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  • i need of a notcher.

    Im just a DIY guy, dont need anything to fancy, kind of looking for one to go onto my drill press to notch some 1 1/4 steel pipe. what would you guys recomend?

    ive seen a few different ones on the net, hard to tell the good stuff from the bad, and i can not seem to find anyone that sells a notcher in my area. (Ontario, Canada)

  • #2
    I use a notcher made by JD2.

    Just google JD2. They have several models. Good quality but not what I consider cheap.

    You may also want to check ebay. Just search for tube notcher.
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    • #3
      I've had some expensive ones, and some really cheap ones, both using hole saws.

      What I can tell you is that the biggest difference between the cheap and expensive ones is....

      THE PRICE.

      I have one from Harbor Freight that runs like a champ. The key is to use really good carbide hole saws and go slow.

      If you need something better than that, use a mill, lathe, or one of the JD2 notchers.
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      • #4
        You may find this a solution to what you seek, Fish mouthing tube works great with some practice. I also have the Harbor Freight tube notcher, and have found it to work well clamp it well to the press table and have the tube well secured with, and slow and steady.
        glen, If your not on the edge, your wasting space

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        • #5
          thanks guys, for the replys. I wasnt sure ifthere was a big difference between the cheap ones and expensive ones

          cheers

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          • #6
            Originally posted by hit_em View Post
            Im just a DIY guy, dont need anything to fancy, kind of looking for one to go onto my drill press to notch some 1 1/4 steel pipe. what would you guys recomend?

            ive seen a few different ones on the net, hard to tell the good stuff from the bad, and i can not seem to find anyone that sells a notcher in my area. (Ontario, Canada)
            With you already having a drill press, all you need is a good hole saw of the correct size and vise or some other way of securing the pipe.

            Griff

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            • #7
              No one mentioned it but a couple of hints for more precise results.

              1) On hole saws, don't use the quick-change feature of the pilot drill. Throw some washers under there and thread it tight. The quick-change feature leaves the hole saw too loose. (i.e. it wobbles).

              2) Someone mentioned this before (not sure if here or another bulliten board) - for precises cuts, have the hole saw itself turned down in a laithe. Hole saws typically have teeth that either lean toward the middle or lean toward the outside. By turning it down you essentially guarantee the outside diameter is exactly what you expect. I'd imagine it will limit the life of the whole saw but I make so few notches (call it 10 a year) that I haven't seen the affect.

              BTW, I'm using Millwaukee hole saws (Home Depot) and even though they have an agressive rake to the teeth, they don't seem to load up when cutting aluminum. In contrast, my Starret hole saws load up a lot. Milwaukee hole saws are probably the last thing Milwaukee makes that isn't made in China. Sad.

              As for differences in tube notchers, the only difference is the clamping. If you are dealing with straight tubing - buy the cheapest. Some of the more expensive seem to be able to handle clamping on curves better. Personally, if the angles get too crazy, I'd imagine any tube notcher will become useless.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by griff01 View Post
                With you already having a drill press, all you need is a good hole saw of the correct size and vise or some other way of securing the pipe.

                Griff
                it's all angles, and by the time i buy a decent vise, i might as well just bought a notcher. But if i cant find one in my area today im going to have to do it this way.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by hit_em View Post
                  Im just a DIY guy, dont need anything to fancy, kind of looking for one to go onto my drill press to notch some 1 1/4 steel pipe. what would you guys recomend?

                  ive seen a few different ones on the net, hard to tell the good stuff from the bad, and i can not seem to find anyone that sells a notcher in my area. (Ontario, Canada)
                  I have used the tubing notchers since they were first offered for sale.
                  Get the one that has the steel base and bracket not the aluminum bracket.
                  Make sure to use it in a 3/4 inch drill press. Clamp it down good.
                  Use cutting oil. Keep the speed down to 200 rpm.
                  Go slow. They will produce good results.

                  Do not cut through the middle of a tube. Only cut the ends of tubes.
                  Otherwise cut the tube in half - then cut the end with the hole saw.

                  If you want it perfect you will have to use a milling machine.

                  I see photos online of people laying the rig on a table top on its side, and using a portable drill. That has got to be very hard.
                  It will not be as good as using it set up in a 3/4 inch drill press.

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                  • #10
                    I'm not suggesting that the notching tools are bad or that no one should use them....I have used them when a precision fit is called for...This is just an alternative suggestion.....Coping and notching tubing and especially pipe takes a long time in the drill press or with a hole saw..."Go slow and use lots of oil"...With a little practice you can do it the "old hand way" Make up some wrap around patterns for your copes out of thin sheet metal or heavy card stock...(Old pipe wrap arounds work good for this) Then mark the cope with marker of your choice and cut with the torch or the plaz cutter..on thin tubing you can cut it with airplane snips....grind a little to get the fit and then weld it up...After you have been doing this a while you will develop"The eye" for copes and you may find that you don't even need your patterns anymore...Much faster than holesawing .On some shallow 90 deg copes for schedule pipe that is structural (like a gate panel or a rack) in sizes 2 inch and under, you can quickly grind the shallow fish mouths with a 4 1/2 grinder and do it by eyeball with a little practice....Just a suggestion from an old guy who has been welding for too long......
                    Last edited by bayweld; 03-18-2011, 02:54 PM.

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                    • #11
                      low buck tools

                      My friend Bud has this notcher and likes it for fence and stuff. This forum did not seem to like it. Maybe it had something to do with the cost of the dies, 130.00 each.

                      http://lowbucktools.com/
                      Good Luck,
                      Bob
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                      • #12
                        I agree that with practice you can hack saw and grind to fit.

                        When I was building a motorcycle frame, that method would not be quite good enough though.

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                        • #13
                          http://metalgeek.com/static/cope.pcgi

                          Look at this coping calculator. I have used it for things that need to have good fit up (accurate).

                          -Ian
                          :~ATTITUDE MAKES THE DIFFERENCE!!!:

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by crabber View Post
                            http://metalgeek.com/static/cope.pcgi

                            Look at this coping calculator. I have used it for things that need to have good fit up (accurate).

                            -Ian
                            that is one neat little program, Thanks

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                            • #15
                              I've made a LOT of pipe railing with a $60 harbor freight notcher.. It works well in the field and is accurate enough for railings if you spend 15 minutes when you first get it to "tune it up".... I made a tripod stand for it ( similar to a rigid pipe stand w/o the fancy cast top) and use my Makita angle drill set at 300RPM. each cut takes about 20-30 seconds max on 1 1/2" IPS sched 40 pipe. works decent up to a 45 degree angle... 45-60deg requires pulling the hole saw out and clipping the waste because it bottoms in a standard hole saw.

                              The toughest part of the whole deal is cleaning the oil off the pipe after.
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