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Old 08-12-2008, 01:28 PM   #1
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Best saw for cutting aluminum reinforced vinyl railing???


I'm about to wrap up construction of my deck and I need to cut the vinyl railing to the appropriate length. I know a reciprocating saw with a metal-type blade will work but I have a lot of 45 degree angles to cut and it's rather difficult to get a straight cut using that saw. I'd like to use my 10" chop saw if at all possible. Supposing I do, what is the best blade to use?

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Old 08-12-2008, 01:49 PM   #2
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Best saw for cutting aluminum reinforced vinyl railing???


You can definately cut aluminum with a miter saw and a regular blade. It will dull the blade a little faster than wood will, but will work fine. Wear eye protection for sure and go very slow when cutting. You can't cut as fast as you would in wood, and if you do you'll bind the saw...And that is probably going to hurt. If the aluminum is thick (3/4" or more, give or take) take your time. You don't want heat buildup to distort the blade. If it is a thin extrusion, no problem!

For aluminum I use what's called a triple chip blade. It is a conventional saw blade with offset teeth but every third tooth is ground flat. They're expensive and are not available at most hardware stores.

If you have an old dull blade that's what you should use. If you have a high-end blade in your saw you might want to get a cheaper one for this. If you don't use the saw for fine work or use it all the time, you'll probably never know the difference even if you use a good blade. The dulling shouldn't be significant.

The vinyl part should cut easily.

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Old 08-12-2008, 02:07 PM   #3
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Best saw for cutting aluminum reinforced vinyl railing???


Thanks for the reply. In between posting and reading your post I went to Lowes and got one of these:

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?actio...esc&lpage=none

Do you think this will work or should I just return it. It wasn't expensive @ $5.00, so if I can save my other blade, maybe it's worth a shot.
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Old 08-12-2008, 02:48 PM   #4
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Best saw for cutting aluminum reinforced vinyl railing???


Do not use that abrasive blade for nonferrous materials. The pores will become plugged and the wheel could shatter.

Use a nonferrous blade (prefered), triple chirp, negative hook (laminate blade) or 0 to negative hook 60-80 tooth fine finish blade.

Use a wax lubricant on the blade every few cuts to dissipate the heat and prolong blade sharpness. With miters, the material will tend to move, secure the material to the saw bed with clamps. Use care as short cut-offs especially miters will fly.

Use a slow and steady pressure on the saw.
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Last edited by 47_47; 08-12-2008 at 02:52 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-12-2008, 08:25 PM   #5
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Best saw for cutting aluminum reinforced vinyl railing???


I use the 80 tooth blade on my 12" Makita SCMS with no problems. Be sure, above all else, to wear your safety goggles; the aluminum chips will fly. Ensure the piece is adequately supported, and make your cut SLOWLY. Chips that end up in the dust bag will be difficult to remove, so I hook up a vac, or resign myself to cleaning up the mess afterwards.
Even cutting slowly, though, using the miter saw is quicker and cleaner than any other method, imo.
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Old 08-12-2008, 08:34 PM   #6
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Best saw for cutting aluminum reinforced vinyl railing???


Quote:
Originally Posted by 47_47 View Post
Do not use that abrasive blade for nonferrous materials. The pores will become plugged and the wheel could shatter.

Use a nonferrous blade (prefered), triple chirp, negative hook (laminate blade) or 0 to negative hook 60-80 tooth fine finish blade.

Use a wax lubricant on the blade every few cuts to dissipate the heat and prolong blade sharpness. With miters, the material will tend to move, secure the material to the saw bed with clamps. Use care as short cut-offs especially miters will fly.

Use a slow and steady pressure on the saw.
Great reply!!! Use the wax!! And hold material down with clamps!!!! You don't want the blade to bind and pull your hand into the blade.
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Old 08-13-2008, 07:11 AM   #7
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Best saw for cutting aluminum reinforced vinyl railing???


Thanks for the replies guys. I'll give it a shot on my miter saw and see how it comes out. If the cutting goes well, I should have the whole railing up in one day since I already have the posts mounted.

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