Any advice on cutting aluminium extrusion?

Any advice on cutting aluminium extrusion? Bought 6 1 metre lengths off ebay now I need to cut them down to size. Was planning on using a chop saw and a block to set the length. Thoughts?

You’ll want to make sure the cut is perpendicular as any out-of-true cuts will translate down the line to headaches in building the printer. It’s far from an impossible task, but you do need some care.

Or you could have a 1m^3 printer. :smiley:

Or you can use @shauki 's Quadrap design, it’s VERY rigid, and ensures all corners are square. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Y8GRa4mq0io/Uz3657PmINI/AAAAAAAADsQ/dtwOJPqqH4U/s800/quadstrap+3d+printer+1.png

Chop saw sounds perfect. I used a hacksaw and a mitre box.

The only issue I’m feeling with the chop saw is a little play in the mechanism which doesn’t inspire me. Perhaps a simple mitre box isn’t a bad idea. A table saw and slide would be nice but I don’t have one (or room for one).

I’ve thought of joining on flats like the quadrap design but I’m trying to make a small 8mm based version and I plan to put panels on it to make a heated chamber when done and that makes it more difficult.

I used a lathe…since its, like, 8 cuts, you might find someone local that could do you a favor if your chopsaw isn’t up to task.

@Richard_Mitchell just take it slow and steady -and anchor the ‘static’ side of your cut so your free hand can control the cut piece. I have had a piece of extrusion decide it was destined to be part of a Tomahawk missile before.

It pays to dial in your saw. I used an inclinometer I got from Rockler -invaluable.

Miter saw and box + clamps to keep the entire thing secured so it can’t move at all would be the best bet. Lacking a miter box, you need to clamp something flat at the cut line as perpendicular as possible and try to cut along that.

@Mike_Miller ​ hadn’t thought of a lathe. Another good idea.

I used my chop saw on my recent laser build. About 40 cuts in about an hour. Went awesome. Just get a good nonferrous blade and your off

@Richard_Mitchell using a lathe depends greatly on having a spindle large enough to accept the extrusion…not a lot of people have access to a lathe, much less one with a big enough envelope. (South Bend 10L here)

I use exactly the same chop saw, but i cut 1-2mm overlength and then face off on a mill to get the ends perfectly squared off. Using a lathe youd need a 4 jaw chuck aswell as a large enough spindle to swallow the extrusion although a lathe would do an qually goood job as facing off on a mill (if not better)…Oh and thanks for the add :slight_smile:

Funny thing that…a three jaw self centering chuck will grab one side in the groove, and the other two flats and make a passible face cut.