Tube notching

Discussion in 'Workshop Tips and Secrets / Tools' started by Jr.CubBuilder, Oct 7, 2003.

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  1. Oct 7, 2003 #1

    Jr.CubBuilder

    Jr.CubBuilder

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    Does anybody have suggestions for a tubing notcher? I've got a jig for notching fencing tube with a hole saw, but it doesn't look like it will work on .035 thinwall tubing. I've built a number of parts just using a grinder to notch the tubes, but I would like to speed up the process as I get into the fuselage. I'm trying to find something like the notcher made by Lowbuck Tools http://www.lowbucktools.com/notcher.html however I'm not finding anything that does tubing under 1".
     
  2. Oct 9, 2003 #2

    Johnny luvs Biplanes

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    Kent White the "Tinman" just uses aviation snips, it takes seconds and final fit with the edge of a disc grinder (Shown on the Chromemoly video" :roll:
     
  3. Oct 11, 2003 #3

    jebenspe

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    Kent White's video helped me a great deal in the general philosophy of building a fuselage. I used a combination of an "Ol-Joint-Jigger" for the tubes that were nearly perpendicular and tin snips for the fussy fits. I also modified my joint jigger by inverting the carrier to make cuts on sharp angled diagonals. I occasionally used a bench grinder and hand die grinder. I ended up resolved to the fact that each cut was going to take me 20-30 minutes to get the proper fit and a variety of methods for obtaining a proper fit. All in all for the whole fuselage I had about a dozen pieces that ended up as "windchimes". I am TIG welding my Hatz fuselage so I wanted a real close fit, maximum gaps of less than the width of 1/16" filler rod. I am not a professional welder so I took classes at my local community college and practiced a lot. Just take your time. I actually went back to some of the earlier tubes and re-did them as my skills got better as the project progressed. It's amazing how every cluster is different. A great project for the mind, eye and hands!!
     
  4. Oct 11, 2003 #4

    Rocketman

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    Why couldn't you shape a bench grinding wheel to the shape you need and just run the tube in. Seems like a cheap and quick solution to your problem.
     
  5. Oct 12, 2003 #5

    jebenspe

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    I used a grinder to fine tune the fit of tubes. The problem with radiusing a grinding wheel is it doesn't stay. Each time a tube is ground the radius changes. After finishing my fuselage I found a combination of methods worked best.

    Ebby
    Hatz s/n 598
     
  6. Aug 15, 2007 #6

    Mike Armstrong

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  7. Aug 16, 2007 #7

    jebenspe

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    I bought a cheapo for one airframes use. Works fine if properly clamped and you use high quality bi-metal saws. I also found that not all joints can be cut using a joint jigger. Some need to be hand cut others need to be cut, filed and or ground. The joint jigger is best at low angle Ts up to 45 or 50 degrees. Clusters? Forget it. Get out your high quality snips cut small and file or grind to final fit. For some of my joints I used a free program called "Tube miter" All you need to do is enter the tube diameters and the angle of incidence and the program generates a small pattern that can be printed out, wrapped around the tubing, marked and cut. Again, cut smaller than your mark and file or grind to final fit. I used TIG for my airframe and believe me the better your tubes fit up the easier the welding.

    Hope this helps.

    Ebby
    Hatz Classic


     
  8. Aug 16, 2007 #8

    PTAirco

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  9. Aug 16, 2007 #9

    Mike Armstrong

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  10. Sep 13, 2007 #10

    lathropdad

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    I have been building tube structures for 30 years. I know more bad ways to notch tubing.

    For any material under .050 I use aviation snips. Thicker, I use every thing available from a vertical mill to files.

    The most usefull tools I have are sever die grinders that I fit with various sizes of 2 inch long drum sanders. I use a lot of 3/4 and 1 inch drums.

    A selection of 1/2 round and round files from 12 inch to 6 inch.

    I have found that I have best results when I use several techniques to do a single joint.

    If I have to repeat the miter several times, I make a paper pattern to reproduce the cut.
     
  11. Sep 13, 2007 #11

    Mike Armstrong

    Mike Armstrong

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    Thanks. The 'aviation snip' method is the one shown in Kent Whites video's and it seems to work quite well.


    Mike
     
  12. Sep 29, 2007 #12

    Greg Mueller

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    What I plan to do if I ever need to do it.

    Tools needed.
    Vertical Mill or horizontal mill (drill press....maybe)
    5c Collet holder with appropriate 5C collets
    Appropriate sized end mill(s) (same radius as the notch you want to make)

    Put the tubing in the collet holder.
    Bring the end mill into the end of the tubing to be notched.
    Voi-la
     
  13. Sep 29, 2007 #13

    lathropdad

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    That should work until the end mill snags on the thin tubing wall and folds the wall inward.

    Roughing end mills may be less likely to fold the material. Don't know, haven't tried roughing end mills.
     
  14. Sep 29, 2007 #14

    Greg Mueller

    Greg Mueller

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    It's all in the technique......
     
  15. Oct 3, 2007 #15

    Corndog

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    I use fine pitch roughing mills in my lathe with a homebuilt "V" block to hold the tubing. Getting good fits is just like welding, practice and more practice.I have one of the better tubing notchers and I dont like them on anything smaller than 1" diameter. On .035 wall the tin snip method is good, you can get a good fit on some acute angles that way. Patience is a real help also.Always plan on some grinding, a cheap grinder set up with dressed wheels is still a front line tool for fuselage building. Have your grinder and belt sander close to your jig, you can rack up a lot of miles walking back and forth to dress a tube.
     
  16. Oct 28, 2007 #16

    base363

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    I use the tubing notcher Grizzly sells. It’s about $60 and does a great job.

    http://www.grizzly.com/products/g8686

    I’ve tried the tin snips method, but never use it.

    With the notcher, you get perfect fish mouths, and can easily line-up the two ends so there is no twist.

    You still have to use the grinder to fine tune, but don’t waste hardly any tube!

    If you turn to clamp over and reinstall it upside down, you can make very acute angle cuts.

    I also use a mist cooler that Enco sells. This makes the hole saws last allot longer!

    http://www.use-enco.com/CGI/INSRIT?PMAKA=505-2078&PMPXNO=951880&PARTPG=INLMK32

    Colin

    http://www.jumprunenterprises.com
     

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  17. Apr 26, 2008 #17

    expedition2166

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    check out my post on new use for high speed router this might be something worth looking at
     
  18. Apr 28, 2008 #18

    Hart Aero

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    Hi Guys,

    We use one of these http://www.heckind.net/notch/pipenotcher.html

    Notches the tube as fast as you can pull the handle.

    Works great for 90 degrees.

    I know it seems a little expensive, but add up all the hole saws you'll have to buy and it works itself out rather quickly, especially if time is a factor.

    For all other angles we use the old snip and grind.

    Sincerely,
    Doug Hart
     
  19. Apr 28, 2008 #19

    BBerson

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    I use my chop saw to carve the tube end. The saw has a button that holds the switch on, then with two hands I plunge the tube end into the blade like you would on a grinder. Cut the V first, then finish with some trimming to make the round shape. Works great. Can be dangerous if the blade catches and grabs the tube out of your hand and shatters the wheel. But for small cuts it works well. Just make sure the blade has good clearance so it cannot grab. Wear good goggles and gloves and ear protection.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2008
  20. Apr 28, 2008 #20

    bmcj

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    This approach will get you close, but not exact unless you are mating to a curved tube that bends with the same radius as the grinding wheel.
     

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