Cutting down DRO scale

Tomc938

Super User
Premium Member
I'm just wondering: Would anyone be interested in a thread on shortening a DRO scale? I shortened my x-axis scale three times before I got the length right, and might need to shorten the Z-axis as well.

The first time I shortened the scale I was terrified I would break the glass. By the third time I was very comfortable doing it.
 

YYCHM

(Craig)
Premium Member
Sure, not sure it belongs under project plans though? My attempt was a dismal failure. @David_R8 seemed to have better luck.
 
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TheClyde

Member
I'm just wondering: Would anyone be interested in a thread on shortening a DRO scale? I shortened my x-axis scale three times before I got the length right, and might need to shorten the Z-axis as well.

The first time I shortened the scale I was terrified I would break the glass. By the third time I was very comfortable doing it.

I was way worried about cutting my scales down when I watched the first video... they took an hour with a dremel cutting away a gap to score the glass then pack everything with foam before they tried to break the glass. This turned out to be the worst case. The best case was bubba who held the scale in one hand, a circular saw in the other and just went whack, done. whack, done. So now my worry is more on my competenance in cutting through aluminum than the procedure itself. In any case... I have yet to cut mine, let alone measure how long they need to be, so I would be interested in this thread.
 
I was way worried about cutting my scales down when I watched the first video... they took an hour with a dremel cutting away a gap to score the glass then pack everything with foam before they tried to break the glass. This turned out to be the worst case. The best case was bubba who held the scale in one hand, a circular saw in the other and just went whack, done. whack, done. So now my worry is more on my competenance in cutting through aluminum than the procedure itself. In any case... I have yet to cut mine, let alone measure how long they need to be, so I would be interested in this thread.

Sounds like a miter saw should work fine?
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Moderator
Premium Member
Sounds like a miter saw should work fine?

@TheClyde - reading about your concerns and the responses makes me think all scales are trivial problems. I got magnetic scales because they are marketed as easy to trim. But cutting them with a miter saw seems way easier to do than trimming a magnetic scale.

Just for the record, cutting aluminium with a circular saw of any kind is best done with the blade reversed so it doesn't grab. That way it cuts with the backside of the teeth and nicks its way through the part instead of ripping its way through.

But ya, I feel your trepidation..... I'd be nervous about it too.
 

TheClyde

Member
@TheClyde - reading about your concerns and the responses makes me think all scales are trivial problems. I got magnetic scales because they are marketed as easy to trim. But cutting them with a miter saw seems way easier to do than trimming a magnetic scale.

Just for the record, cutting aluminium with a circular saw of any kind is best done with the blade reversed so it doesn't grab. That way it cuts with the backside of the teeth and nicks its way through the part instead of ripping its way through.

But ya, I feel your trepidation..... I'd be nervous about it too.

Sounds like a miter saw should work fine?

yeah. I will probably use my mitre saw when I cut mine. I have that option, tring to get the bandsaw back together (bought it used, blew a tire the second time I used it. replaced the tire but have not gotten the blade set up again yet), or manually with a hacksaw.
 

Degen

Ultra Member
Premium Member
@TheClyde - reading about your concerns and the responses makes me think all scales are trivial problems. I got magnetic scales because they are marketed as easy to trim. But cutting them with a miter saw seems way easier to do than trimming a magnetic scale.

Just for the record, cutting aluminium with a circular saw of any kind is best done with the blade reversed so it doesn't grab. That way it cuts with the backside of the teeth and nicks its way through the part instead of ripping its way through.

But ya, I feel your trepidation..... I'd be nervous about it too.
Sorry gotta change your view here, I cut a lot Aluminium (1,800lbs so far this year alone), with bandsaws, skillsaw and radial arm saws.

Thin gauge sheet Al, highest tooth count you can get on a skillsaw blade mounted backwards, cleanest finish least tearout (old 100 tooth panel blades). Thicker definitely Carbide and 60 tooth count minimum in the correct direction.

