Pretty much what it says. A couple of really neat similar discussions in recent years where I heard about some neat tools and tips, so I wanted to start a new one for 2020. For purposes of this topic, a “tool” doesn’t necessarily have to be a physical tool in the classic sense, but may be a new-to-you fabrication technique or even a new-to-you software library or smart sensor. So far, this is the only new real tool for me. I’ll hold off on reporting a technique I’m going to try until I know it works.
Evolution Rage4 chop saw.
Quite affordable low-speed chop saw suitable for cutting aluminum and mild steel at FRC scales (OBTW, I’m certain you can cut 2"x1" at a 45 degree miter if you use some spacer blocks.) If you need larger, the (much heavier) Rage4 is available with a 14" blade for less than $250. I’ve been surprised too many times by high speed chop saws, even running aluminum blades, to do that again. This is somewhat less expensive and MUCH lighter than even the cheapest horizontal band saws, which is what I started out searching. Even though the stock blade is multi-material, including aluminum, I ordered Evolutions aluminum cutting blade because I already have a wood chop saw and don’t intend to do a lot of steel cutting that I can’t do with my portable band saw.