Cutting shapes from thin (0.020") aluminum?

I want to use Easel and my Makerspace’s X-Carve to cut thin aluminum (0.020") into a shape that will be folded into a perforated box.

How can I hold this metal down to the waste board? Should I glue it to some sacrificial 1/4" plywood, or foam core board and only cut partway though the sacrificial board? The pieces will be from 6" x 8" down to 1" x 1/2" with irregular edges.

The X-Carve is new to the Makerspace and no one there has cut anything but wood or thick plastic yet so I am blazing a new trail.

a very popular method may use is sticking like blue painters tape to aluminum and then stick more to sacrificial board and use crazy glue between 2 layers to join them.

  • Ideally you’d want a bit that is straight cut, a typical upcut bit will want to pull the sheet up.
  • Blue masking tape & CA glue like Steve mention is good as this keep the sheet down. I have cut 0.5mm stainless steel using masking tape & CA glue.
  • Skim your wasteboard so you know that plane is true
  • Use your wasteboard as Z-reference and lift it like 0.5mm higher than sheet thickness prior to zeroing and set full carve depth = sheet thickness + 0.5mm. This will ensure a good clean cut through.

if you don’t want to skim your wasteboard you can always use the CA/tape trick on some MDF, and skin that as your wasteboard, then attach to it. Same effect.

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