One of the many tools you’re bound to find in an auto shop is a tube notcher. Mechanics use this awesome tool to create “fishmouth” notches in metal tubes. You’ll find these guys notching tubes for automotive applications like racing and off-road chassis.
If you’re looking to notch tubes in your garage, you must do it right. Making the wrong notch costs time, money, effort, and resources. That’s why we came up with this handy guide in effectively using a tubing notcher.
So, without further ado, let’s begin the notching process.
Setting It Up
First things first; you need to prep your tube notcher by doing the following:
- Inspect the drill press spindle’s up and down motion to confirm that no friction or binding occurs in the tubing notcher.
- Temporarily secure the tube for marking.
- Mark the intersecting points and the centerline of the tube. You’ll get a better result when your marks are accurate.
Get that Angle Just Right
Assuming you’re done with the prep work, the next thing to do is to set the angle. Do this by:
- Slightly loosening the lock bolts
- Adjusting the tubing clamp to set it at the determined angle
- Tightening the bolts for the next step
It’s Notching Time
Once you’re all good with the angle of your tube, it’s time to notch. If you’re just starting out (and cutting non-steel tubes), take it slow by keeping your variable speed low. This lets you keep vibration to a minimum and avoid the buildup of excess heat.
If you’re still getting the hang of your tubing notcher, it’s best to do a couple of practice cuts on a scrap tube. After all, practice makes perfect. Once you’re ready for the real thing, go ahead and start making your precision notches on your chosen material.
Important Operation Reminders (a.k.a. We Want You to be Safe While Notching)
Besides notching tubes the right way, it’s also important to stay safe while using a tube notcher. Since the equipment uses a saw bit that cuts through metal, it’s vital that you wear proper eye protection. This prevents any debris from hitting your eyes and blinding you in the process.
Apart from your eyes, you’ll also need to protect your hands. Once the machine finishes notching the tube, the tube’s edges will be extremely sharp. So, wear thick gloves to avoid injuring your hands.
Last, but not the least, be sure to keep any loose jewelry or clothing away from any moving part. Let’s not notch any other material apart from the tube.
If you’re looking for excellent notching equipment to obtain excellent results, get one of our Baileigh tube and pipe notchers from JMC Equipment. Our TN-800 Tube and Pipe Notcher can notch one to three inches of the tube’s outside diameter without modifying the tooling, mandrels, or hole saws.
Additionally, you won’t waste your material on trial and error, thanks to the model’s decimal angle finder. This feature lets you work your way up to the right notch angle to help you produce a better weld and a tighter fit.
Contact us today for more details.