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  1. #1
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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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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  2. #2
    Senior Member FlyingAnchor's Avatar
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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.

    Steven

  3. #3
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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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.
    Bring back the Sig Test!


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  4. #4
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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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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  5. #5
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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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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  6. #6
    I play in the street. nobrainer440's Avatar
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    That sucks. With the right blade and feed rate you should be fine.

  7. #7
    coffeeeeee p4nh4ndle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
    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?

  8. #8
    Double Secret Probation R900's Avatar
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    You should use a special AL blade, you'll trash a good wood blade.
    Time to Ride...

  9. #9
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by p4nh4ndle View Post
    word. ever seen a brick/tile saw?
    I own one.
    Last edited by Michigander; 09-21-07 at 08:09 PM.
    Bring back the Sig Test!


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  10. #10
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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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.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  11. #11
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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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.
    Bring back the Sig Test!


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  12. #12
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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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.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  13. #13
    Long haired freak. wethepeople's Avatar
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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.

    "the bus came by and I got on, that's when it all began...there was Cowboy Neal at the wheel of a bus to never-ever land."


  14. #14
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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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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  15. #15
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Ah yes, WTP is cast from the same mold, as well.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  16. #16
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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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.
    Bring back the Sig Test!


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  17. #17
    Non Tribuo Anus Rodentum and off to the next adventure (RIP) Stacey's Avatar
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    This, PC, calls for a cock punch! Just haul of and smack that bumbaclot right in the nads.

  18. #18
    Cosmic American
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    Quote Originally Posted by donnamb View Post
    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.
    “I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag.” - Molly Ivins

  19. #19
    Cheese State Poseur Jose Perez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R900 View Post
    You should use a special AL blade, you'll trash a good wood blade.
    +1

  20. #20
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LateNite View Post
    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.
    Bring back the Sig Test!


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  21. #21
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2 View Post
    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?
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  22. #22
    Senior Member FlyingAnchor's Avatar
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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

    Steven

  23. #23
    No Rocket Surgeon eubi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stacey View Post
    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.
    Fewer Cars, more handlebars!

  24. #24
    Senior Member Ornery's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R900 View Post
    You should use a special AL blade, you'll trash a good wood blade.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jose Perez View Post
    +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!"

  25. #25
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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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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