Pipe or tube can make very strong structures. This is why they are used in rollcages and bicycle frames. To fit these together for welding or brazing, a circular cut is made in the end of one of the pipes called a notch. For these complex projects having the ability to notch will be crucial. However, if you’re just getting started with projects such as this, then you might not be entirely sure on how to go about achieving the perfect notch.
Although there are alternate methods that people have discovered and continue to use, we still believe that you can’t go past a dedicated pipe notcher when you want to do the job as easily and efficiently as possible. As you’ll probably know though, sometimes figuring out how to operate and get the most out of a machine that you’re unfamiliar with can be difficult. Therefore, we have put together this guide to hole saw pipe notching.
Step 1 – Assembly
We’ll not go over assembly in too much detail because every machine is different, but making sure that your notcher is correctly assembled is crucial. One particularly important thing to check is that the spindle travels smoothly. If it doesn’t and there is friction, then the bushings will wear excessively.
Step 2 – Setting your speed
Once your notcher is up and running and you’ve inserted your first piece of tubing, you’ll need to set the speed. The most common recommendation for this is to go as slow as you possibly can, and we agree. This is because if you run it too fast, you could catch the metal and bend the saw and/or the shaft of the notcher. In addition to this, you should make sure that you lubricate the hole saw and the bushings with cutting oil as you work.
Step 3 – Setting Spindle Support and Clamp Positions
Generally, your spindle support should always be positioned as low as possible to aid the accuracy of your notch. However, the angle of your clamp depends entirely on the notch you want to make. For this reason, we recommend practicing on some scrap metal before using your actual work pieces, so that you can be sure that you’re setting the machine up correctly for the notch you want to make.
Step 4 – Engaging the Drill and Making the Notch
Once you’ve addressed the above steps, then you should be ready to make your notch. Remove the locking pin, engage the drill, then proceed to cut the workpiece and watch your notch take shape. Once it is completed and you’re happy with the cut, then you can shut off the drill, insert the locking pin, and finally remove your newly notched tubing.
Step 5 – Maintenance
Much like all tools, your hole saw pipe notcher will require regular maintenance to keep it working as efficiently as possible for as long as possible. To look after your notcher, we recommend:
- Brushing away debris regularly
- Greasing brushings to avoid unnecessary wear
- After use, always clean the notcher and lightly lubricate any moving parts
About the Author
Harry Steel is the Marketing Coordinator at Baileigh Industrial and has a longstanding passion for metalworking.