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Cutting down DRO scale

VicHobbyGuy

Ultra Member
Well, as they say , 'different strokes for different folks'... :) I guess I'm a real 'outlier' hereabouts- no 'proper' machine tools shop but I do have non-ferrous cutting blades for my 8" chop saw and my 10" table saw and an AluminumMaster in my bandsaw. :)
 

Susquatch

Ultra Member
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
Well, as they say , 'different strokes for different folks'... :) I guess I'm a real 'outlier' hereabouts- no 'proper' machine tools shop but I do have non-ferrous cutting blades for my 8" chop saw and my 10" table saw and an AluminumMaster in my bandsaw. :)

Truth be said, I should prolly get some too now that I'm doing more aluminium work.
 
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.
Yes I know, cut lots of Aluminium with them. Part of the thread digressed into cutting the Aluminium carrier of the scales (glass or magnetic). The backwards blades work extremely well and coat almost nothing (primarily soffet, Fascia and siding) the rest Carbide.
 
Well, as they say , 'different strokes for different folks'... :) I guess I'm a real 'outlier' hereabouts- no 'proper' machine tools shop but I do have non-ferrous cutting blades for my 8" chop saw and my 10" table saw and an AluminumMaster in my bandsaw. :)
I am curious about the bandsaw blade, can you post a link?
 

Janger

(John)
Administrator
Vendor
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.
I need to try this. Very very odd.
 

MotoRider

Member
Will do! So far just the X-axis is done. Started with the easiest. Working my way to the hardest.

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.
Hey Tom, did you ever post anything on shortening your dro? I can’t find anything. I just had some arrive from “Chinaexpess” and they were supposed to be cut to length, of course they’re not. Just curious how you did it, there’s a lot of videos of Yardbirds out there with pretty crude skill sets, any info would be appreciate. Thanks
 

Tomc938

Ultra Member
Premium Member
I never did get around to cutting the last scale before I sold the mill, DRO and all.

It was an easy process. First I milled away the Al frame down to the glass. I left a wee sliver of metal. I didn't want to hit the glass with the end mill. Then I took my Dremel with a cheap Princess Auto diamond cutting disk and carefully cut the scale where I had removed the frame. I didn't go too fast. as I had a pretty good idea from other projects that heating the glass with the cutter could lead to problems. It was so easy.

To be honest, not worth making a video unless you want to generate clicks.
 

DavidR8

Scrap maker
Administrator
Moderator
Premium Member
When I cut glass scales the actual glass part had the structural integrity of aged cheddar cheese. The bandsaw cut through it very easily and remarkably cleanly.
 

Johnwa

Ultra Member
How good of cut you need depends on how close the read head is going to come to the end. Here’s an offcut of the one I did with the bandsaw. There is about ¾” of scale that I wouldn’t want the read head on. In reality it probably doesn’t come within 3” of either end.
IMG_3209.jpeg
 

mickeyf

Well-Known Member
When cutting aluminum, or anything really, remember that the tooth count or hook is only part of the equation. You can use a wood cutting blade without reversing, but you must feed more slooowly. It's the trying to cut too much/deeply with each tooth that causes problems.

Sometimes it's quicker and easier to just adjust your (manually controlled) feed rate than to change a blade for something you're only going to do once, or infrequently.
 

MotoRider

Member
Thanks, I’ve chopped lots of extruded aluminum on a chop saw with a regular carbide tipped blade, I don’t think I want to use the bandsaw, I’ll probably mill a slot on both sides and then cut the glass.
 

trevj

Ultra Member
Meh, I have cut pretty much the gamut, from .020" sheet stock, through 2 inch plus thick aluminum bar, using basic wood bandsaw blades. Starrett's bulk band says right on the box that they stuff is rated for wood and non-ferrous metals. It's nice to have a bit of plywood or hardwood to slide in under the thinner material if the support under the blade is wallered out. Run a fairly high surface speed, akin to what you would cutting wood.

Beat all hells outta standing there like dead weight, leaning on the stock to get a fine toothed blade to cut!

I would advise not doing this on a saw expected to be used for any finer woodworking, as the chips are pretty much everywhere inside the saw after not too much use.
 
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