The problem with the Vogel is the dies for two and a half inch (2 7/8" O.D.) is about twenty five hundred dollars plus. That's for the dies, no punch press, no hydraulic power source.
Torches are great. So is the plasma. In fact when I have a bunch of posts to do that are 2 7/8 I will make up a shur kut thingy and do them all in the shop with the plasma.
But most of the time the easiest way for me to do just a couple of pieces of any size up to 4" (4 5/8") I use a portaband.
Here's how I do it.
These pictures are of doing two inch (2 3/8" 0.D.) schedule forty. Yes it's galvanized. I'm sixty one years old and I've been welding galvanized since I was in my early twenties. If you are wary about welding galvanized then don't. If you do use your head for something more than hanging a hood on.
The first thing I do is butt a piece of pipe up ninety degrees. I don't have to do this anymore for most sizes because I've done them often enough that I have the measurement down. But when I need to know how deep to cut the notch this is where I find that out.
I measure the distance that's the biggest between the pipes. On two inch it's about five eighths of an inch. That's for schedule forty. Thin wall can go three quarter of an inch or more.