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GC/carpenter
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone cut their guide rail. I have a couple 55" rails and would like to have one about 42" I was thinking about cutting one down. If you've done this what did you use to cut it? I was thinking just my chop saw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So it will fit between handrail posts with smaller bays, when cutting deck boards for my picture frame. Also I never use two 55" rails so I might as well cut it down for the smaller stuff. It is just an extra rail at this point.
 

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Aluminum cuts really well with just a finish blade in the chop saw or table saw. Just fees the blade slowly through the cut. This is especially important since you are cutting a relatively thin profile. Make a test cut further out toward the end so you see how well it cuts and get a feel for it.
 

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I keep an Aluminum cutting blade just for Aluminum because it has harder carbide teeth for harder material instead of dulling my good wood blade.
 

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IIRC, I would come down on the beginning of the cut instead of drawing into the metal. If its too thin, one way may deform w/ the blade pulling it up-that could have been my issue w/ a duller (old) blade though.
 

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Would you guys care to reproduce the hole that's near the end of the rail too? That hole can be used for the festool clamps and aligning with products like qwas rails if you use it with your mft. The issue is cutting that hole parallel with the other matching hole on the opposite side of the rail.
 

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I've cut plenty of aluminum on my chop saw, shower door material etc (though I don't debur by dragging it on the street) Just go kinda slow and it should cut just fine. And I'd agree with the comment about being a little careful since it's such a thin profile. Depending on your saw it could try to slip up under your fence.
 

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Cut it, there is nothing better than a tool or jig that does just what you need it to.
 
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Yes, I have.

Flip the rail you want to cut over. Put the other rail on your mark and cut it with your rail saw. Set the speed to 3-4. Done.

If you want to match the hole, place the cut piece back to back on the rail, drill the hole, Done

Tom
 

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I messed up the end of a Festool rail and needed to trim it down. It cut fine with a finish carbide blade on my compound miter, same as any aluminum channel. My experience, anyway.
 

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I've cut plenty of aluminum on my chop saw, shower door material etc (though I don't debur by dragging it on the street) Just go kinda slow and it should cut just fine. And I'd agree with the comment about being a little careful since it's such a thin profile. Depending on your saw it could try to slip up under your fence.

Classic
 

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Another thought on this. I know it is not recommended to cut on the pull when using a slider, but I would consider it in this case due to the thickness of material. Not that you'll have problems either way, but I think it would give better support to the material and keep it from lifting.
 

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Another thought on this. I know it is not recommended to cut on the pull when using a slider, but I would consider it in this case due to the thickness of material.
I got to pick up three fingers someone cut off pull cutting with a slide saw. He learned the hard way not to climb cut.

Tom
 

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I have an old chop saw that i keep a metal blade on for things like that.
And i cut one to fit between door jambs for thresholds in flooring. It worked just fine.
 

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The rail is plenty thick to cut on the miter saw. Shouldn't be a problem. I have cut alum with many different blades at different times but I prefer to use the 96 tooth Diablo blade from HomeDepot. It has a negative tooth angle and the grind is a triple chip grind...all good things for cutting alum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
tjbnwi said:
I got to pick up three fingers someone cut off pull cutting with a slide saw. He learned the hard way not to climb cut. Tom
I worked in the late 80's building wooden one piece garage doors in a high production shop, tons of different trim designs. I got used to a radial arm saw and sometimes I still find myself almost cutting on the pull, due to the old habit.
 
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