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Cutting Square Tube

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  • Cutting Square Tube

    Hi folks,

    I've been wandering around the forums for quite a while. Lots of good information.

    Here's the situation:

    I'm planing on building a log splitter over the next while, as the $$ permit. I purchased a Miller 140 (yes, I know, definitely underated for this project), and also have various tools including cut off saw and angle grinder.

    I figure that my next investment is going to by an O/A kit, as cutting and pre-heating is going to be necessary....

    Anyhow, now to the question:

    My design is going to need me to rip square tube (6" and 8") along its length. Given the tools that I have, I'm thinking that spending lots of time and wheels with the angle grinder. However, I would like to have as straight of a cut as possible.

    Any comments and/or ideas?

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Originally posted by JohnsonsNB View Post
    Anyhow, now to the question:

    My design is going to need me to rip square tube (6" and 8") along its length. Given the tools that I have, I'm thinking that spending lots of time and wheels with the angle grinder. However, I would like to have as straight of a cut as possible.

    Any comments and/or ideas?
    Come up with a new design?

    Buy channel instead?

    If those are not options, you can get abrasive wheels for a skil-saw.
    With that, you could maybe rig up some kind of a cutting guide
    to run the saw parallel to one face of the tube. Or perhaps
    make a stand or fixture that holds the saw in place and you feed
    the tube, against a fence, into the saw - sort of like a table saw
    for wood.

    Frank

    Comment


    • #3
      For cutting I would suggest a metal cutting blade in a sabre saw. Clamp a straight edge to the tube and go to town. Cut slow so you don't burn up the blade and use oil for lube.

      I wouldn't recommend an abrasive blade in a circular saw unless it has a metal blade guard. The sparks can melt and destroy a plastic one. The dust is also very abrasive and is hard on bearings.

      A possible work around for your underpowered (for this project) welder. What I used to do was do all the cutting, fitting, grinding, rust removal, and whatever other cleaning and joint prep needed done and tack it all together then take it to the weld shop, ready to be welded. Since all they had to do was lay the beads, it didn't take long, so it didn't cost much.

      Sometimes if I was there first thing, before they got started on something else. It only cost me a dozen donuts that I always brought.
      Last edited by tenfingers; 03-26-2009, 09:44 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Johnsons,

        If you posted up your location, there may be a member willing to cut it for you with a plasma.

        If you're close to eastern VA, I'd be happy to split it for you with the Hypertherm PM 1250. Would take longer to set up a straightedge than it would to make the cut.

        The 8" Milwaukee metal cut saw would also do a nice job on that piece.

        A 140A mig is not the welder for building a log splitter, no matter how much preheat you use. Seems like a lot of trouble to go thru only to have the welds fail due to insufficient penetration. Log splitters (at least all those that I've used) create extreme pressures.

        Comment


        • #5
          or buy slotted tubing.....

          http://www.thomasnet.com/catalognavi...ecialty-tubing


          They probably have a drop they would sell you!

          Comment


          • #6
            Well! I relpied to this but the moderator has to approve it. It might be because of the link I attached....

            anyway, do a seard for slotted square tubing. Call the mill and see if they can sell you some drops!

            Comment


            • #7
              It would be easier to find a different plan, would it not???

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by JSFAB View Post
                It would be easier to find a different plan, would it not???
                I betcha Jeb would know what to do here.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for the ideas folks....

                  I'm sort-of sold on the design for the splitter - it's a two-way unit.

                  I do like the idea of doing all of the fitup, and then taking it to a shop to be welded. I enjoy doing the fab work anyhow - granted I was looking forward to the welding too.

                  Maybe I'll luck in and locate a stick welder that would suit the project.

                  Thanks again!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have split 1.5" x 3" x 3/16" rectangular tubing with a Skilsaw and an abrasive blade. I built a fence and made about 3 light cuts on each side. Don't cut all the way through before cutting the opposite side. You can then take a saber saw to the thin section remaining. I only cut 4 foot long pieces, but it worked for me.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think the plasma route would give you the cleanest cut.
                      Have you priced having channel bent for you, or plasma cut by a local fab shop?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ligito View Post
                        I think the plasma route would give you the cleanest cut.
                        Have you priced having channel bent for you, or plasma cut by a local fab shop?
                        Nope, havn't considered that route yet, but I was thinking about contacting the local community college to see if they would be interested in doing the cutting for me if I supply the materials.....

                        Thanks again folks!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Mm 140?

                          Even a 225A Buzz-Box would be better than a 140 MIG. What's the material thickness? 6" goes from 3/16" -1/2" and 8" is 3/16" - 5/8" thick. 3/16" is "pushing" the limits of the 140, even with .035 flux-cored wire.

                          Something like a log splitter, with the stress imposed, should use .045 dual-shield, or 5/32" 7018's. (Sundown could spray-arc it for you)

                          Just hate to see you spend all that time, money and effort, to have it split itself, instead of logs.

                          Not trying to discourage you, by any means, just offering some realistic advice.

                          Dave

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by davedarragh View Post
                            Even a 225A Buzz-Box would be better than a 140 MIG. What's the material thickness? 6" goes from 3/16" -1/2" and 8" is 3/16" - 5/8" thick. 3/16" is "pushing" the limits of the 140, even with .035 flux-cored wire.

                            Something like a log splitter, with the stress imposed, should use .045 dual-shield, or 5/32" 7018's. (Sundown could spray-arc it for you)

                            Just hate to see you spend all that time, money and effort, to have it split itself, instead of logs.

                            Not trying to discourage you, by any means, just offering some realistic advice.

                            Dave

                            Totally agree with you Dave. I'd rather be proud of the project than ending up grinding welds out, and cursing the whole time.

                            Time to locate a buzz, and relearn my stick skills! :-)

                            As for the thickness, both the 8" and 6" are supposed to be 1/4"....

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My design idea

                              How 'bout a gas demo saw - they cut pretty straight & clean?

                              Where'd my picture go?? Hmmm.....

                              Comment

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