How to cut an aluminum tread plate

Written by c.l. rease
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How to cut an aluminum tread plate
Cutting aluminium tread plate requires the use of a cutting blade that renews its edge as it cuts. (chrome diamondplate image by Angie Chauvin from

A soft metal, aluminium quickly clogs the teeth of blades while making a cut. Even with lubrication, cutting an aluminium tread plate can be an arduous task. To lessen the time and trouble, use a cutting method that utilises a regenerating blade. Abrasive cutting wheels consist of an abrasive grit bonded to a strong fabric and as you cut. the wheel slowly wears down. This exposes a constant new cutting edge, free of aluminium clogging.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Permanent marker
  • Carpenter's square
  • Two pair of self-locking C-grips
  • Safety glasses
  • Face shield
  • Leather work gloves
  • .040 abrasive cutting wheel
  • 4.5-inch angle grinder
  • 60-grit flapper wheel

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  1. 1

    Measure and mark the cut you need to make on the aluminium tread plate by stretching the tape measure along one edge of the tread plate and placing a mark at the cut length with the permanent marker.

  2. 2

    Draw a cut line across the surface of the aluminium tread plate by pressing the small leg of the carpenter's square on the edge of the aluminium tread plate and aligning the long leg of the carpenter's square with the length mark on the surface of the aluminium tread plate. Run the permanent marker along the aligned edge of the carpenter's square.

  3. 3

    Secure the marked aluminium tread plate to a stable working surface, ensuring that the cut line extends beyond the edge of the work surface, by placing one pair of self-locking C-grips at each point that the edges of the aluminium tread plate intersect the edges of the work surface.

  4. 4

    Wear your safety glasses, face shield and leather work gloves. Attach a .040 abrasive cutting wheel to the 4.5-inch angle grinder and lower your face shield.

  5. 5

    Pull the trigger of the 4.5-inch angle grinder, and run the spinning .040 abrasive cutting wheel along the marked cut line.

  6. 6

    Continue running the abrasive cutting wheel along the cut line until you cut through the aluminium tread plate.

  7. 7

    Exchange the .040 abrasive cutting wheel with the 60-grit flapper wheel and run the 60-grit flapper wheel along the cut edge of the aluminium tread plate to remove the sharp burr left by the cutting process.

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