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Cutting a large hole from a thin wall 12" od Tube

Started by dsimons, 04/12/2004 05:07PM
Posted 04/12/2004 05:07PM Opening Post
Hi Folks,

I'm about to cut a large hole from a 12" diameter thin wall (.06) 12" diameter aluminum tube. I'm thinking of using either a saber saw, or saw-zall type saw. I'd like to preserve the piece that is coming out. Any words of wisdom on this before I dive in?

Thanks,

David Simons
Posted 04/12/2004 06:29PM #1
I would consider using a rotozip or similar spiral saw with a metal cutting bit or a dremel tool with the appropriate bit. Any kind of reciprocating saw is likely to distort and catch on the thin aluminum, even if you use a fine tooth blade.

Joplin
Posted 04/19/2004 12:34AM #2
Thanks for the suggestions everybody.

I tried a small battery circular saw first. It was good for getting started, but the cut line was too wide. Then I switched to a "Sawzall" with a universal blade, which really worked well, but then I had to switch to a saber saw with a very small blade for the end radius.

Here is the results. This is the oval cutout on the side of my tube to let the light hit the steering flat for what I call a reverse newtonian. The aluminum was really pretty easy to cut. Although the Sawzall gave the cleanest line.

The open end of the tube is where the primary will go.
The focuser end shows the tilted mount for the steering flat that has the hole in it.

Previous experiments:

http://www.astromart.com/messages.asp?message_id=189733&page=

David Simons

Attached Image:

David Simons's attachment for post 78793

David Simons