Aluminum bar stock is a nice addition to many projects. But it takes a few tips to cut it on the table saw. A carbide-tipped saw blade will cut the bar stock easily. Still, you’ll need to take several precautions to make a safe, controlled cut.
First of all, install a zero-clearance insert in the table saw. This will prevent the narrow aluminum cutoff from falling into the opening beside the blade.
Then, to make the operation more manageable, attach the aluminum bar stock to a “carrier” with double-sided tape. (I use a wide piece of 1/4″ hardboard.) The carrier gives you plenty of material to hold onto when guiding the bar stock past the blade. Clamp the aluminum, tape, and hardboard assembly together in a vise to really make them stick together well.
Then, to hold the stock down securely as you make the cut, be sure to use a push block. In this instance, a scrap 2×4 with a narrow ‘heel’ cut into it works just fine (see Photo, below).
To rip thin strips of aluminum on the table saw, attach the bar stock to a hardboard “carrier,” and use a push block to guide it past the blade.
Have a nice weekend,