How to Cut Aluminum Sheet Metal

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You might imagine that in order to cut through a length of aluminum sheet metal, you'd need a fairly specialized tool. Fortunately for the do-it-yourself handyman, cutting through aluminum sheet metal is actually a fairly simple process performed with a regular wood-cutting saw--provided, of course, that you purchase the correct blade for your saw. Saws with circular blades--skilsaws or tablesaws, typically--are generally preferred over straight-blade saws when it comes to cutting aluminum.

Things You'll Need

  • Power saw with carbide saw blade
  • Marker
  • Straight-edge ruler
  • Face mask
  • Gloves
  • Sawhorses
  • Use your ruler to measure out the length of the cut you wish to make in the aluminum.

  • Mark out the cut on the aluminum with your marker. You will use this line as the guide for your cut, so make sure that it is straight and follows the cut you want to make.

  • Plug in your saw and position it against the edge of the sheet metal. If you are using a skilsaw, you will need to place the sheet metal on a pair of sawhorses so that the saw blade can cut without striking anything underneath the metal.

  • Ensure that the blade is not touching the sheet metal and then turn on the saw.

  • Guide the saw slowly into the sheet metal until it starts cutting. Continue to push forward but do not put too much pressure on the saw blade. Too much pressure will cause it to jam or gum up in the aluminum and may cause damage to your saw.

  • Continue cutting in this manner until you have completed your cut.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear gloves and a face mask when performing this operation to protect your hands and face from the hot aluminum chips that will be produced by your cutting.

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References

  • Photo Credit poinconeuse industrielle image by Clément Billet from Fotolia.com
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