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View Full Version : HOW TO: Notching Tubing


astroracer
06-28-2006, 09:29 AM
Hey guys, I don't know how many of you do your own cage or chassis work but this how I set up my jigs for notching tubing.
I set all of this up on one of my jig tables but it will work on any bench or table top you have handy.
These pics show my Harbour Freight tubing notcher clamped to a 90* angle plate. This is simple to set up and doesn't require a lot of thought...
http://images17.fotki.com/v322/photos/9/904975/3694678/MVC001F-vi.jpg
From the backside...
http://images17.fotki.com/v14/photos/9/904975/3694678/MVC002F-vi.jpg
Cutting the first notch is the easy part. No orientation, no length to worry about. Just clamp the tube in the notcher and do the deed.
Cutting the second notch is where some planning needs to be done. Getting the LENGTH and the notch ORIENTATION correct is critical to having a usable part versus something to practice welding on...
To do the second notch I bolted a short piece of the mating tubing to another angle plate and use this to nest the "first" notch into while cutting the second notch.
http://images17.fotki.com/v14/photos/9/904975/3694753/MVC003F-vi.jpg
This way I can establish the correct length AND notch orientation in one easy step... Set the tubing length between the outside diameter of the tubing and holesaw, in this case 23 inches, square up the jigs, clamp it all down and cut the second notch. Once it's set up any additional tubes will be identical to the first so measure twice and cut once...
http://images17.fotki.com/v15/photos/9/904975/3694753/MVC006F-vi.jpg
Cutting the second notch...
http://images17.fotki.com/v15/photos/9/904975/3694753/MVC007F-vi.jpg

Thanks for looking
Mark

tbody321
06-28-2006, 10:20 AM
great idea... Thanks for sharing it

CarterKraft
07-12-2006, 10:33 AM
Thanks for showing. That is a great way to perform a tough operation.

astroracer
07-13-2006, 03:39 AM
Thanks guys, I'm glad someone can use the info...
Just an update....
I did a quick mock-up of the new lower rails and crossmembers this past weekend to see what the fit-up looks like.
http://images12.fotki.com/v2/photos/9/904975/3766976/MVC015F-vi.jpg
A couple more... The notches came out great and I have some really nice tight fitting joints for Tig welding.
http://images1.fotki.com/v7/photos/9/904975/3766976/MVC017F-vi.jpg
I still have to clean up all of the welding surfaces yet, this is just a look see for fit-up. I will go over all of the joints with a flap wheel on the die grinder to prep for welding...
Thanks for looking.
Mark

Dawai
07-13-2006, 06:22 AM
Been waiting on someone to come up with a intersecting program.. I got a joint jigger, thou mine came from speedway motors. What you are doing is two dimensional, not intersecting loops of different widths and or index angles. Forward and reverse angles yes.

I got a cnc tube bender. I use BendTech ez bend software not wasted a piece of tube since I bought it. It gives index angles in addition to the distances between bends, fit ups of angle intersections have all been right on.

Now a sharp fellow, he could come up with a fish-mouth program, using the intersect and scribed 0degree line down a tube, and print off 1:1 patterns to be scribed on the tube from any printer.. Kinda like a fitters wrap-around.

I was wanting to email Chris, author of bendtech.. He was quite busy the last time I wrote him thou on a design software for full cages. It would make a excellent addition to his software.

tpinkard
07-13-2006, 06:32 AM
Thanks Mark,
I realy appreciate it when someone shows how they're doing something. With pics it so much easier to comprehend. How is the HF tube notcher working for you? Does HF have those right angle plates? Thanks again.
Tim

astroracer
07-13-2006, 08:58 AM
Now a sharp fellow, he could come up with a fish-mouth program, using the intersect and scribed 0degree line down a tube, and print off 1:1 patterns to be scribed on the tube from any printer.. Kinda like a fitters wrap-around.
Like this one Dave?...
http://www.metalgeek.com/static/cope.pcgi
It works and is fairly accurate.
I did a few notches using this method but found it time consuming and it is still tedious to align the notches from one end to another.

Tim, it works just fine... I got this one off eBay for $28 bucks... Shipped. I keep the spindle lubed with WD-40 and have had no problems notching 2" OD x .125 wall tubing with it...
What I was doing the other day was 2" x .095 wall and the notcher went through it smooth and fast... I use good holesaws though... Look here...
http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?PARTPG=INSRAR2&PMAKA=990-0776&PMPXNO=3008824
I got the angle plates off eBay also...
Mark

Dawai
07-13-2006, 10:13 AM
Good deal friend..

