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  1. #1
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    What saw blade to fin aluminum?

    On my first light build, I just used the standard carbide tipped blade that came with my table saw to cuts fins in the housing. Anyone with experience know if a 'non-ferrous' blade would make cleaner cuts? Has anyone tried a thin kerf blade? I'm willing to spend a couple bucks on a new blade if it'll make things neater. Thanks!
    What saw blade to fin aluminum?-raw.jpg
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  2. #2
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    I have been using a 4" diameter carbide tipped saw meant for a micro table saw in my mill to cut fins. It cuts a slot just a bit over 1/16" wide. It is not as good as a finish as a saw specifically made for metal working, but at $5 for the blade, it's just good enough for me.

  3. #3
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    I use a 125mm carbide tipped blade to cut fins using my mill and the most important thing I have found is to use a little lubricant to stop the alloy collecting on the saw tips as this give a crappy finish due to rubbing.

    For a lubricant I use either a small film of kerosene or wd40. Just take care if using kero due to being flammable.

  4. #4
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    Thanks, though I don't think those blades will work on my table saw. I'll try lube, don't remember using it the first time.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clipless in PA View Post
    Thanks, though I don't think those blades will work on my table saw. I'll try lube, don't remember using it the first time.
    Give some lubricant a go and also consider an alloy specific blade as the blade tip design should give better chip removal away from the piece being cut and therefore a better quality of cut.

    All that being said the light you have made looks really good and should give a nice amount of light. What driver did you opt for on this build?
    Last edited by brad72; 07-23-2012 at 10:06 PM.

  6. #6
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    Like Brad, I use kerosene most of the time and WD40 occasionally when cutting aluminum. Is your saw designed for a 10" blade? You might try something in the 7-8 inch range. The slower surface speed might be closer to the recommended speed for aluminum.

  7. #7
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    Blade is available at Lowes or Home Depot.



    This spray lubricant has given me the best results.


    Take your time and push light body slowly through blade. This help keeps the blade cool which then keeps the aluminum from melting and smearing.

  8. #8
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    Excellent! Thanks! It is a 10" table saw, but I'll try the smaller blade. The housing pictured was my first build, and the grooves are not as clean as I would have liked. That light uses 4 xpg-r4's with Carclo 10417 lenses. I'm looking for just a little more throw, as a lot of the stuff I ride is twisty singletrack and works well with a rather floody light. Looking to do something similar but with 2 XM-L's and either Carclo 20mm 10138 narrow frosted or 21.6mm Ledil rose real spots. Also going to run a warmer tint, thinking 4500 neutral white. Either should be around 18 degrees with the xml near as I can tell.

  9. #9
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    I personally like the warmer tints as it stops everything looking grey and also adds some depth to rocks etc instead of everything looking flat. .

  10. #10
    help with the zip please
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    +1 for the metal saw blade and also remember that the more teeth the finer the cut but you need to cut a little slower when going all the way through a lump of al.

  11. #11
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    You can also buy aluminium specific carbon tipped saw blades. They just have smaller and twice as many teeth as wood saw blades but you need to keep the lube up to them for nice cuts. Silicon spray is great ala odtexas just let it set before you make a cut it will last longer.

  12. #12
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    Checked the local Do-it, Lowes, and Home depot today. Of course none of them carried an aluminum cutting blade. Lowes had a $70 steel cutting one -ouch! On my way out, I saw a display of dewalt circular saw blades. 40 teeth, welded carbide tips, and a pretty thin kerf. I figured what the heck! Just tried a trial run using lube and it looks good. Thanks for the input guys.

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