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Old 09-12-2016, 11:29 AM   #15
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I use this
Drool...

Also, for most aluminum sheet thickness that would be used on an Airstream you can score a line with a knife a few times and then it will fracture when you bend it back and forth a bit. You can get a pretty clean edge in most cases but it is really only viable for straight cuts.

Aerowood probably has some additional advice on this topic of scoring aluminum.
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Old 09-12-2016, 11:58 AM   #16
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Yes, but in my experience hard to cut with a jigsaw without a lot of vibration.

Mount the edge you are cutting very close to the edge of a bench to mitigate this.



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Old 09-12-2016, 01:30 PM   #17
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I have a red 10" sawblade I got at Home Depot, brand is escaping me, for non-ferrous cutting. In my tablesaw it cuts thick aluminum like buttah. It's astounding. I need to try it on the 0.032 aluminum I have.
I have found that a table saw will work well for straight cuts in aluminum sheet. Use a zero clearance throat insert and make sure the aluminum sheet can't slip under the fence. You can either clamp a piece of angle aluminum to the fence and run the aluminum on top of it, or run it through with a piece of scrap plywood underneath the aluminum. I find that it's also helpful to run a piece of wood on top of the aluminum with the blade set below the top surface of the wood. This helps to keep the aluminum from vibrating and reduces the number of aluminum chips being thrown back at you.
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Old 09-12-2016, 02:17 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by LifeIsRiveting View Post
Drool...

Also, for most aluminum sheet thickness that would be used on an Airstream you can score a line with a knife a few times and then it will fracture when you bend it back and forth a bit. You can get a pretty clean edge in most cases but it is really only viable for straight cuts.

Aerowood probably has some additional advice on this topic of scoring aluminum.
Well, as a matter if fact I do, I have always called it a Skin Knife. Its made from a file
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Old 09-12-2016, 02:49 PM   #19
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Ah yes, thanks for the trade secret!

That is exactly the image that was burned into my brain. Although I've successfully used the scoring method with various shaped razor blades the skin knife looked much more robust. I remember googling "skin knife" half a year ago and coming up with nothing. It's not often that a google search comes up empty handed, haha.

Any suggestions as to the shape of the modified file?
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Old 09-12-2016, 03:03 PM   #20
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Well, as a matter if fact I do, I have always called it a Skin Knife. Its made from a file
I have not heard of a skin knife before and have not used the score method on aluminum. I have used a utility knife on sheet metal and it works.
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Old 09-12-2016, 03:19 PM   #21
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How big are your patches? I used the utility knife scribe method for some small pieces. Works if you're careful. Most other stuff that appearance mattered I had cut on a shear at the metal supplier. Couple bucks a cut was well worth it.
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Old 09-12-2016, 04:31 PM   #22
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Ah yes, thanks for the trade secret!

That is exactly the image that was burned into my brain. Although I've successfully used the scoring method with various shaped razor blades the skin knife looked much more robust. I remember googling "skin knife" half a year ago and coming up with nothing. It's not often that a google search comes up empty handed, haha.

Any suggestions as to the shape of the modified file?
More or less just a 90 degree hook on the end with the thickness reduced to around 1/32" thick. The picture shown was of me cutting off about a 1/4" of materiel off of a 11' long side panel. I finished it up with a vixen file. The whole process took about 30 minutes.

I have used this method in the past making long skin cuts on aircraft skin and not damage the underlying structure.
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Old 09-12-2016, 06:39 PM   #23
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For free-hand cutting, these offset Wiss snips are great.

They make mirror-image tools for left/straight and right/straight cutting, and the blade offset allows you to cut way into a sheet without having the sheet get in the way of the snips or your hands. If you take care to not close up the snips all the way as you're cutting, then it does not overly distort the edge so that you can easily clean it up with a straight mill file.
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Old 09-12-2016, 08:29 PM   #24
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Cutting Aluminum

Band saw.....

http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/g...pslpykzc5n.jpg

http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/g...psbqwhxp28.jpg


Cut off wheel....

http://i245.photobucket.com/albums/g...g/DSCN1104.jpg

Gradiens super tenui glacie.
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Old 09-12-2016, 08:40 PM   #25
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Wow nice map
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Old 09-13-2016, 11:20 AM   #26
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Nice work J. Morgan! How many TPI for that band saw blade?
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Old 09-13-2016, 11:26 AM   #27
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I've made some cool stuff from old files. Now I'm going to make one of these. Thank you Aerowood!
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:25 PM   #28
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Cutting Aluminum

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Nice work J. Morgan! How many TPI for that band saw blade?

It has been years since My son cut that but I think it was a 28 tpi blade.

I know it was a 1/4" wide.


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