Diy Tube notcher

  1. Ianclapham Member

    North wales
    Hi all, I have been browsing the site and more regarding tube notching.

    I'm fabricating a rollcage for my stock car from 40mm tube, I'm looking for a notcher and wondering why I can't use a pillar drill with a 40mm hole saw on a tilt bed?

    I guess I'm missing something here, the notchers I have seen have bearings and a spindle etc.

    Please someone tell me why you can't use a pillar drill.

  2. Angusdog

    Angusdog Well-meaning amateur

    Wellington, NZ
    I've been thinking the same thing. You're going to need to space the tube off the drill bed to make a clean cut in one go, but a vee-block and a large clamp might do the trick depending on the size of tube, I'd have thought. And perhaps some way of accurately measuring the angle.

    Actually, thinking about it, sourcing a second bed would mean you could mill a groove in it (to locate the tube) and cut a hole in the middle for the hole saw to pass into. Then you could swap out the bed for notching and still use the drill for other uses.
  3. rtbcomp

    rtbcomp Moderator Staff Member

    Sheffield UK
    I suspect that it's something to do with the fact that you're addressing the workpiece at angle which will put a side-thrust on the drill.

    A normal pillar drill might deflect so something beefier is called for.
  4. Blackjack Member

    Bristol UK
    Tube notchers are pretty pointless unless you have to make lots of identical notches.

    Buying a good quality hacksaw frame, along with a decent file and some decent hacksaw blades will let you cut any notch you need to (which a tube notcher won't) and also allow you to do all sorts of other jobs.

    I can cut and finish a "notch" for a 90 degree join in 1 1/4" OD 12gauge tube in under 90secs using a hacksaw and a file. This is because I've had practice, and I've cut a lot of them.

    But I've cut a lot of them and I still don't have a tube notcher...
  5. Ianclapham Member

    North wales
    I'm not that fussed for funny angles it's just 90 deg joints really, so I could use a pillar drill with a hole in the bed or a hacksaw and file, appreciate your comments guys.
  6. Rick Member

    Really? I never use a hacksaw as i'm lazy. I even bought an air ratchet to unfasten 4 bolts twice a day when I unbolt things off the jig. :)

    As said before, Tube notchers are pretty cheap, and get a good 1 and they can do every angle you can imagine. If your using 3mm pipe it'd be a nightmare to cut/file by hand.

    If its a 1 off you can do it in the drill without problems, If you get a longer drill bit and make your pilot hole first, this will help keep you on course.
  7. NTwoO

    NTwoO More skill with grinder than welder

    Youtube film?
  8. Tomlt Member

    Easy, go and download tube mitre program, set in the mitre angles, wall thickness tube diameter etc. Print off the profile, selotape to the tube you wish to mitre, then shape with thin cutting disk, hacksaw, file and grinder.

    I've done all the wishbones on my kit car like this and it works a treat, takes about 10mins per joint with practice, should be easier on larger tube.

    HTH, Tom.
  9. Blackjack Member

    Bristol UK
    I have got a tube mitring video, but it was the first one I ever made, and it is bloody horrible.

    I made a bunch of better quality ones about different things using my stills cam, but I'm still not over the moon with the quality.

    I've got a HD camcorder now, so I just need to find the time to shop for a microphone and some work lights, then I'll be remaking the mitring video.

    As for tube notchers being able to cut "every angle you can imagine", well I must have a more active imagination, because I've yet to see a tube notcher that will cut an off axis acute mitre between two different diamemters of tube. Luckily, because I'm too lazy to want to spend more than 90 secs cutting simple mitres, I get quite a lot of practice, so when I have to do yet another one of these miters (downtube to headstock joint on most motorcycle frames) it tends to take me about five minutes a side.
  10. langy

    langy langys rodshop

    You can use a pillar drill but it will knock the bearings out due to the side loading on it, they are not designed for that use. The proper fixtures have support bearings.
  11. astro_al Rocket Scientist

    For 90 degree notches, you can use a pillar drill. I'd use a mag drill type broaching cutter on an arbor personally. I've stripped many a tooth off holesaws trying to notch tube in a drill. Any chatter / slack in the setup and its toast. For off-angle notching, it is not satisfactory.

    You can notch in a lathe, if you have one. Or buy a cheapo notcher for less than 100. Personally, for the odd notch I just print out a template, mark it on the tube, plasma round and linish clean. You can also create notches using two straight cuts with a chop saw. Comes out perfect, but you wouldn't necessarily expect it until you tried it.

    Blackjack, you can get them, but unless you do it all day long...