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Does anyone have experience with the Harbor Freight Tube Notcher? any tricks to have it perform better?
 

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I have it and have used it a handful of times without any issues. The key is to get a really good quality hole saw, when I researched the same thing people recommended Lenox. There are a few YouTube videos on tricks to increase its performance and for the price it like a sore d!ck...you can't beat it :smile2:
 

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Yes I have one. It works. Would be a million times better if it had sealed bearing vs bronze bushing. The thing gets sloppy real quick and that don't help cope a tube proper, at all. I just use my angle grinder with cut off disk for tube coping now. After the cuts I hit it with another angle grinder that has a flap disk for fine tuning fit-up. I'd prefer a band-saw to do the cutting, but use what I gots.
 

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I have one and it gets the job done. I had to use some spacers to center the cut on the tube. It isn't the most accurate tool I own, but if you take your time you can get pretty good results.
 

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It works. My buddy built a 2" DOM cage for his WJ and used it. 1/2" drill and a good hole saw like others said is the key. So far the bronze bushing has held up but I'm not crazy about it.
 

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I use mine a lot. Here's some tips I have done.
#1.. shim things around to get it to cut straight. Right out of the box, mine cut crooked as hell. Some shims I cut out of sheet metal, and lots of practice cuts on PVC pipe, had it cutting dead center.
#2.. tap out the hole where the brass bushing is for a grease fitting. A pump here and there goes a long ways.
#3..I use the HF low speed/high torque 1/2 drill. The lower the speed, the better when using hole saws. Normal drills tend to burn up at such low speeds. https://www.harborfreight.com/12-in-heavy-duty-spade-handle-drill-63116.html
#4..that drill is big and heavy, and a wrist snapper if it grabs. I tack welded a 1/4" drive socket to shaft of the notcher where the drill Chuck's on to it. I keep a 1/4 drive bit chucked into the drill. No more chucking the drill on and off, just plug into the socket. If it does grab hard enough, the 1/4 bit will snap instead of your wrist.
#5...I work with the jig clamped in my vice so I'm working horizontal, slightly downhill towards the tubing. A couple of squirts of heavy cutting oil inside the hole saw, and the oil slowly trickles down into the cut.
 

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Strange question but, what's the max size of the hole saw?

I'm use it to notch PVC so I need 2.5" PVC tubing and need to connect that to a 3.5" PVC tube.

Can you put a 3-3.5" hole saw in it?

(don't ask, no, I'm not making roll bar out of PVC, unrelated project, I just happen to be a Jeep guys also...)

Thanks!
 

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X2 on Lenox. I use them all the time at work drilling holes in metals studs. Not as thick as DOM but low and slow gets the job done. Cutting oil helps a lot.


HF stuff works good for the hobbyist but I wouldnt use it to make a living.
 

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I bought one for a specific woodworking job that I thought would be easy. The thing fell apart just as I was finishing the final cut (of about 30-40).

It got the job done but just barely. I won't buy one again, they just aren't built to last at all.

As for holesaws, what you want is a bimetal blade. Milwaukee, Starrett, Lenox, any should do but sometimes the teeth of the blade are bent out too much and they will cut better and grab less if you grind the outside teeth so they don't stick out so much.

Better than that, forget hole saws and step up to rotary broach cutters. That's the Cadillac of tube notching cutters and used properly they can make clean fishmouth cuts in thin wall bicycle tubing without collapsing it.

If you are a pro, get pro level tools. If you aren't, and can't resist Harbor Freight, plan on using the warranty.
 
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