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Cutting aluminum

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Need to cut some designs on a thin sheet of aluminum (guessing about 0.9mm thin or less). The only tool I got is a dremel 4000. Any tips on bits, etc. to use? The design will be cut over a 16 sq. inch area - so not large. My plan is to use a cutting wheel or rotatory bit to get access metal off. Then use an engraving bit to just scour until metal is cut through. Will use plenty water to keep things cool. Any thoughts or ideas?
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post #2 of 10
Make sure you layout the design first using a sharpie or something to mark. The way we do it at my work for precision is use this layout fluid called dykem it puts a blue layer on the metal then we scribe (using a scry from hardware store) what we want. After that we cut the pattern we want if its correct we use dykem remover or alcohol and take the blue off
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post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Yes, I will lay design down first using sharpie or something. Will cut the pattern on paper first and see about imprinting it on the metal.
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post #4 of 10
I wouldnt cut it with a dremel. I will be nearly impossible to cut straight lines. If thats fine with you then go ahead. I would use a scroll saw with a metal blade and just go very slow. Try and see if someone you know has one.
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post #5 of 10
when i tend to cut thin metal, i take two boards and vice the metal between them
i use these two items to do the task

http://www.dremel.com/en-us/Accessories/Pages/ProductDetail.aspx?pid=561
http://www.dremel.com/en-us/Attachments/Pages/ProductDetail.aspx?pid=566 <-- the plastic part not the bit
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post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jollyriffic View Post

when i tend to cut thin metal, i take two boards and vice the metal between them
i use these two items to do the task

http://www.dremel.com/en-us/Accessories/Pages/ProductDetail.aspx?pid=561
http://www.dremel.com/en-us/Attachments/Pages/ProductDetail.aspx?pid=566 <-- the plastic part not the bit

I will try this first before hunting for a scroll saw.
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post #7 of 10
Cut out the major inner stuff with the Dremel as much as you can, get as close to the lines as possible with the cutting wheel. Then I would recommend clamping the sheet of aluminum with some scrap wood (preferably plywood or MDF) as close to the cutout as you can get, and finish the rest using a file. Long file, use by hand, long strokes with very little pressure. Let the tool do the work. Best is to clamp the material either facing vertical at chest level, or hanging off the edge of a table.
post #8 of 10
Get a little bit extra material and experiment with the way you want to cut.You may find that artistic work involves strictly hand tools.Now if you were cutting 1/8" steel or better the plasma cutter would be your friend.
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post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Lots of great advice. Thank you guys.
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post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by TLHarrell View Post

Cut out the major inner stuff with the Dremel as much as you can, get as close to the lines as possible with the cutting wheel. Then I would recommend clamping the sheet of aluminum with some scrap wood (preferably plywood or MDF) as close to the cutout as you can get, and finish the rest using a file. Long file, use by hand, long strokes with very little pressure. Let the tool do the work. Best is to clamp the material either facing vertical at chest level, or hanging off the edge of a table.

this is a great addition also.
i dont cut on the lines with i use my method just incase something goes wrong (hasn't yet)
but block clamping the sheet will greatly benefit when doing the above mentioned!
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