So two weeks ago I had a DIY project to work on. Putting together an aluminium framed open wardrobe into a dressing room. The finish needed to be really clean as it was completely on show.
I went through the manufacturers instructions bit by bit and also watched the videos on exactly how to do it. The aluminium uprights and hanger bars all needed to be cut to size. The instructions said to cut with a hack saw.
When I read this I was a little bit sceptical but did a test cut with a hack saw anyway. As you can imagine it was no where near the quality of the cut I needed. My first thought was can I cut aluminium a mitre saw. So i got out my Bosch GCM800SJL mitre saw but the blade I had was only suitable for wood.
I had a look around and found a blade at screwfix that would cut aluminium and other light metals. Perfect, i bought it for £15 and brought it home. One thing to bare in mind when you buy a new blade is that they have different bore sizes. I needed a 30mm bore and the blade i got come with adaptors for other size bores.
I did another test cut with the mitre saw and the finish was absolutely perfect so i got ready to start cutting. However, there were a couple of things I noticed that really needed to be thought about.
The blade gave a very clean cut but it was a wide cut, meaning that I had to measure very accurately and get the correct side of the blade on the cut line. If i didn’t do that I would have lost a few millimetres which would have left a gap that would not have looked good.
Multi Purpose Mitre Saw Blades
The blade I used was an Erbauer TCT 40 Tooth. It is a pretty useful blade to have as it will cut plastic as well as all non ferrous metals as well as fibre glass and cement bonded boards. It’s definitely something you will use many times if you do a lot of DIY
The next thing I noticed was that it left tiny shards of aluminium everywhere that were quite sharp. Why I didn’t think about this I don’t know. When I cut wood sawdust goes everywhere so I should have assumed the same from metal.
Mind Your Eyes!
Make sure that you where goggles when you are cutting metal with a mitre saw. The small shards of metal are sharp and can do a lot of damage if they go in your eye. I wore googles but could feel a few of the shards hit me as they flew off. I’m very glad I kept my goggles on.
After the first cut I was away. It was super fast to measure up the next pieces, I just used the first length as a guide. Every cut was perfect and the fitted wardrobe looks great.
It Really Makes A Mess!
The clean up job was not much fun I have to say. I spent an hour cleaning shiny pieces of aluminium from every corner of the garage. I would definitely advise cutting aluminium with a mitre saw outside where possible. Definitely do not do it in the house or you will be picking up shiny pieces of metal for a long time!
I have to say it was the perfect solution, I wish i had started with this rather than spending ages messing about with a hack saw.The mitre saw saved me huge amounts of time and effort and also gave a professional finish. I’ll know for next time.