Accurate square tube cutting . . .

I am trying to get started in welding. Suggestions for books & DVDs
appreciated . . Have decided on a Lincoln SP-175 Plus. Hope this is a good
choice . . .
The projects I have planned involve mostly square tube less than 6" square
with thickness of 3/16" down to 16 gauge . . . Looking for suggestions as
to how to make accurate cuts so that assembly will be easier. Alot of the
projects will be to make stuff for a wood shop I am also building . . .
Accurate square tube cutting methods ? ? ? ?
My brother uses a 14" abrasive chop saw . . . but that thing would wake up
dead people . . . any suggestions as to the quickest, quietest and most
accurate method of cutting square tube.
I plan to build a welding table that will allow me to square things on using
30" X 48" X 5/8" thick plate on heavy lockable casters . . . .
Also want to build a welding cart I saw on here once that has a small
welding table incorporated into it's design. Can not seem to find it again.
Thanks in advance,
Reply to
Steve DeMars
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Good choice on the welder. Be sure you plan on using gas rather than the flux core option.
Cutting 1" to 2" square tubing and similar angle: -14" chop saw $100: fast, accurate, clean cuts; noisy, sparks, dirty -4"x6" band saw; $170. slower, more flexible, quiet -portable bandsaw $80 at Harbor Freight, easy to use, slower than chop saw, not as accurate (square cuts are harder, but not a big deal) -standard circular saw with steel cutting blade $50 to $80 for the blade, fast cutting, can damage blade if not careful. Really wants to be used in a "sidewinder" saw rather than the cheaper standard saw. Add another $150 for new or $75 at a pawn shop.
In the "works but not reccomended" catagory: -plain hacksaw with GOOD blades will get you through .120 wall material quite quickly. Not a bad option for your first project. -abrasive blade in table saw or wood saw: $5; works but uncontrolled sparks, tears up the bearings VERY quickly. -air cutoff saw: $15; good for clipping off bolts not enough power for cutting tubing quickly -Sawsall (reciprocating saw) works fine, slow, expensive blades.
Plan on getting a decent 4" or 4-1/2" grinder with both the abrasive disks (standard) and the sanding disk adapter (usually an option) Or buy 2 of them for $8 each whenever Harbor Freight has them on sale. Gears sound like they were minted with a cold chisel and a file but they work for a while.
Steve DeMars wrote:
Reply to
I have one and love it.
Buy one of the cheap horizontal band saws at HF. They do pretty good, and can give you repeatable cuts.
Alot of the
I have used up about three chop saws in my life. Now that I have a band saw, I don't see why I never did it before. One thing you will want to build is a feed/support system that is easily set up or stays set up so you can support 20' lengths of materials and feed them easily into your saw. A good racking system is handy for keeping things organized or they soon take over like weeds.
I like an open table made out of angle because on a piece of plate, you can only clamp around the edges. Plus, plate is much heavier.
Dream up your own. You will have the time, materials and tools to do it.
Other suggested tools:
Two grinders, one with a wheel, the other with a brush various vise grip clamps various size square protractor square bevel square autodark hood good ear plugs safety glasses/face shield die grinder circular saw with metal cutting blade good Wiss snips lots of good tools.
Remember, a guy can NOT have too many guns, fishing poles, or tools. It's impossible. Shop at garage sales, buy on sale, or just spring for the $$ when the tool of your choice comes on sale.
The more tools you have, the better work you can do, and the more money you can make.
This Steve.
Reply to
Steve B
Whether or not you buy a horizontal band saw, I highly recommend a portable band saw. It will not make the highly accurate cuts you asked about in your original post, but that is not usually necessary. When you are welding tubing, it is advisable to set it up with a gap, which saves you the work of gringing V joints, and aids penetration. If your cuts are reasonably accurate, the weld will be OK, and the error will be gone.
Milwaukee and Porter Cable both make very good hand-held band saws--I have a Milwaukee. I also have a Harbor Freight cheapie version, which I bought out of curiosity, and to use as a back-up. It works OK too--a little noisy, but it does the job.
A big advantage of the hand held saw is that you can trim things that are already welded, or cut apart a weld to make a change.
Reply to
Leo Lichtman
The Lincoln SP-175 Plus is a nice machine.
You will, at minimum, also need an angle grinder -- 4-1/2" is a nice size. Try to get one with a paddle switch for ease of use with gloves on, rather than one with a slide switch.
An 8" bench grinder is good to have.
When working with thin materials, I like to use a gas torch but, the SP-175 Plus will do the job.
The chop saw will do the job.
You might have problems with a bandsaw on tubing having a wall thickness of less than 1/8". You really should have material thick enough to have three teeth in the work piece to prolong the life of the blade.
I have both. For thin walled stuff, I use the chop saw.
Nice size.
Whatever you saw, is most likely archived in:
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My own contribution in there is:
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was purpose built for compactness but, the text file and photo should give you ideas for your own design.
Reply to
I work a lot of the 1/16" wall 1" and some 1/2" tubing. I use a home made miter stand for a Porter Cable Porta-Band saw:
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About any decent horizontal bandsaw should be a good choice.
I started out using a chop saw and it's wicked noisy, messy and doesn't miter cut very well.
As for your table, I built one out of 48" x 48" x 3/8" steel plate about 15 years ago and I use if for squaring up stuff to weld as you mention. The 3/8" has been plenty thick enough (there is a 2" x 2" x 1/4" angle frame about 6" in from the edges) and would be a good bit lighter then 5/8".
Good Luck, Bob
Reply to
The most accurate and fastest cutting tool is a dry-cut chop saw. Almost as loud as a abrasive saw, but way cleaner and extremely accurate.
Saws cost about $450. The blades have carbide teeth like a wood saw, and are more expensive than wood blades.
I have a Porter Cable 1410. A great saw.
You do have to clamp everything you cut.
Reply to
Ernie Leimkuhler
If you get a 4X6 bandsaw, then a coolant system will make it work a lot better, and cut more accurately. Other main thing is to do away with the cheap pressed steel support frame, and make a proper one out of angle or tube.
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