Cutting Aluminum with the Right Blade
Selecting the right type of blade is your first step in trying to cut aluminum. An economical choice might be to choose a carbon steel bandsaw blade typically used for cutting wood. This type of blade will work, but aluminum is non to a sticky metal and you will be better off with a bimetal band saw blade for only a slightly higher price. If you want the very best option, choose a carbide tipped blade for more difficult aluminum cutting.
As for the tooth per inch, from my experience a good rule of thumb is to have at least 3 teeth engaged in the aluminum material at a time. For example, a 1/2 inch thick piece would require a minimum of 6 TPI. General rules apply for coarser and finer cuts. A finer cut requires a finer pitch. Using a variable pitch could help reduce the vibration and noise while cutting.
Setting Up for Cutting Aluminum
First off, please make sure you have the necessary safety equipment. Aluminum can be tricky to cut and can send hot pieces your way if done incorrectly. Safety goggles is an absolute must. It is very helpful to use a lubricant or stick wax while cutting aluminum because of its “stickiness”. The feed rate and speed of cutting will depend on the difficulty of the piece you are using. Start around 1000 SFPM and adjust to what is working best.
Don’t forget to use the proper band saw blade break-in methods to ensure a longer life for your new blade. Good luck with your aluminum cutting band saw blade.