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Old 24-11-2011, 10:22   #46
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Re: A Stupid, Embarassing Question about Cutting Aluminum Sheet

Dremel is a brand, they make small hobby type grinders as well as larger rotozip type tools with a whole lot of attachments.
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Old 24-11-2011, 10:28   #47
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Re: A Stupid, Embarassing Question about Cutting Aluminum Sheet

I've never understood why anyone would use a dremel when you can buy electric die grinders that use a 1/4" shaft instead of an 1/8" shaft for cheap. They have more power and last a lot longer as well as using the 1/4" industrial bits, of which there is a much bigger variety of different types. And you can actually apply pressure without just snapping off the bit. I have a Makita that I've been using almost daily for a good 15 years, still runs great. 1/8" shaft stuff is only good for dental work IMHO. The next step up is of course pneumatic die grinders, but I'm guessing that's not an option for most. I can stop a dremel bit with my bare fingers, no torque whatsoever....
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Old 24-11-2011, 11:52   #48
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Re: A Stupid, Embarassing Question about Cutting Aluminum Sheet

Fein Multimaster is the nits. I was thinking of suggesting an angle grinder when someone mentioned the Fein. Odd, since I have one, I should have known.

In any event the Fein is $300 smackeroos. That is due the patent they owned on the product for the past decade. That patent wore off last year, there are now much, much cheaper versions made by bosch, dremel, rockwell. All less that $100 I think. Not as powerfull as the Fein, but will do exactly what you are trying to do. I believe the Rockwell gets the best reviews. And their kit comes with a lot of blades, (which are pricey at $15 ea.)
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Old 24-11-2011, 13:19   #49
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Re: A Stupid, Embarassing Question about Cutting Aluminum Sheet

Remember, the OP is only trying to cut a hole that's probably 3" x 1.5" in very thin aluminum surrounded by switches and wires. A "jewelers tool" is what he need. He said he already owns a Dremel so he doesn't need to go buy anything. Even better is if he has one of the dremel flexible extensions. A nibbler might work fine but many are too big for this situation without taking the panel apart.

While I use my grinder a lot, I'm constantly amazed at the tough stuff a Dremel can handle. Last month I cut 3/8" G40 anchor chain with my Dremel in about 3 minutes because I had loaned out my grinder. One disk.
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Old 24-11-2011, 14:05   #50
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Re: A Stupid, Embarassing Question about Cutting Aluminum Sheet

the dremel is a fine tool but in this case it's also the wrong tool, because the aluminium will melt into the cutting edge of the disc. You would need fiberglass reinforced discs to get to that point because the regular ones disintegrate quickly on aluminium.

No, the tool for this is the Fein Multimaster with it's 270 deg. round sawing blade. You can just plunge it into the aluminium and once you have cut through it, slowly work towards each edge of the cut. Repeat for the other 3 sides. I recently did this for a Victron Quattro panel into some cherry veneered cabinetry and I needed more time to stop laughing about how cunning this tool is than it took to make the cuts. This tool will earn itself back quick, even at it's high cost. Other brands are fine when you can get the right blades for them....

cheers,
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Old 24-11-2011, 14:22   #51
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Re: A Stupid, Embarassing Question about Cutting Aluminum Sheet

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
the dremel is a fine tool but in this case it's also the wrong tool, because the aluminium will melt into the cutting edge of the disc. You would need fiberglass reinforced discs to get to that point because the regular ones disintegrate quickly on aluminium.

No, the tool for this is the Fein Multimaster with it's 270 deg. round sawing blade. You can just plunge it into the aluminium and once you have cut through it, slowly work towards each edge of the cut. Repeat for the other 3 sides. I recently did this for a Victron Quattro panel into some cherry veneered cabinetry and I needed more time to stop laughing about how cunning this tool is than it took to make the cuts. This tool will earn itself back quick, even at it's high cost. Other brands are fine when you can get the right blades for them....

cheers,
Nick.
Great looking Tool. Starter Kit in Aus $389.00
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