Need help to find a tool, kinda urgent

I need help in finding a machine/tool that will cut sheets of aluminum to a certain size, Thanks in advance

There are many different machines that can do this depending on the application. Perhaps you can describe in more detail what you are trying to do.

Some helpful information would be:

How thick is the aluminum?

How large are the sheets?

What shape do the cut out parts need to be?

i mainly need something to cut out at the most 1/2 inch aluminum sheets. The maximum size would be like 27 x 37 sheet. The shape would be rectangles or squares.

That’s no small task.

If it was like 1/4" or under you could get it sheared.

Something that big, you’re not going to have a lot of options. How many do you need? If it’s a one off, just order it cut to size from your local supplier. There’s really no easy/safe/cheap way to do what you want on your own.

I don’t have any experience with one, but first thing I would do is to try to find someone with a good sized plasma cutter…

Cory a 1/4 would be fine also

It would take a very strong shear to cut 1/4" aluminum sheet. Not likely to find one in most shops.

the reason i said 1/2 inch is our physics teacher needs it for his summer project and i said 1/4 because cory said it would be possible. But we need it for an 1/8 inch aluminum. I was trying to get a 1/2 so everyone could use it. But an 1/8 would be fine also

Well, if you want to cut 1/2" or up to a foot or so, just buy a waterjet for the “cheap” ones I think its in the 80-90k range.

For sure. You’d have to find a shop who could do it.

If you only need to shear 1/8" aluminum, you could buy one for a reasonable price to do so yourself.

If you need to accurately cut something any thicker than that, you need to find someone else with specialized equipment to do it for you.

It’s probably best if you take a step back and tell us what you are trying to do.

Are you wanting to end up with a sheet of X thickness 27 x 37 as the final product (those dimensions make me think it is for a base)? Or are you wanting something about that size that you will cut/finish with some other process?

What determines the thickness? and what are you using this for?

EDIT: reread some posts… So, you are just looking for a machine to cut those thicknesses in general?

A few more useful questions:
]Exactly what is it for? (To give us an idea of the level of fit and finish.)]How many pieces?]What’s the budget?]Do you need a special kind of aluminum (or will 5052-H32 sheet work, for example)?]Does the as-fabricated heat treatment matter? What about cold work (strain hardening)?]Do you care about edge profile (e.g. straightness, flatness, burrs, etc.)?]Do you need only squares and rectangles, or will you maybe need curvilinear or concave shapes in the future?]Do you want to do it yourself, or are you willing to have an outside shop handle it?*]If you end up with a machine, what will you use it for in the future?

My fault for the inconsistency in posts

I need it for the robotics team to cut sheets of aluminum in the offseason.
The budget is about 200-900 dollars
The aluminum will mainly be 6061 and if possible 7075.
The edges need to be square
I just need sqaures and rectangles
I want to do it myself
The maximum thickness needed is 1/8"
The bottom line is: I just want something that will cut sheets of aluminum

thanks for all the help cd

What kind of tolerances? Will there be a secondary operation, or are you cutting to size?

The answers to those two questions will determine whether or not you can buy a shear, or if you are SOL.


Yeah hacksaws are great, almost everyone on the team cuts crooked.

tolerence ± 1/8, just cutting to size

If your maximum thickness is going to be 0.125", then it sounds like you are going to be working with sheet metal forming tools. As such, 6061 and 7075 are actually pretty bad when it comes to “cold” sheet metal fabrication. 5052 would be a better bet, especially if you want to put any bends or edge flanges on it.

If you just want to cut the edges, look for a sheet metal shear; you can find one in your price range that can shear pieces three to four feet wide. However, trying to shear a piece that thick across the entire length of a shear may be too much for a manual one. In that case, you will need to find a local machine shop that specializes in sheet metal turret/punch, laserjet, or waterjet fabrication.

Might also look into having someone saw it. Remember, safety FIRST!

I was going to suggest this, but table saws are a tool that we don’t let our kids get anywhere near, due to how many accidents occur while using them. I’d be VERY reluctant to endorse using it for a purpose it was never intended. You could end up seriously injured extremely quickly.