WW Machines and Metal

One of the things we often forget is that woodworking machines can handle some of the softer metals...namely Brass and Aluminum. This can often come in handy.

Recently I bought a snowmobile and Maine law requires the assigned registration numbers and letters to be affixed to the cowling. Since my sled has some bold, fancy graphics, I did not want to screw that up by slapping some mailbox numbers and letters on the side of it.

Since the machine has lots of aluminum, I got a piece of 3/8 aluminum, printed out the letters and numbers I needed on my computer, glued it to the aluminum, and then used my bandsaw to saw them out. A little bit of filing, a drill, a countersink and some stainless steel screws and I had raised, polished aluminum registration numbers on my sled.

The point I would like to make here is that while this is not a true woodworking project, combining woodworking tools and soft metals can really help liven other things up around the house. In this case a snowmobile requirement, but letters, numbers and other accents can easily be cut using woodworking tools.


Stuart Ablett

Tokyo Japan
Yep, I use my various WW tools to work some metal.

Routers do well machining aluminum, my lathe will work brass, mild steel, aluminum, copper etc.

Good post. :thumb:
Houston, Texas
A while back about 1988 I was asked to do a small powder room to look like a Vanderbilt railroad car bathroom might look, in walnut. It turned out so well they asked me to design and trim out the adjoining train room, about 14' x 20' or so, in walnut. This room was to house his model trains, it was a 14,000 sq.ft. house so he had room. Well to get to the point,when that was done I needed to case out the doorway, the Entry side to that room, it was about 6' wide, about an 8' height with 10' ceilings. I decided to use 1/8" x1/2" brass to inlay into certain parts of the walnut casing and frieze. On the mitre box using a new wood backing and bottom to assure me that the piece would not be pulled back into the blade nor down and away I was able to cut miters slowly, safely and accurately, constantly moving the wood so as to assure me of solid backing for the cut.
It is nice to know some metals can be cut with our woodworking tools.
Last edited: