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I am doing some 1 1/4" (NRS size) Aluminum pipe/frame modification....I need to do about a half dozen cuts....yesterday it took me about an hour to do a hacksaw cut.....Home Depot price for a 12" metal cutting miter saw blade (for my neigbors saw) is $60! ....any suggestions for cheaper way to cut that won't take me all week to do? thanks, Chet
 

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Skil/circular saw with 40 tooth carbide blade works fine as well, just make sure you clamp pipe securely. Cut slowly until you get the hand of it - if you cut too fast the teeth will clog w/slag.
 

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Do a bit more research to be sure, but I was planning to try using my chopsaw with a regular carbide tipped blade. I know it sounds weird, but carbide is soooo much harder than aluminum and the blade spins so fast that you can make cuts with it easily if you go slow. At least that is what the interwebs told me--I haven't tried it yet. As I said do a bit more research and video scouting to be sure.
 

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I've had good results with my cheapie ($19?) Sawzall (aka Reciprocating saw) from Harbor Freight. Made 6 cutoffs in my 2" tubular frame in less than a minute per. Good idea to make a couple of practice cuts first though. I think the saw even came with a few blades as well.
 

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Just stick a cheap wood cutting metal blade in that nice miter saw. Even a seven.25" should do it, just shim the table up. Spend ten bucks on a marathon or diablo.


-Dave
(Seven two 0) 298-2242
 

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Please don't use the cutoff wheels! They are meant for steel. They will cut some, then clog up with aluminum, then they just get hot and are in danger of blowing apart

The coarser tooth saw suggestions are a much better idea
 

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I just went throughout this with my frame and used a grinder with a cutoff wheel and used a good hacksaw which didn't take to long. Thought about my chop saw but chickened out then a buddy came over with pipe cutters like the ones Bigscottone showed. That for me was the easiest and cleanest method. If you are going to use a grinder I cleaned and squared up the edges with a belt sander.


Jim
 

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I have used the pipecutter quite a bit, but one thing I noticed is that it makes your inside diameter just a little bit smaller, which makes it difficult when you are inserting the NRS lopro fittings. I always spent a lot of extra time carving and sanding the inside out so that it would finally fit.
 

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Do a bit more research to be sure, but I was planning to try using my chopsaw with a regular carbide tipped blade. I know it sounds weird, but carbide is soooo much harder than aluminum and the blade spins so fast that you can make cuts with it easily if you go slow. At least that is what the interwebs told me--I haven't tried it yet. As I said do a bit more research and video scouting to be sure.
I have a specific aluminum cutting blade that I've used on both a table and chopsaw. It works great. The blade is just a high tooth count carbide tipped circular saw blade. If you go slow, a normal carbide tipped saw should work great. Cuts like butta through NRS pipe. Angle grinders and cutoff wheels don't work well, even the aluminum specific ones.
 

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Just stick a cheap wood cutting metal blade in that nice miter saw. Even a seven.25" should do it, just shim the table up. Spend ten bucks on a marathon or diablo.


-Dave
(Seven two 0) 298-2242

the best way is a metal cutting bandsaw that has a large blade and moves slowly. Its safest however the cut will have visible blade marks. But I've used a 12" disc sander to clean up the ends nicely and that is also pretty safe.

then second best is a metal cutting saw with carbide blade that spins at a slower revolution than the standard chop saw. cut is smooth but not too many people own this type of saw.

a chop saw works well also for cutting with a cheap carbide blade. However be EXTREMELY CAREFUL TO CLAMP THE MATERIAL as its real easy for the blade to cause the material to kickout, which could drag a hand into the blade, and best case often will cause damage to the saw if the pipe gets trashed into the fence. (I've had it happen to me in an instant --- wham --- fortunately I still have my hand).

I'd go so far as to say if you have a chopsaw its imperative to make some sort of wooden fixture which will help you clamp the pipe. Clamp down to the table and also up against the fence. Again, something that helps you clamp to a round pipe is in order.


good luck and be safe.
 

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I use to make bullet resistant enclosures for gas stations and convenience stores that were made from aluminum store front material and the fastest, cleanest cuts are with a heavy duty 10'' triple-chip tooth carbide blade in a miter saw. It was probably about $80-100 for the blade at the time. 20 years ago. I still use it for cutting frame tubing and I can hold it in place with just my hand. The triple-chip tooth design is key to cutting aluminum. It's smooth and doesn't bind up like thinner carbide blades. Your typical blade from the big box stores are an alternate bevel design and they wear out really quick and buck like crazy when cutting aluminum. Just ask the guys that cut through the fence on my compound miter saw.:roll:
 
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