As soon as I can understand the math, I can type it into visual basic and do a windows version to upload back to him.. Right now I am up to my ears in Non-shop related projects. (10 year old daughter fixing to do a belt test in Karate)

Exactly what I wanted.. NOW to be able to roll and cut that tube, it'd take the indexer and positioner from my cnc bender and a torch.. THE bendtech software does indexing, and then it does the actual length cuts.. meaning it would all work together in the layouts. I have a trolley, and a lathe type indexer on the bender. Meaning.. it should all work to spit out a tube ready to weld in.. ha.. (missed by this much)..

Where was ya at? stop by if ya run south or north on I-75, I owe you a cup of coffee.

fabcam
07-13-2006, 01:21 PM
Been waiting on someone to come up with a intersecting program.. I got a joint jigger, thou mine came from speedway motors. What you are doing is two dimensional, not intersecting loops of different widths and or index angles. Forward and reverse angles yes.

I got a cnc tube bender. I use BendTech ez bend software not wasted a piece of tube since I bought it. It gives index angles in addition to the distances between bends, fit ups of angle intersections have all been right on.

Now a sharp fellow, he could come up with a fish-mouth program, using the intersect and scribed 0degree line down a tube, and print off 1:1 patterns to be scribed on the tube from any printer.. Kinda like a fitters wrap-around.

I was wanting to email Chris, author of bendtech.. He was quite busy the last time I wrote him thou on a design software for full cages. It would make a excellent addition to his software.

Dave,

I have been working on something.

http://www.2020softwaresolutions.com/images/bt_cut_07.gif

http://www.2020softwaresolutions.com/images/bt_cut_02.gif (http://www.2020softwaresolutions.com/images/bt_cut_02.gif)

http://www.2020softwaresolutions.com/images/bt_cut_05.gif (http://www.2020softwaresolutions.com/images/bt_cut_05.gif)

http://www.2020softwaresolutions.com/images/bt_cut_06.gif (http://www.2020softwaresolutions.com/images/bt_cut_06.gif)

Cris

j13l
07-13-2006, 01:56 PM
Wishing to learn to program with Web (HTML, Javascript, PHP ...), I made a small script to calculate the angles of cutting.

http://snip.awardspace.com/

Good notching with saw.

Dawai
07-13-2006, 06:31 PM
Couldn't stand it.

Ya can work on software or work on the things you want to.. I upgraded to the new version of Bendtech Pro design.. It has the wrap arounds print out already in there. Ya got me to lookin, then I got to buyin..

That stuff (bendtech) paid for itself on the first few jobs.. the first harley frame I bent up without it, I bent loops for a day and half. Had a pile of spent up tube this high (see my hand?) calculating index angles and point of travel and cut lengths. Of course someone else paid for the tube, I was just out time.

What kinda bender you got Astroracer?

David

Boogiemanz1
07-13-2006, 09:36 PM
Hi Cris, Welcome to MetalMeet. Your notching work looks killer. The ability to print the wrap would be a great time saver. Are you using the seam in the tube for a rotation degree line? I owned a Muffler Shop at one time and we had a card file to bend exhaust tube. A clamp on degree gage made it all happen.


Would it be feasible to print a wrap with 360deg of marks to utilize your program by hand? Or maybe a degree wheel? CNC would be the way to go if you did a lot.............john

PaulG
07-13-2006, 11:06 PM
All good stuff here. But I'll just add my $.02.

I am hard on hole saws (or they are hard on me), and don't like buying new tools unless I have to. Next time you have a tube fitting project, you might want to give this a try just for a good laugh.

If you have a chop saw, band saw and grinder, download tubemiter.com.

I don't fit tube every day, so I won't tell you I can do it on command, but with three or four practice cuts, it's possible to produce any fitting that rivals the best end mill type cutters. Any size, any angle.

It works for me, and I have bucket full of hole saws that are in need some very expensive dental work to prove it. :lol:

Dawai
07-14-2006, 06:20 AM
I... Okay...

I got a indexer built onto my cnc bender.. It is 50" off the floor so I can spin bends up to that much offset.

I was thinking of torch or plasma cutting the ends.

NOW, if ya know me, I am lazy as a hound dog that likes to lay on the porch.

HOW ABOUT, a flexible pin template similar to a contour guage, do a wrap around with it after copying the paper template printed out from one of the above programs.. then just tracing it with the plasma cutter? Two thin pieces of metal with the pins laid in between then.. DO you need one for each pipe size or? I was thinking full cnc, but no reason to.. if a pin contour guage could be made.. Out of building things from tube, the fit up is the most aggravating.

