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Thread: Tube Notching

  1. #11
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    Jul 2009
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    Plasma is about the only way to notch SS tube cheaply.

    Ji
    Grip it and Rip it

  2. #12
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    Jul 2008
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    Plasma is about the only way to notch SS tube cheaply.
    Okay, I'll buy the reasoning behind that. But I'll caution this. If your using stainless to ward off corrosion, don't use plasma. First of the slag (or whatever you want to call it) is super hard and it is nearly impossible to get rid of and you'll burn up a bigt chunk of change on abrasvies. Second, you'll find that you've most likely desensitized the tubing and it will no long be as corrosion resistant as when you started. The super heating of the tube and resulting oxidation causes the formation of chromium-carbide. This reduces the amount of chromium distributed through the alloy to fight corrosion ( I know that's a simplified version, but it's the basic idea).

    I've notched more SS tube than I would ever care to admit. The best way is with an abrasive notcher, or even an endmill notcher (cost prohibitive unless you're doing alot and making money at it). Second best is mill, lathe, or endmill style notcher setup(not as expensive, but still on the pricey end for a hobbiest). After that I'd still have to say hole saw style notcher. If you can setup it up as rigid as possible in a variable speed drill press, your better off, use low low speed and decent pressure and plenty of coolant/lube. If your stuck with a hand drill, get some help to spray on the lube and use as slow a speed you can manage.

    As for the air hack saw method mentioned earlier. Works great on that one-off project. Especially with large diameter tubing, when holesaw style notchers won't work. Even better if you only have one or two and can't justify the expense of a notcher. However if it's a big project or you can forsee a few more similar projects in the future, save your pennies and buy a nice notcher, you won't regret it. I made mine, and I can't even begin to tell you the time and money it's save me.

    Later,
    Kev

  3. #13
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    Jul 2008
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    Oh yeah, I was going to say too.

    You can cut back on the waste or scrap by not using the drill bit to pilot the hole saw through the tube, if you have a drill press or mill or something like that. I just take the pilot out and clamp the work piece solidly. Line everything up, clamp 'er down and feed the hole saw in, slowly. After all it's really just a saw. Only spinning, not feeding in a line. I don't know what tools you have and I'm not critisizing, just throwing it out there for the masses.

    Later,
    Kev

  4. #14
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    A plasma cutter using nitrogen cuts SS well and is pretty cheap.

    Ji
    Grip it and Rip it

  5. #15
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    The largest hole saw I can find at my tool suppliers is 75mm or 3" diameter and I needed 100mm or 4" so a hole saw notcher will not work in my case. SS bluntens bi metal blades very fast and if you had lots of SS tube to cut I would buy a linisher with tube size spindles. The other problem that I have come across is that the hole saws are not very deep so you have to cut from both sides. The alignment then becomes a problem if using a drill press.

    Ji
    Grip it and Rip it

  6. #16
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    Jul 2008
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    Yes plasma is cheap and cuts stainless all day. Use it for miles of cuts daily. Just got done. But it will compromise the integrity of tubing depending on application. That's all I'm saying.
    I have hole saws up to 6". They work well for me.

  7. #17
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    Feb 2012
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    Wa
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    You can do a hole saw through one side, you plunge as deep as possible till you bottom, cut that portion off with a cutoff wheel, then continue. Much more accurate and faster than rejigging to come from the other side

  8. #18
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    Jul 2008
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    Or you can make the cuts before you start the notch. A band saw or hacksaw even will do the job. I prefer that method but either accomplishes the same thing.

  9. #19
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    Lake of the Ozarks MO
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cgotto6 View Post
    You can do a hole saw through one side, you plunge as deep as possible till you bottom, cut that portion off with a cutoff wheel, then continue. Much more accurate and faster than rejigging to come from the other side
    That's how I do it.
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