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  • tubing notcher

    Getting ready to weld up a roll cage for a 4x4 project. Probably just going to do this one time so don't want to spend too much money. The ability to cut variable angles would be nice but I can live without it. Any suggestions?

  • #2
    Harbor freight has a couple models that are fairly inexpensive, and will prbably see you through one job. Like most HF tools, they take some tweaking to work right. I started with a HF one and it made it through just one cage. The following things went wrong with it:

    1) With the right angle mount clamped in a vise, and a standard 1/2" drill motor, the hole saw bound on the tube and the drill literally wrapped the notcher (~.5" Chinese plate steel) around the hole saw arbor.

    Solution: I pounded it back into some semblance of flat, took off the right angle mount and bolted the whole works flat to my .5" American steel welding table. It never bent again.

    2) From the get go, it never cut exactly center line of the tube, worse so after I pretzeled it around the arbor.

    Solution: Shim the arbor bearings to center. Mine had to be shimmed, millage may very, it is entirely possible that the next would have to be faced a bit.

    3) Close to the end of the cage, I snapped the threaded portion off the arbor when the hole saw bound.

    Solution: I welded a short piece of bolt on and straightened it as much as possible. This was long before I had a lathe, or I would have made a new arbor. The bolt worked okay, but I never used the notcher again after all of that.

    In the end, I bought a pro-tools notcher. About $200, but it has ball bearings and a really beefy arbor. I do this both as a hobby and in my small business, so it was worth the investment. I have never had one bit of trouble with the pro-tools notcher.

    Later,
    Jason

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    • #3
      Originally posted by El Cazador
      Getting ready to weld up a roll cage for a 4x4 project. Probably just going to do this one time so don't want to spend too much money. The ability to cut variable angles would be nice but I can live without it. Any suggestions?
      I believe this was discussed in length a couple of weeks ago, a chop saw or band saw works very well . Torker has posted pics and a good explanation of how to.
      A quick search should bring it up.
      Steve

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      • #4
        The thread Demo is talking about
        http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=29942

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        • #5
          Thanks for the input, and especially the thread on the topic. It helped a lot.

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          • #6
            Make your own!

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