Bandsaw, depends on how think, thin sheet, finest tooth count possible, for thicker largest tooth count possible (to prevent scarf build up.


Radial Arm saw (or mitre saws), negative hook angle and for a 10" blade 100 tooth count (80 is ok but but 100 limits grabbing greatly, but a little harder to get). Carbide a must.

Wax is a good lubricant.
 
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Susquatch

Ultra Member
Moderator
Premium Member
Sorry gotta change your view here, I cut a lot Aluminium (1,800lbs so far this year alone), with bandsaws, skillsaw and radial arm saws.

Thin gauge sheet Al, highest tooth count you can get on a skillsaw blade mounted backwards, cleanest finish least tearout (old 100 tooth panel blades). Thicker definitely Carbide and 60 tooth count minimum in the correct direction.

Bandsaw, depends on how think, thin sheet, finest tooth count possible, for thicker largest tooth count possible (to prevent scarf build up.


Radial Arm saw (or mitre saws), negative hook angle and for a 10" blade 100 tooth count (80 is ok but but 100 limits grabbing greatly, but a little harder to get). Carbide a must.

Wax is a good lubricant.

Are you kidding? I'm a stubborn old man remember? You are not gunna change my view that easy. LOL!

I'm no high volume production environment and I don't have any industrial power saws. If I did, I might embrace your view. But I don't, and I don't care how fast it is. I just want to cut a few scales and be done with it. Nicking my way through it is virtually fool proof. I have never cut more than a few hundred feet of aluminium of various sizes and lengths. But I've never had an issue even using cheap low power saws and cheap blades. The only time I did have a problem is when I accidentally forgot to reverse the blade.

Or are you suggesting my way won't work? Or just that industrial equipment is better?
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Moderator
Premium Member
I'm just wondering: Would anyone be interested in a thread on shortening a DRO scale? I shortened my x-axis scale three times before I got the length right, and might need to shorten the Z-axis as well.

The first time I shortened the scale I was terrified I would break the glass. By the third time I was very comfortable doing it.

If you do such a thing Tom, I'd suggest including a piece on each type of scale. My magnetic scales were so easy to measure and trim that it bordered on child's play. Which is prolly why I chose them.... LOL!
 

Degen

Ultra Member
Premium Member
Are you kidding? I'm a stubborn old man remember? You are not gunna change my view that easy. LOL!

I'm no high volume production environment and I don't have any industrial power saws. If I did, I might embrace your view. But I don't, and I don't care how fast it is. I just want to cut a few scales and be done with it. Nicking my way through it is virtually fool proof. I have never cut more than a few hundred feet of aluminium of various sizes and lengths. But I've never had an issue even using cheap low power saws and cheap blades. The only time I did have a problem is when I accidentally forgot to reverse the blade.

Or are you suggesting my way won't work? Or just that industrial equipment is better?
Remember old dogs can still learn new tricks ;)
 

VicHobbyGuy

Well-Known Member
Remember old dogs can still learn new tricks ;)
Nothng to do with cutting DRO scales, but....You can buy carbide blades for cutting non-ferrous metals. Why are you folks using wood cutting blades run backwards? BTW, a Lenox Aluminum Master (carbide) bandsaw blade is a great wood resaw blade for things like sawn wood veneers.
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Moderator
Premium Member
Nothng to do with cutting DRO scales, but....You can buy carbide blades for cutting non-ferrous metals. Why are you folks using wood cutting blades run backwards? BTW, a Lenox Aluminum Master (carbide) bandsaw blade is a great wood resaw blade for things like sawn wood veneers.

Simple. My skill saws are all cheap. So are the blades. A cheap carbide wood blade cuts aluminium GREAT as long as it turns backward. A talented fabricator I know told me to use a skill saw to cut aluminum L stock backwards. I made a big 3 dog kennel out of 3/16 aluminium all cut with a cheap skill saw. He was right. It worked fantastic. I was quite surprised.

Edit - he cuts aluminium for a living. Said special blades were a waste of money. Based on my experience he was right.
 
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