Tube Notching 101

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F15falcon
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:41 pm

Tube Notching 101

Post by F15falcon »

There may come a time when you need to notch a piece of tubing or pipe. Most will use this knowlege towards the installation of a roll bar or cage in their car. Here are three methods that I use to do some notching:

The first is the chop saw method, and it requires no notcher at all. It does require a little practice, and it is the method that is most like art. What you do is set the chop saw vise at a 45 degree angle, and cut the corner of the tube off, flip it 180 degrees, and cut the other corner off. You end up with two notches that require a little massaging with a file or disc sander to be a perfect notch.

With the chop saw vise set at 45 degrees, the piece of tube is set in the vise and clamped in place:
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The corner of the tube is cut off and you now have one half of a notch:
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The tube is now flipped 180 degrees. If you are making a straight 90 degree notch, you will position the tube exactly like the first cut, if it is an angle cut, you will set the tube in a little further in the vise so you are cutting off more of the tube. This is where the art part of it comes in as it takes a while before you know how much to cut off for angle cuts:
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Here is the tube before deburring:
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And here is the tube after deburring with a disc sander:
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Just in case you think you cannot make accurate notches with this method, here is the notch and a piece of tube that it will weld to showing no gap at all. This is the method I use the most including chrome moly TIG welded cages:
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The next method is by using a common hole saw tube notcher that several vendors sell. This one is made by Dale Wilch, and has been used thousands of times. I do not use a drill press as I have found that most of them do not have a slow enough low speed, and you end up tying up the drill press. I mount the notcher on the corner of a sturdy table and I power it with a variable speed 1/2" drill:

Here is the notcher and the drill used to power it:
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The tube is held in place with a horse shoe shaped piece of strap, and will accomodate tobe sizes from 3/4"-2". It will also notch square tubing:
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For straight 90 degree cuts, the tube is set to zero with the adjustable tube holder:
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Any angle from 0-50 degrees can be cut by adjusting the tube holder:
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The drill is turned on and the holesaw and the arbor that holds it are fed into the tube slowly until the notch is made. You want to notch the tube with the same size hole saw that the tube will weld to, in this case a 2" hole saw was used. A little cutting fluid will prolong hole saw life:
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You end up with a nice notch that will need a little tune up:
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This notcher works extremely well and the variable speed drill lets you control the feed and speed. The only modification I made to mine was to replace the bronze bushings where the arbor rides with needle bearings as the bronze bushings will only last a few dozen notches:
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The last method is a version of the hole saw notcher except that I chucked up the arbor and hole saw in chuck of my lathe, and the tube holder is mounted to the carriage of the lathe. This allows me to use the power of the lathe motor, and more angles than the 0-50 degree range of the notcher.

Here is the lathe setup:
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The feed on the lathe is used to feed the tube into the spinning hole saw:
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Angled notches are done by moving the tool post holder, this one is set at 22 degrees:
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[IMG]http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f88/t ... ing007.jpg

Tbart
Posts: 227
Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2014 7:21 pm

Re: Tube Notching 101

Post by Tbart »

Very nice work. Thanks!

Aussiecomet64
Posts: 70
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 3:58 pm

Re: Tube Notching 101

Post by Aussiecomet64 »

Great post! Thanks! :D

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