How to Cut an Aluminum Bar

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    Cutting with a Hacksaw

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      A hacksaw will cut an aluminum bar.saw on metal image by terex from Fotolia.com

      Use a tape measure to determine where to make the cut. Mark it with a straight line using a soft lead pencil. If the pencil is too sharp the line may not be easily visible. Use a carpenters square, speed square or tri-square to ensure the line is straight.

    • 2). Fasten the aluminum securely in a vise or miter box so that the hacksaw blade will be guided along the cut line. A hacksaw exerts a lot of force as it cuts, so ensure the aluminum is tightly clamped in place. Vise jaws can mark the aluminum finish. Using pieces of scrap wood between the vise jaws and the aluminum will keep your piece unmarred.

    • 3). Begin the cut by carefully drawing the hacksaw toward you and guiding it to engage the cut line. After three or four strokes, a kerf will form and the hacksaw will be less likely to wander outside the cut line. Make a few forward strokes, gently at first, until the kerf is well established both in depth and in the direction of the cut line.

    • 4). Once your blade is stable in the kerf, take firmer and longer strokes that remove more material. Forcing the blade will cause it to bind. Focus your attention on keeping the hacksaw blade straight in the kerf. Any pressure to either side of the kerf will cause it to curve. Holding the hacksaw frame (that holds the blade) at a slight angle can assist you in keeping the blade centered.

    Table Saw Using a Miter Box Gauge

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      A miter gauge like this corner mitre helps to keep your angle precise.corner miter 1 image by nebari from Fotolia.com

      Measure and mark your aluminum in the same manner if you want to employ a table saw to cut your aluminum bar. The bar should be 1/4-inch thick or less to cut it with a table saw. You will be using the miter box gauge table saw attachment to stabilize the aluminum and keep the angle precise.

    • 2). Set the table saw miter box gauge to 90 degrees. Align the cut line so the saw blade will contact it on the proper side.

    • 3). Turn on the table saw and feed the aluminum slowly and steadily. Let the work set the pace. Do not push too hard or force this process in any way.

    • 4). When the cut is complete, continue to hold the piece still. Turn off the saw and let the blade come to a halt before removing both pieces of aluminum.

    Rip Aluminum with a Table Saw

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      The rip fence on the table saw keeps the material parallel to the saw blade.man sawing a piece of wood image by Joann Cooper from Fotolia.com

      Measure and mark your aluminum. Set your table saw rip fence to the desired width. A rip fence is an add-on to the table saw and assists the user to cut materials with more safety and precision. The rip fence keeps the material parallel to the saw blade.

    • 2). Clamp your featherboard into place so it holds the aluminum firmly against the rip fence. Place the featherboard closest to the saw blade as far forward as possible without letting the saw blade come directly between the featherboard and rip fence. Some amount of downward pressure to hold the aluminum flat against the table may also be necessary depending on the width of the rip. Watch the cut carefully to see if this seems desirable.

    • 3). Turn on the table saw and feed the aluminum slowly and steadily.Do not push too hard or force this process in any way. Use a Push Stick to feed the last few inches, keeping your fingers clear of both the saw blade and the aluminum.

    • 4). Continue to hold the piece still when the cut is complete. Turn off the saw and let the blade come to a halt before removing both pieces of aluminum.

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