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Cutting the solar distiller runoff tube

September 18, 2019 — BarryK

I posted this morning, an experiment cutting a slot in 16mm diameter aluminium tube, using a jigsaw:

From that experiment, it was determined that a larger diameter tube is required. Bunnings only stock 25mm the next size up from 16mm, and I decided that didn't want to go that big.

Needed to rethink. There is the en-route router, which can be pressed into service to cut aluminium. However, there is another way: a rotary saw.

Dug out my old rotary saw, and found a metal-cutting disc. Popped down to Bunnings and bought 16mm 1m aluminium tube, cut it to required length. It was quite easy to make up a jig to hold the tube:


...those are timber offcuts from the previous prototypes. One length is screwed on top as a guide for the rotary saw.

The actually sawing was pretty straightforward, wearing face protection of course. Four g-clamps were needed, the two extra to stop the work from moving, and they had to be moved as the rotary saw moved:


One thing to be careful with, is if move the saw backwards, as it may suddenly try to "climb out" of the hole it is cutting -- the saw has to be held firmly down.

As is to be expected, the cut has large burrs, and required a lot of filing and sanding to finish off. But the result is good:


Posting these steps on the blog, however it is anticipated that everything will be gathered together into one DIY page eventually. 

Tags: nomad