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Thread: Cutting Aluminum Sheets

  1. #1
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Cutting Aluminum Sheets

    Hey!

    I have an old guillotine paper cutter I was planning to use for cutting 0.024" aluminum (24" x 48" sheets, down to 4'x5', 6"x8" and 8"x10").
    However, while cutting some prints to size, the cutter blade is dull in some spots and the alignment is off.
    This makes the prospect of cutting aluminum to fit a wet plate holder both difficult and money/time-wasting.

    So I looked into a rotary cutter, specifically this one: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...24_rotary.html

    My question is: do you know if this will cut aluminum at that thickness?
    The Rotatrim is rated for materials up to 3mm thick, the aluminum is far thinner than that.
    Or maybe it could be used to score the aluminum enough that it can snap off, like cutting glass?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you

  2. #2

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    Re: Cutting Aluminum Sheets

    Won't score and snap. If you can find a shop that makes heating and air conditioning duct they might be willing to cut it for you. Local AC repair service can give you leads

  3. #3
    pendennis's Avatar
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    Re: Cutting Aluminum Sheets

    I looked at their web site, and a brochure for the Pro Series. It states that the Roto Trim Professional will cut "from the thinnest tissue paper to mountboard and shim metal".

    If you call B&H, they can probably advise you for sure.

    I have cut thin copper and aluminum with the older knife type cutters, and it worked fine.
    Best,
    Dennis

  4. #4
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Cutting Aluminum Sheets

    Thanks, Bob.
    Got it, so aluminum won't score and snap like glass.
    I can cut it with the guillotine cutter I have now, so no need to outsource this.
    But I'd like to know if the Rotatrim is capable of cutting through what is 0.6mm-thick material, as it's rated for cutting up to 3mm thick.

  5. #5
    ghostcount's Avatar
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    Re: Cutting Aluminum Sheets

    "Sex is like maths, add the bed, subtract the clothes, divide the whoo hoo and hope you don't multiply." - Leather jacket guy

  6. #6
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Cutting Aluminum Sheets

    Thanks for those links.
    What do you use?

  7. #7
    ghostcount's Avatar
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    Re: Cutting Aluminum Sheets

    I use a paper guillotine cutter for home and my cuts are all over the place, corners are bent upwards too. My fitting tolerance is loose in the holders - plates aren't exact size to be sure. However, when I get a chance I use a shear press at work - guaranteed square cuts. I've not found a reason to buy a shear press since I have one that is accessible to me. If and when I leave the company and still do WPC I will invest in a shear press for home use.
    "Sex is like maths, add the bed, subtract the clothes, divide the whoo hoo and hope you don't multiply." - Leather jacket guy

  8. #8
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Cutting Aluminum Sheets

    Good to know, thank you.

  9. #9
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Cutting Aluminum Sheets

    HVAC repair/install shop may have a metal shear

    Call a few, but walking in with metal in hand works best, pay them to cut a mess, then talk them into portraits

    I wish I still had access to a 8 ft long up to 1/4" thick power shear, it was very accurate

    It cut quick and fast with a thump and bang, very safe machine!

    The danger was loading 4 X 8' x 1/4 plate steel by yourself, which I did often with overhead hoist
    sin eater

  10. #10

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    Re: Cutting Aluminum Sheets

    In most metro areas, there are outfits that sharpen cutter blades for industry... A regular customer for them is the printing industry that have cutters that can trim large stacks of paper (or even cut phone books in half)... Those cutters need frequent sharpening, so the outfits have names usually ending with "grinding" in them... Bring them your entire cutter so they can figure out what is needed...

    Ask a local printer who does their sharpening for them...

    Steve K

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