Photo guide on cutting aluminum by hand. Posted an overview on the member forum, but here's all steps.
Cutting this for another project (not for a PC, but tech related I suppose). 10mm and 6mm thick 6061 aluminum plate. (You can cut upwards of 25mm/1" like this with cutting fluid and going SLOWLY. Roughly a couple millimeters per second slow.
Roughly cut out the 10mm piece with a jigsaw. This was no fun.
It won't come out with a pretty edge, so it'll need a lot more work. Just cut 1-2mm from your line to be safe. The rest will be filed off.
From there, I started filing it as straight as I can. Won't be perfect, but it'll be good enough. You're going to want to use a mask when filing/grinding/sanding. Or preferably anytime you work with alu. Take a guess at how bad aluminum dust is for ya. Yeah. Pretty f*cking bad.
During the rough filing, I'd jot the high spots with a marker. Then go over it with the file, and repeat the process until it's visibly flat. Grind grind grind!
Moving onto a finer filer to get most of the deeper scratches out.
Wetsanding starting with 320 grit.
320 wetsanded. Compared to the initial rough cut finish. I was planning on going up to 1000-1500 and pulling out my bench buffer to polish it, but this dull finish with 320 looks quite nice I may keep it.
On this episode of Attack of the Metal Tentacles, I drill a .5" pivot hole.
Cut out a pocket to reduce some mass in the thing. Draw your cutout then drill a hole on the inside (far from the drawn edge) to insert your jigsaw. I finished the inner edges the same way as the outer.
More weight reduction. .5" holes for fingering.
Working on the side plates. These parts will be identical so after I rough cut them, I clamped both on the vise and filed them together to ensure they were as close to identical as possible. The filed edge looked like one piece, so I guess I got close enough.
Drilling & countersinking some holes. Screws will pass through here and thread into rods, which will hold the two pieces apart. Again, I take advantage of these being identical pieces and clamp them together to make sure everything lines up.
#8-32 tap into .5" aluminum rods. Phallic shaped objects make slip on your vise so wrap a towel around it.
The finish on the rods were fairly scratched and plain. To get a cleaner finish, I stuck the rod (with tap) into the press and held some 220-320 sandpaper around the rotating piece.
This is definitely ghetto. Potentially unsafe. Don't get your fingers caught in the chuck.
Voila. Ghetto lathe turned finish.
Stock finish, meet ghetto turned finish.
What could it be?