If you work on old cars like we do, it seems like we’re always in need of some small one-off custom bracket or device you can make out of aluminum. The challenge was always about finding a way to make long straight cuts in aluminum plates.
To accomplish this, we installed a carbide cutting wheel on a budget Craftsman table saw and we use this for making straight cuts on aluminum up to 1/8-inch thick plate. This is a quick and easy way to cut aluminum but always be sure to wear eye protection because the blade throws hot aluminum chips everywhere!
We can and do also use this saw for cutting wood. The main concern is making sure the hot aluminum chips do not start any wood dust on fire in the dust collection bag. To prevent this, we remove the dust bag when cutting aluminum. But otherwise we’ve been cutting thin brackets and other simple pieces out of aluminum plate for 10 years now with no problems.