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Best affordable method for notching roll cage tubing?

Anyone have a preferred and preferably inexpensive method for cutting notches in roll cage tubing?
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Old 01-28-2004, 11:26 AM
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http://www.jointjigger.com/

These are used for experimental aircraft fabrication. Good stuff. Plus you could get into the cage business.
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Old 01-28-2004, 11:49 AM
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Ooof... Our ideas of affordable are different John.

Actually I saw a similar one at Harbor Freight... What kind of hole saw is recommended for mild steel?
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Old 01-28-2004, 11:58 AM
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Ah HAH!

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=42324

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Old 01-28-2004, 12:11 PM
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Try
http://www.eastwood.com/itemdy00.asp?T1=28040&I1.x=43&I1.y=67
for a Tubing Notcher @ $270. Looks to be the same?

You are also going to need a tubing bender.

Read the rules for your rollbar, particularly SCCA.

Good roll bars come from careful design, proper fabrication, and lots of trial fitting. Discard/recycle tubes that don't fit perfectly. TIG or MIG, you need to have a skilled chraftsman to do the welding. Even skilled fabricators end up with more scrap than in the roll bar itself.
What is your neck worth?

Best,
Grady
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Have the bender and MIG already... Fabrication will be based on proven designs. I had the main cage area done professionally, I'm just extending it out to the suspension points, so it's not as structurally critical.

Thanks for the info.
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Old 01-28-2004, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Ooof... Our ideas of affordable are different John.
You're tellin' me. Here in New York there's a place that charges $20 for a martini! And the worst part is, everyone is fully clothed!
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Old 01-28-2004, 02:05 PM
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That better be one BIG martini...

Will a standard bi-metal hole saw cut through the steel tubing, say 2"x0.095"acceptably? Or is there some sort of fine tooth bit that will work better?
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Old 01-28-2004, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Grady Clay
Try
http://www.eastwood.com/itemdy00.asp?T1=28040&I1.x=43&I1.y=67
for a Tubing Notcher @ $270. Looks to be the same?
Facts of life:
  • Everything @ Eastwood can be found elsewhere at a fraction of the cost.
  • Harbor Freight is in the biz of making cheap copies of tools

That is all, you may now return to your normal lives (while I go get another beer...)
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Old 01-28-2004, 06:36 PM
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Thom,

I agree, but there isn't enough to this thing, being is that it's just a jig and some bushings that justify the high cost...
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Old 01-28-2004, 06:43 PM
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I tried the jig. Seems better suited for lighter, smaller tubing. I used a cut off saw to start the fish mouth and detailed it with a small angle grinder. I was working with .095 tubing. If for some reason you go with .125, I think you will find my method to be useful. And cheap.
Old 01-29-2004, 07:08 AM
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Milt,

How are you able to accurately lay out the curve with this method?
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Old 01-29-2004, 07:18 AM
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roll hoops

Hi Chris,
The guy that I've used builds VERY NICE all TIG welded cages. They do several a year as well as complete frames and other stuff and are all done per Milt's method.
I guess you just learn the trimming pattern as you get experience.
These guys will never weld a bar in place that has more than a .020" gap, and I've seen them work, and can say that they will spend more time than I have patients in trimming until it's perfect.
These guys are VERY talented!

I guess my point is that you don't need to buy anything special for what you are doing.
I would recomend a benchtop belt/ disc sander.
I'm sure even Harbor freight has one. It would help in the fine triming.

Good luck
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Hey Chris,
Use Milwaukee hole saws!
Pete
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Old 02-01-2004, 07:49 PM
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Pete,

How long do these last though mild steel? I saw the bi-metal Milwaukee ones, but haven't found 'em big enough yet...
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Old 02-01-2004, 08:25 PM
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I've used them over 4 inches in Diameter!
That's about 100mm.
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Old 02-01-2004, 08:27 PM
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I use a bi-metal hole saw, buy a good one. I cut it rough with the
hole saw then i fine tune the fit with a cut-off wheel or a die grinder.
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Old 02-02-2004, 05:01 AM
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The hole saws last a good long time if you use plenty of lube when you do the cutting. Ive built a cage or two, and use the harbor freight notcher, Its taken quite a bit of use and abuse and seems like new.

I was thinking of buying one of these and using it on my next project.
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Old 02-02-2004, 11:49 AM
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Is it 10x better since it's 10x the cost?
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Old 02-02-2004, 12:21 PM
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From the really old school...
Get some fairly thick paper. Wrap it tight around the tube and tape it. It should have just enough give to slide back and forth.

Hold one tube up against the other at the desired angle.

Slide and smash the paper into the mating end. It will crumple and form the general curve.

Trace with a dark pen. Grind and fit. repeat until the exact curve is reached.

With this method its hard to make your length to short. Notchers go TOO fast sometimes.

-Rich
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