“Use the right tool for the job!” That’s what Master Sergeant Smythe used to scream at me during my 8-year stint in the armed forces. Of course it was followed by a few colorful superlatives, and his shrieking, gravely voice made that demand stick in my mind forever, which is what brings me to write this editorial about using the right tool for the right job.
If you have ever worked with round tubing (or if you ever will), then you know at some point you’ll need to notch or ‘bird-mouth’ the end of a tube to weld it to another. Not horribly difficult with hand tools if, and only if, you’re dealing with 90 degree angles. Change that angle or introduce a compound angle, and your old ways of notching tubing with a right-angle grinder or a hole saw mounted to your drill simply won’t cut it. You’ll end up with large gaps, imprecise angles, sloppy work, worn-out tools and weak joints.
We used to use a drill press with a hole saw bit, and it’s done an okay job at best, but the lack of precise angles, and movement within the arbor and the table vice made for short-lived hole saw bits and poor cuts. This simple setup served its purpose but when we started our flat-bed conversion project, we knew we were going to have to make several dozen, highly precise notches in the tubing. Our old setup simply wouldn’t do, so we called Mittler Bros Machine & Tool and promptly ordered their economically priced Deluxe Aluminum Hole Saw Notcher (part # 1700-DADM). Mittler Bros is a great resource for a variety of your metal-working tool needs and they have a selection of tools that include tubing notchers, tubing benders, bead rollers, rotary machines, sheet metal tools, hand tools and they even sell axles too.
The Deluxe Aluminum Hole Saw Notcher (also available in a less-expensive steel version) will notch a steel tube in 30 seconds flat with an incredibly precise cut. A cut so meticulous, when you fit it against another tube, there will be no gaps and will make for a stronger joint (see picture on right). This handy tool allows you to make accurate and exact angular cuts ranging from zero to sixty degrees. What’s more, you can notch tubing ranging in size from ½” to 2″ diameter and the tubing saddle holds the tube firmly in place and automatically centers the tube against the hole saw bit.
As you can see in the pictures above, we mounted our Mittler Bros hole saw notcher in a drill press, but you can bolt it to your work bench and use a hand drill too. With it mounted and ready to go, we cut some 50-60 tubing notches over the course of two days. Each and every cut we made with the Mittler Bros hole saw notcher was perfect, and our hole saw bits lasted at least twice as long as before, if not longer.
If you find yourself in need of notching tubing or pipe, then I highly recommend you call the folks at Mittler Bros Machine & Tool and order their Deluxe Aluminum Hole Saw Notcher today.
|Mittler Bros Tool & Machine Company|
|10 Cooperative Way
Wright City, MO 63390
Toll Free: (800) 467-2464
Phone: (636) 745-7757
Fax: (636) 745-2874
Web Site: www.mittlerbros.com