Aluminum cutouts

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Aluminum cutouts

Postby Rick Sheerin » Sun Aug 20, 2006 6:34 am

I bought all my aluminum sheeting on friday and I need some advise.
After I get my side panels up and cut the profile ( I'm not worried about that ) what is the best method for making the cutouts for the door and windows? Should I use a trim router with a laminate trimmer bit, a roto-zip, air shears or just good old fashioned tin snips? Any advise would be appreciated. Thanks
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Postby Sonetpro » Sun Aug 20, 2006 6:56 am

Rick,
I used a roto zip, I tried with a router but the router but it didn't give a clean edge. The rotozip did it perfect, Just don't let the bit get hot. I would have to cut about 2' and adjust the bit up or down so it cuts on a different part of it. Put painters tape where your going to cut so the shavings won't scratch when they get under the base. Buy a big package cause you will snap a few.
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Postby mikeschn » Sun Aug 20, 2006 7:01 am

I didn't have a whole lot of luck with my router and a rotozip bit. I kept melting the aluminum, and it wouldn't feed right. Even the speed reducer I tried didn't do much for me.

I ended up holding the aluminum up to the side of the trailer and tracing the lines on it, and then cutting it with the jig saw... I would use tape on it next time to keep from scratching it.

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Postby asianflava » Sun Aug 20, 2006 3:34 pm

I used several different tools before I decided on what works best (for the job).

I used an electric HF sheet metal shear when I had to make long cuts, cutting the profile, etc
I used a dremel to start cuts in the middle of the sheet, doors, windows.
Then a jigsaw to finish the door and window cutouts.
Finally I used regular aviation snips to trim and fine tune the cuts.

It also helps to have a decent set of files to knock down the rough edges.
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Postby tonyj » Mon Aug 21, 2006 3:32 pm

I had no problems using a laminate trimmer with a carbide bit and bearing for doors and cutouts. No speed reduction or lubrication. I imagine the bit is used up, but with my bits, you can never tell anyway--they are all dull! :lol:

I also purchased and used the HF shear (electric, jaw type cutter) and fell in love with it. Used it to rough out the sides (you can get it to follow the ply curves behind the aluminum), then followed with the laminate trimmer.

And as Asianflava said--files. I am sick and tired of filing aluminum edging, but it is inevitable. Lots of aluminum "sawdust" all over the shop.
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Postby Endo » Mon Aug 21, 2006 5:33 pm

mikeschn wrote:I ended up holding the aluminum up to the side of the trailer and tracing the lines on it, and then cutting it with the jig saw... I would use tape on it next time to keep from scratching it.
Mike...


I did mine just like Mike did. It was very easy. :thumbsup:
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Postby Rick Sheerin » Sun Aug 27, 2006 5:25 pm

Thanks for the advice guys- I ended up using my air shears to do the profile and my laminate trimmer to cut out the windows and door. The trimmer made nice clean cuts but you were right Tony- aluminum sawdust all over the garage. Lots more work to do but I'm getting closer to the finish line!
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