Yes, I use the seam for a 0Degree mark at times, the position of the seam affects springback.

We'll see How Chris's software works for me.. I spent a lot more than the cost of that software while drinking on a Friday night downtown.. (not done that in a while thou)

Dawai
07-14-2006, 06:33 AM
If could get the approxmiate angle, a pin guage you could slide up the tube and butt up against a mating tube.. YOU COULD slide the pins out and figure the bevels without a template.. or..

I plan on copying Astroracers two tubes-notcher thou, perhaps in a manner where I can hang it on the wall.. My jig joiner is on a 2x2... I used the lathe the first time, Used the milling machine the second time.. NOW it is so crowded on that side of the shop you can't swing a cat, I mean tube.. I put a air conditioner in that small end of the shop and everything gravitates to the cool working place.

If I can help any of ya'll, ya email or pm me..

astroracer
07-17-2006, 06:07 AM
What kinda bender you got Astroracer?

David
Hey Dave, I have a Pro-Tools 105.
This is what it did with some 1 1/4" x .156wall D.O.M.
http://www.metalmeet.com/photopost/data/500/medium/11se05-180-bend-1_jpg.JPG

4" radius, 180* bend with no crushing or wrinkles. I was very impressed.
http://www.metalmeet.com/photopost/data/500/medium/11se05-180-bend-3_jpg.JPG

I built a pretty stout tool post that bolts to the garage floor. It may be butt ugly but it was built for free and it workd so I'm happy...
http://www.metalmeet.com/photopost/data/500/medium/11se05-tool-post-1_jpg.JPG

The post has room for my shrinker stretchers, the "big vise" or any other of my bench type metal working tools.
Mark

Dawai
07-17-2006, 07:04 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v85/ibewgypsie/Bender-INdexer.jpg

Some people make fun of butt ugly tools.. If it took a beauty contest to get out of the house, I'd stay inside.

THis is my JD-tools Model 3 I had to sell for back child support. (catch up after getting laid off early) The ratchet looks the same don't it?

I digitized the bolt holes into a gcode file, drilled this frame from 3/4" x 5" flatbar.. Turned it up on it's end and put a hydraulic cylinder on it.. 24" stroke makes 110 degrees without moving pins.. $500 plc w/keypad, $20 (ebay) encoder, contactor to turn pump Greenlee ($125) on and off.. there ya go.. I like it turning up, since it frees up shop floor space needed.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v85/ibewgypsie/sscn1388.jpg
Butt ugly.. painted with the Dk bronze furniture paint I had laying around.. You can not buy a bender that works better thou, manual or hydraulic.

Them shoes are pricy.. huh? I got a chunk of iron, 2" wide I am tempted to cut 3 shoes into, 1", 1 1/4, 1 1/2".. I could get 120 degrees in each one? I got 1"sq, rd, and 1 1/2 currently for this one. Will buy more as jobs pay for them.

benchracer1
07-17-2006, 07:39 AM
I believe those angle plates are availible at enco

whateg01
07-17-2006, 07:52 AM
Them shoes are pricy.. huh?

Uh huh. That is the reason I am now making my own tubing bender and all the pieces. I'm working with square and rectangular tubing, so I am using thinner pieces of plate, up to 1/2" and making my shoes in layers. The nice thing is that as long as the radius is the same, if I want to bend a different size tubing, I just need to add/remove a layer. It all works in my head. We'll see when I get it done how it works in real life. I have some pics at home. I'll try to post them when I have time.

Dave

benchracer1
07-18-2006, 09:00 AM
Any body got any idea how to fishmouth a peice of tubing bent 180 degrees. I need to mount it to a straight piece of tubing. Basically a u butted into a straight piece of tube. Ive been using a drill press, does a 1/2 drill work satifactory? press is a pain

Dawai
07-18-2006, 11:37 AM
Using a jig joiner? the clamp grabs the tube.. Better if it is stable thou.

BAILEIGH INC
08-17-2010, 09:11 AM
Any body got any idea how to fishmouth a peice of tubing bent 180 degrees. I need to mount it to a straight piece of tubing. Basically a u butted into a straight piece of tube. Ive been using a drill press, does a 1/2 drill work satifactory? press is a pain


We have a new solution:

http://www.bii1.com/notchers/tube-notcher-tn250.php

Lewt me know if this will solve your problem.

scranm
08-17-2010, 06:52 PM
Good stuff !