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  1. #1

    HELP! Best way to cut ALUMINUM square tubing in slices w/o kickback?

    I am a hobbyist and would like to cut, for example, aluminum square tubing (Any size from 1", 1.5", 2", 3" square and 1/8" thickness/wall) into many "slices" of varying sizes (like a loaf of bread). For instance, I would have a 4' foot length 2" AL square tube (1/8" wall) and run it through the saw to create many slices of open squares (like hollow square bread slices). I would also like to do the same with ROUND Aluminum tubing to create many AL rings.

    I purchased a Miter/chop saw and a "Freud D1080N Diablo 10-Inch 80 Tooth TCG Non-Ferrous Metal Blade with 5/8-Inch Arbor and PermaShield Coating" that was recommended to me. This miter saw and blade would be proprietary and only used for aluminum cutting.

    My first attempt was going great and the Miter Saw with the Diablo blade was cutting the 1.5" tubing like butter. But, it eventually kicked back and flung the slice it just cut and bounced around the garage (luckily it threw the piece towards the back, even though I wear protective gear). I then attmepted to make more careful cuts by releasing the power while the blade was still down (thinking that this would prevent any kickback). it worked well, but eventually it kicked back at the start of a cut.

    So, would I be better off installing the Diablo circular saw blade on a Table Saw and running the tubing with a slide guide, slicing as I go? Would doing this on a table saw prevent any flying dangers/kickbacks? Any other opinions on equipment i can use to successfully and safely cut Aluminum square and round tubing into various lengths?

    Thank you in advance for your reply.

  2. #2
    Contributing Member MXtras's Avatar
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    Re: HELP! Best way to cut ALUMINUM square tubing in slices w/o kickback?

    It sounds like you have a great set-up. I have been using the 12" version of the same exact blade to cut 1/8" wall AL tubing for the last 8 years. I have kickbacks but short of clamping the part-off piece, there is nothing much you can really do that I know of.

    Welcome to the forum, by the way! I see this post numero uno for you....

    Scott
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  3. #3
    Administrator Cebby's Avatar
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    Re: HELP! Best way to cut ALUMINUM square tubing in slices w/o kickback?

    I cut aluminum occasionally with my DeWalt 12" miter saw (made for wood). I use a fine tooth finish blade (80t I think).

    I power up the saw in the full up position, come down through with light pressure, then when the saw is bottomed out, I let off the trigger until the blade stops. I haven't had any kickback that I remember.
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  4. #4

    Re: HELP! Best way to cut ALUMINUM square tubing in slices w/o kickback?

    A band saw will allow you to make a stop so if you are cutting the same length it will be much faster then cutting and measuring before you cut again...also you can walk away and do other thing during the cutting like cleaning up the cut off pieces or setting up you welder etc.

  5. #5
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    Re: HELP! Best way to cut ALUMINUM square tubing in slices w/o kickback?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cebby View Post
    I cut aluminum occasionally with my DeWalt 12" miter saw (made for wood). I use a fine tooth finish blade (80t I think).

    I power up the saw in the full up position, come down through with light pressure, then when the saw is bottomed out, I let off the trigger until the blade stops. I haven't had any kickback that I remember.
    Same method I use. I have something closer to a 40 tooth blade however. I only have real kick backs when I don't let it stop spinning before coming back up. It is usually quicker for me to cut it with that than the band saw, so I only use it for steel.

  6. #6
    Registered User VegasBruce's Avatar
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    Re: HELP! Best way to cut ALUMINUM square tubing in slices w/o kickback?

    Welcome toolmetal


    Quote Originally Posted by 84ZMike View Post
    A band saw will allow you to make a stop so if you are cutting the same length it will be much faster then cutting and measuring before you cut again...also you can walk away and do other thing during the cutting like cleaning up the cut off pieces or setting up you welder etc.
    This is my way, an offshore 4x6 bandsaw.
    Bruce

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  7. #7
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    Re: HELP! Best way to cut ALUMINUM square tubing in slices w/o kickback?

    That sort of short cut can be prone to the occasional kickback...

    You can reduce it by using a zero clearance sub-fence that helps to keep your drops from falling back into the blade, but you still may get an occasional "zinger"...

    The only way I've been able to prevent this is to clamp the drop side of the cut. You must take care with your setup here to prevent a situation that leads to a blade pinch, but it works with no kickouts...

    * Another thing worth mentioning. After you have had a kickout, it's wise to have a look for the tooth that was involved. Often it gets slightly bent out of line...not only can this cause further kickouts, but it affects the quality of your cut finish...

    Good luck, and stay safe...

  8. #8
    Registered User blaserman's Avatar
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    Re: HELP! Best way to cut ALUMINUM square tubing in slices w/o kickback?

    I use my Miter saw all the time but you have to let the blade stop when it is in the down position to prevent kick back. I found that out the hard way after several kick backs with wood. OUCH

    Art

  9. #9

    Re: HELP! Best way to cut ALUMINUM square tubing in slices w/o kickback?

    Milwaukee porta-band. This saw has proven itself time and time again! If you have trouble keeping it straight you may want to look into a metal cutting circular saw. Also, to hlep with kickback problems try approaching the cut slow and use little preasure allowing the saw to do the work. Hope this information was helpful.

  10. #10

    Re: HELP! Best way to cut ALUMINUM square tubing in slices w/o kickback?

    Either a horizontal or verticle bandsaw should do the trick. Make sure the blade guides are properly aligned so that the blade is perpendicular to the work piece and also ensure the blade is properly tensioned. A bit of lubricant should also help. I find a couple of squirts of WD-40 helps. Blade speed should be high and rate of cut (speed at which the blades drops through the work) should be very slow.

    Hope this help.

    Andy
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