How to Rip Aluminum Extrusions on a Table Saw
Note: You can cut aluminum on a table saw but you need to be very careful.
Question from a customer
I need your expertize. I do remodels and restorations in the LA area. One area of work is the installation of “insert” replacement windows- e.g. Marvin Replacement casements. The window is made to be inserted into the existing window opening, preserving all interior and exterior molding/trim. Gaps between the outside perimeter of the window and the existing opening are closed with aluminum frame extenders, that are cut to size and snap into the edge of the new window. My question-
Can I use a blade such as the PRA-255100DN on a table saw to rip the extrusion to the desired width? The material is supplied by Marvin in a fixed width (approx 2.5 in) and has to be ripped to 1.0 – 1.5 in, depending on the window. The material is thin, flat aluminum extrusion 1/16 x 2.5 in. I need to rip lenghts ranging from 18 in to 60 in. Of course, I will use a jig/sled to stabilize and clamp the material in place as it is cut? I would appreciate your advice.
Ripping aluminum extrusion on a table saw is not recommended for safety reasons. The problem is that the blade will grab the material and throw it at the operator.
Our recommendation for ripping aluminum on a table saw would be PR-25580D from Tenryu.
We recommend this because it has a 10 degree positive hook. Aluminum is usually cut with a negative hook but the positive hook will be much safer on a table saw. The positive hook will help hold the aluminum down.
It is very important that pressure be constantly applied to hold the material down. It is also very important that a riving knife be used.
You certainly can cut aluminum extrusion safely on a table saw with proper care. The concern is that aluminum can be grabby which can result in kickback.
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