
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I run aluminum on my table saw in my shop with no problem. It may dull the blade a little sooner (not sure) but it will cut, and as you mentioned, feed it slower and you should be fine.

One thing to be aware of is that the edges will get real sharp and you need to be very careful of them, this may be the one time you should wear leather gloves while running a saw, never cloth ones.

Tell your boss he is a dip and should just shut up, yeah tell him that.

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Old 09-21-07, 06:54 PM   #3
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I hate it when people get in my face about table saws. I can made a perfect cut without any guide but a drawn line on the wood, and my old woodshop teacher would throw fits!

With the proper blade you could cut cement. That guy should take a midol and mind his own business.
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Old 09-21-07, 06:56 PM   #4
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I want to tell this guy to leave me the hell alone. I know how to operate machine tools. He's always telling me "You're going way to fast" "Don't reverse that motor so quickly".
At the end of the day, this blade is carbide tipped. THe cutting action is no different than running a carbide 4 flute end mill through aluminum, just by different means.

It won't dull the blade much sooner, if at all. Wood dulls quickly.
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Old 09-21-07, 06:59 PM   #5
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BUt at the end, I am getting written up. I am going to contest that one though
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Old 09-21-07, 07:17 PM   #6
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That sucks. With the right blade and feed rate you should be fine.
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Old 09-21-07, 07:54 PM   #7
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With the proper blade you could cut cement. That guy should take a midol and mind his own business.
word. ever seen a brick/tile saw?
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Old 09-21-07, 07:55 PM   #8
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You should use a special AL blade, you'll trash a good wood blade.
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Old 09-21-07, 07:58 PM   #9
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word. ever seen a brick/tile saw?
I own one.
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Old 09-21-07, 09:47 PM   #10
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Phantomcow, I suspect it's because of your age. We all know how children are being wrapped in so much cotton wool and aren't allowed to do anything remotely dangerous. It's probably difficult for your boss to wrap his head around the reality that you actually know how to use potentially lethal tools safely.
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Old 09-21-07, 09:56 PM   #11
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I don't know about the age thing. A lot of people have inferiority complexes, and want to boss people around based on company seniority, with age not being a factor.
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Old 09-21-07, 10:20 PM   #12
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That could be it, too. I guess I've noticed people coddling their teenagers against way too much (usually the wrong thing). Possibly a combination. You and Phantomcow are unusual in your abilities for your respective ages, IMO.
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Old 09-21-07, 10:22 PM   #13
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Your boss is a dip, like others have said it's fine with a slow feed rate.

I got the same thing in the metal shop for the first few weeks, constantly having people coach me and try to get me to do things my way. I've been working with steel for a while, I know what it/I can and can't do.
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Old 09-21-07, 10:24 PM   #14
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This guy is only 24. He's not exactly got a lot of years on me....
If he was a 20 year machine shop veteran, I might take what he has to say a little more seriously.

That's just it. I've been working with metal for a while. I know what I can and cannot do, I know how far I can push.
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Old 09-21-07, 10:27 PM   #15
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Ah yes, WTP is cast from the same mold, as well.
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Old 09-21-07, 11:27 PM   #16
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In my experience, there are some young men and a few young women who are very capable. I've worked with people less than 20 who were in charge of construction crews. When I was in high school technical training, 17 and 18 year olds including myself would spend 4 days a week during tech school hours on job sites building houses and getting paid for it.

While it's very true that we are rare among younger people for having a drive to do well in blue collar fields, it's not too uncommon within that business.
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Old 09-22-07, 05:37 AM   #17
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This, PC, calls for a cock punch! Just haul of and smack that bumbaclot right in the nads.
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Old 09-22-07, 07:28 AM   #18
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Phantomcow, I suspect it's because of your age. We all know how children are being wrapped in so much cotton wool and aren't allowed to do anything remotely dangerous. It's probably difficult for your boss to wrap his head around the reality that you actually know how to use potentially lethal tools safely.
Exactly, back in my day we were expected to lose a finger in shop.
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Old 09-22-07, 07:45 AM   #19
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You should use a special AL blade, you'll trash a good wood blade.
+1
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Old 09-22-07, 07:47 AM   #20
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Exactly, back in my day we were expected to lose a finger in shop.

On the one day in my woodshop class with the most injuries, I lost a thumbnail to a belt sander, a guy cut half way through his thumb with a band saw, another guy cut half way through his entire hand with a table saw, and using the very same table saw another guy had a seizure resulting in a kick back if I remember right.
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Old 09-22-07, 07:51 AM   #21
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This guy is only 24. He's not exactly got a lot of years on me....
If he was a 20 year machine shop veteran, I might take what he has to say a little more seriously.

That's just it. I've been working with metal for a while. I know what I can and cannot do, I know how far I can push.
PC2, another dynamic you may consider.......

Judging by the threads you post, have you ever considered you may intimidate him through sheer competence and intellect?
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Old 09-22-07, 09:19 AM   #22
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Can't you just be compliant and touchy feely, make him feel better about himself? Why, all the great minds of our world have been just such people, it never took guts and deterrmination to accomplish anything and being smart is such a old worn out concept.

Keep pushing through PC2

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Old 09-23-07, 05:54 AM   #23
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This, PC, calls for a cock punch! Just haul of and smack that bumbaclot right in the nads.
Thank you Stacey, for once again being the lone voice of sanity on this forum.
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Old 09-23-07, 06:10 AM   #24
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You should use a special AL blade, you'll trash a good wood blade.
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+1
I'll add another +1. At our shop, I purchase tools for upcoming jobs. It's amazing how much tooling is abused by nimrods running the machines. What do they care? They're not paying for it. "Just buy more!"
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Old 09-23-07, 11:35 AM   #25
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I don't necessarily agree that a "wood blade" will be trashed by cuttng aluminum. It's no different than a milling machine.
If your wood blade is high speed steel, I'll give you that. But many of the blades today (most?) are carbide tipped. Just because the shape may not be the one optimized for non ferrous metals doesn't mean it will dull faster, it means it won't perform as well. I can use an end mill on a milling machine with no helix and 8 flutes on aluminum. If it was made out of carbide, it wouldn't trash the end mill at all. Would it cut well? No.

But if that's all you've got, make do.
My boss at work wants me to use a sawzall to cut all metal stock. Like that's safer
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