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Join Date: Aug 2012
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Cutting Aluminum Window Frame and Stucco

09/30/2017 11:44 PM

A while back on another post, I asked the question about cutting out an aluminum window frame on my house. Here's an update.

I took the advice of the guys here and bought a nice carbide tip osc saw blade. At first, it cut through the aluminum frame like butter, but it quickly lost the really sharp edge. It still cut, but slowed down a lot. I kept at it and finally, the frame was free from the fin. When I looked at the remaining materials, I soon figured out that I couldn't use the fin and I'd have to cut the stucco out!

I decided to use the diamond disc on my 4 1/2" angle grinder. Cut through the stucco and rebar like butter. Window #1 done, but what a mess!

Next weekend I hit window #2. The carbide osc blade was taking too long, so I hit it with the diamond disc angle grinder. Ate through it like butter! On the corners, I used the osc tool - was really cutting slow! Aluminum frame out - then back to the angle grinder and the diamond disc. Again, ate through it like butter, but more stucco dust!

I was going to use a masonary disc on the angle grinder, but the diamond disc did such a great job.

Here's something that makes no sense. The diamond disc was around $11 and the carbide osc blade was $17.50. One would think diamond grit tools would be more expensive, but maybe it's the high cost of an oscillating tool bit?

I want to thank everyone for their advice. It made the job much easier and I didn't waste money and time on the wrong blade/disc.

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Guru

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#1

Re: Cutting Aluminum Window Frame and Stucco

10/01/2017 4:56 PM

When a neighbor got new windows the crew removed glass, used a pry bar to separate frame from wall a little then used some sort of a claw with a "come a long" cable puller. They just pulled frame and fin out of the block. The four sides got pulled into a tangled mess in the middle.

They made it look easy but it was a heavy gloves and good quality safety glasses job.

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#7
In reply to #1

Re: Cutting Aluminum Window Frame and Stucco

10/03/2017 2:56 AM

With those think aluminum fins, your idea is a good one, though my windows are on the second floor - I don't think the come a long would work.

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Join Date: May 2016
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#2

Re: Cutting Aluminum Window Frame and Stucco

10/02/2017 12:09 PM

During the late '70s and early '80s, GE developed a process for synthesizing industial diamonds and the price of diamond products went through the floor. I remember a set of diamond plated files out of Israel then that went for $35 a set using natural industrial diamonds that ended up off the market because Harbor Freight started having equivalent product coming out at $1.99 a set using the synthetic diamond product. The same thing happened to grinding wheels, both metal and resin bond. Ever since, diamond tools tend to run cheap.

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Cutting Aluminum Window Frame and Stucco

10/02/2017 12:26 PM

Gotta love progress.

As to the oscillating tools: They work well if you stay on easy stuff like wood flush cuts. I have not seen the metal cut saw last more than one or two cuts on any metal.

Diamond wheel (disc) cutters are fantastic.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Cutting Aluminum Window Frame and Stucco

10/02/2017 12:38 PM

Some of that depends on if you mean the oscillating saw where it is a partial disc that vibrates in an arc or if you mean a saws-all with a reciprocating blade. I see the osc as a real light weight cutting tool, not much more than a sander adapted to hold a cutter, but have always had good response with a saws-all and a bi-metal blade on steel and aluminum.

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Cutting Aluminum Window Frame and Stucco

10/02/2017 12:58 PM

Oh for sure, saws all is a mean booger for cutting most anything. Standard equipment in vineyards during heavy stock removal during pruning season (some vines are inevitably required to be replaced due to freeze damage, etc.).

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#9
In reply to #4

Re: Cutting Aluminum Window Frame and Stucco

10/03/2017 3:11 AM

Oscillating tool is the one that oscillates and the bit is about an inch wide. Like this:

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#10
In reply to #4

Re: Cutting Aluminum Window Frame and Stucco

10/03/2017 3:13 AM

A good oscillating tool does a great job. The bit is on the small side, so it doesn't cut too fast.

My better half bought one for my birthday years ago. Normally, when she buys tools, it's overpriced and the wrong one. This is the best tool she's ever bought me.

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#11
In reply to #4

Re: Cutting Aluminum Window Frame and Stucco

10/03/2017 3:16 AM

Sawzalls (reciprocating) are great demolition tools. Cut through nails, rebar, etc. The only thing it has trouble on is concrete/stucco.

Here's a bit of information. The Sawzall is the only saw that you turn on with the blade pressed against the material you're cutting.

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#8
In reply to #2

Re: Cutting Aluminum Window Frame and Stucco

10/03/2017 3:08 AM

That's one of the reasons why I left the jewelry business. Synthetic diamonds were good enough quality to fool the labs. Through the rumor mill, I heard that diamond dealers had received good "certs" for the synthetic diamonds.

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#12
In reply to #8

Re: Cutting Aluminum Window Frame and Stucco

10/03/2017 12:46 PM

The comment I hear any more is that the synthetic diamonds are too good and that the lack of flaws is a dead giveaway that the stone is synthetic. Personally, I don't care whether the diamond is "organic" or not. I like the stone or I use the tool.

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#6

Re: Cutting Aluminum Window Frame and Stucco

10/02/2017 3:37 PM

Thanks for following up! Without a follow-up the question is like a mystery book that someone tore the solution out of.

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