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Cutting Alluminum

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  • Cutting Alluminum

    I am working out in the field with some alluminum bus which is round schedule 80 - outside diameter is 4.5 inches. I am an electrician and I am in a situation where I need to demo it just to get it out of the air. I will use the bus later to practice welding at which time I will use a saw to make my cuts. I haven't had a lot of experience with alluminum or welding alluminum. My question is: can I make a rough cut using a torch setup? Thanks

  • #2

    O/A torch to cut Aluminum is a no no. A plasma setup would work just fine. Hope this helps.
    Craftsman Colormatic AC
    Victor Journyman Setup
    Syncrowave 180 SD
    MM210 With Spoolgun
    Dynasty 200 DX
    Spectrum 625 Plasma Cutter
    Miller HD Tape Measure


    • #3
      Thanks for your help.


      • #4
        If you would rather not invest in a plasma cutter, a rough cut can be achieved with a carbon arc gouging torch and rod. If the truth be known, you can probably run a 1/8" carbon rod in a standard electrode holder without air and "gash" the tubing running 200 amps +. Not pretty but it will work.

        Arc air makes a really nice angle arc gouging torch for around $170.00 It requires 8cfm of air at 80 psi. Most 5HP compressors will pump this quantity of air. I believe it is the model K2000. I use mine a lot with 1/4" carbons to gouge heavier materials.
        I have also run 3/16" carbon rods to get fair quality cuts in aluminum and stainless steel.

        The plasma is the way to go if you can afford it. The Miller 625 and the HyperTherm PowerMax 600 are both fine machines severing up to "give or take" 7/8 inch steel. Capacity is derated when you get into cutting aluminum and other non-ferrous metals.


        • #5
          ok Luckydog if you want a low cost hacker for rough removal (and I do mean rough) just use an old buzz box with welding rods. Turn up the power and just burn it away. 6011 works well for this. We actually have used up old rods this way. Where you melt it away will be unusable but you said it was scrap anyway. There are many ways to accomplish things and this is the most crude but relatively quick way I have seen. Butcher away.


          • #6
            I wanted to thank everyone for your replies. I have round alluminum bus that is 4.5 diameter outside and is roughly up about 30' from the ground. I have to agree with you that the plasma cutter would be the best way given the fact that they come in 120 volts and are small enough to fit in a lift. I guess the problem is that electrical contractors will not purchase this because they are usually only looking at the cost and really wouldn't understand how much time they would save in labor. Again thanks for your advice and help.

            Electricians local 351