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Dremel circle cutter - Page 3

post #21 of 26
The thinner metal is, the higher the tooth count should be. If Lowes doesn't have anything finer than 24tpi (which surprises me), you might have to try online. Also, backing up sheet metal with a piece of scrap that allows bearing down on the saw (not forcing the feed) will help prevent chatter

To file aluminum, use a file with chalk rubbed on it and frequently card (brush with a file card; a stiff, short bristled brushed designed for cleaning files) the teeth clear of chips and reapply the chalk.
Edited by Lady Fitzgerald - 7/19/13 at 9:28am
   
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post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyTrickster View Post

I'm cutting aluminum. 24 is the highest tooth count I could find at Lowes. Should I use something else?

Also, what can I use to file the edges that wont clog? I used my dremel grind stone which was a mistake. It clogged up pretty quickly

My favorite brand of file by far is Nicholson. They have a line of files designed for use on aluminum, I haven't used them, but from what I have read people really like them. They aren't priced too bad either.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006P2XB4E/ref=biss_dp_sa1

As the types of cuts, your square cut and your round hole will require different files for the best result. Easily enough a "round" file is meant for round holes and curves while a "square" file is meant for rectangular cuts. There is a file called a "half round" which is a half circle profile, this single file might work well for both jobs, but most likely not as good using the specific type. If you plan on doing more case modding in the feature I'd recommend a good set of files as well as a file brush also know as a file "card".

Also make sure you get files that are meant for metal, wood files have much larger cuts and are meant for soft materials, as a opposed to metal ones with very tight and hard cuts.
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post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post

The thinner metal is, the higher the tooth count should be. If Lowes doesn't have anything finer than 24tpi (which surprises me), you might have to try online. Also, backing up sheet metal with a piece of scrap that allows bearing down on the saw (not forcing the feed) will help prevent chatter

To file aluminum, use a file with chalk rubbed on it and frequently card (brush with a file card; a stiff, short bristled brushed designed for cleaning files) the teeth clear of chips and reapply the chalk.

Excellent tips! And to the OP, always remember, filing is not the same as sawing - especially aluminum. It takes a bit more patience to do a good job. That metal is soft enough that it doesn't take much to mess up. Keeping your files clean and unclogged is very important. For straight edges I will also when possible clamp a piece of steel flat stock as a guide to keep the lines nice. Circles are tougher. The backing idea is also a really good idea as well if you have extra material. I usually clamp the aluminum to a scrap piece of plywood and clamp that whole thing down to the cutting table.
    
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post #24 of 26
The aluminum files do work. The teeth are designed to allow the chip to break away more easily. One still has to card the file frequently and I've found chalk on the file still helps even aluminum files.
   
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post #25 of 26
Thread Starter 
Just wanted to follow up if anyone was curious. I bought the dremel circle cutter listed in my OP. Tried 2 different bits in it and wasn't impressed.


Looking at this picture like a clock - from 6 to 9 is the stock bit (561)

From 9 to 3 is a second bit that I bought (7103) - might have worked if I had 4 hours to devote to cutting out the circle


from 3 to 6 is my jigsaw with 34t blade

Jigsaw wins
Edit: picture looks like it uploaded sideways.
Edited by DirtyTrickster - 8/3/13 at 2:45pm
    
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post #26 of 26
And you my friend have just experienced why that piece of junk will never come out of my toolbox again.
    
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