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cheap tubing notcher with good results

 
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10sec.et
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Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 3473
Location: Houston,Texas
346658.74 points


1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 12:29 am    Post subject: cheap tubing notcher with good results Reply with quote

this seemed to be the best place to put this since we dont have a how-to section. i thought i would share some of the tips and experience from my roll cage build. my 8-point is the first cage i have ever built so i did quite a bit of homework first. heres what i have learned and i hope it helps someone else in the process. some of you may already know all of this but im sure there are lots of guys like myself that dont.

i bought a cheap POS Harbor Freight tubing notcher for about $40. what do you get for $40 ? well, except for the arbor, its made out of weak 3/8 thick CAST aluminum with soft "hardware grade" bolts. not exactly the most durable material but nothing a little reinforcement didnt take care of. be sure to set up the tubing notcher and table with a level.




i used some scrap steel to reinforce the back and replaced ALL of the bolts and washers with grade 5. it consists of 3/16 flat steel, some angle iron, and a piece of 4" channel iron. i spent about twenty minutes putting it all together so no big ordeal.

the hole saw i used is made by Irwin. it cuts through Chrome Moly like butter at 300 rpm and thats still the first one i bought. the cutting oil im using is WD-40. a few sprays while cutting works great. i have my notcher setup in a drill press but all thats really needed is a sturdy table and a 1/2" hand drill. the drill press table is actually cumbersome at times.



cutting the notches............. the first one is easy. orienting the second can be a real PITA so i employed a little trick i picked up from another forum. you need a piece of tubing the same diamiter that youre notching and you place the notched end onto the vertical tubing so the second notch comes out the same. keep in mind EVERYTHING MUST BE LEVEL!!!!




for those weird places where a normal notch wont work, i found that cutting a paper towel roll to fit and then marking the tubing with it works exceptionally well. the paper towel roll actually fits the 1 5/8 tubing perfectly. then you just cut the tubing with a cutoff wheel and clean up with a grinder.




i put this thread together because i have had about a million questions about "how" since i put the cage in my car so i wish the best of luck to to the do-it-yourself guys Driving

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af2 wrote:
It seems we can look at our magical Balls and come up with a fix?

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nwcc
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Joined: 11 Aug 2005
Posts: 453
Location: Pacific Northwest
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When it comes to making odd ball notches I have had good success with this calculator. http://metalgeek.com/cgi-system/php5.cgi/static/cope.pcgi
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Knarley Darley
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Joined: 22 Apr 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The first one I did was without a notcher. I used a grinder, so my instructional video would be titled fillthegap.com or spraythemigwire.net. Thanks for the pictures. Looks like a cool setup.
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Skunkworkx
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Joined: 02 Sep 2007
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Location: Harford Co. Maryland
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1968 Chevrolet Camaro

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That calculator is cool.... Very Happy

Thanks for the headsup on the notcher.

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af2
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Location: grassvalley, ca
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1933 Willys Coupe

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Knarley Darley wrote:
The first one I did was without a notcher. I used a grinder, so my instructional video would be titled fillthegap.com or spraythemigwire.net. Thanks for the pictures. Looks like a cool setup.
Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing That was the best!!!!!!!!!!!
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MufflerBearings69
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Joined: 22 Jul 2007
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1968 Ford Galaxy

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My welding instructor always said if you could step across the gap, you could weld across it. He also told us to see large gaps as more opportunity to play lol
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