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Thread: Cutting aluminum the Easy way

  1. #31
    Banned Eclecticos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Re: Cutting aluminum the Easy way

    Cutting aluminum the Easy way: With a Saw. Jigsaw, Scroll saw, Table Saw, Dremel. . ect.

  2. #32

    Default Re: Cutting aluminum the Easy way

    I've found sodium hydroxide is highly effective at taking off anodizing. It produces a smooth, clean finish of aluminum. At least it did on the cheap alumninum part I tried. I'm not sure what alloy it was, probably 6061. I managed to find drain cleaner that was 100% sodium hydroxide at Lowes, called Roebic Crystal Drain Opener. A couple of teaspoons in about 2 cups of water stripped the anodizing off without dissolving the base material too much after an hour long soak. For parts with fine details or small threads I'd recommend a shorter time though.

    For more information, google for anodizing how-tos and they usually talk about prepping the surface in this way.

  3. #33
    duct tape can fix anything Tavarin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: Cutting aluminum the Easy way

    Im guessing the drano has quite a low molarity, so after a few hours if it eats through the aluminum in a spot and the drano pooled on the aluminum... drains, do you plan on sitting there for the remaining time constantly pouring drano over the remaining aluminum?
    If you do try this I recomend having a razor blade to scrape the salt/excess drano off every 10 minutes or so and starting with a new splash.
    And maybe a long book or a season of your favorite TV show to help pass the time.
    Or you can do the easy thing and speed up the reaction by heating the aluminum first. You'll still have to scrape away the drano after it pools but the reaction will take place far faster. Or you could boil some of the water out of the drano (do this putside if you do, slashses could cause damage, and I'm not sure if the NaOH will boil ouit to) to get it to a higher concentration.

  4. #34
    Carpe Apenodytes halcyonforever's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Default Re: Cutting aluminum the Easy way

    Quote Originally Posted by Eclecticos View Post
    Chemical burns are the worst kind they never heal.[/B]
    Sure they do... they just scar to high heaven.

    I got hydrofloric acid on my hands because of a leaky beaker, it hurt for heck of a long time, but it did heal.

    Still can't sense heat with it though...

  5. #35
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Ottawa, Canada

    Default Re: Cutting aluminum the Easy way

    Boy did I come to the right place. I work in an aerospace manufacturing facility where we work with... Aluminum! Woot. Ok, what you guys are talking about is what we call chem-milling, which is an actually manufacturing process. We usually use it for making pockets in sheet material, not necessarily cutting through it.

    Disclaimer: If you're going to try this, wear protective equipment (gloves, goggles, apron, etc). I'm not liable for any injuries howsoever caused by you reading this. (There, I've said it. That being said, don't be stupid. )

    Ok, if you're going to try it, take some masking tape and lay out your lines and apply the "Draino" in-between the tape. Make sure you flatten your tape to the aluminum with a plastic scraper or similar, or the Draino might get underneath. See - the lower picture for an example of an industrial chem-mill template. So, if you want to be creative, lay out some tape on an aluminum surface, draw out a pattern on it, cut and remove the tape and go to your chem milling. Wash your panel with plain water when you're done. You should end up with a cool looking panel.

    After you're done cutting you can either take the tape off, or try applying some sort of dye to the pattern, as you've just "eaten" the aluminum, there should be some tooth to it to accept the dye. If there's some Draino left in the pocket and you apply the dye it may just carry the dye into the aluminum -- I don't know, I've never tried/seen/heard, I'm just making this up. (But now I want to try it. )


    Oh ya, anodizing. If done correctly, anodizing should NOT be easy to remove. It's designed to protect the aluminum from reacting. -- See my post in the Ano thread for more info.
    Last edited by Jarod997; 05-10-2009 at 06:56 PM. Reason: Move appropriate info to different thread

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