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Cutting Exhaust Tubing

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What are you guys using to cut exhaust tubing? I need to add a new tool to my collection. At one end of the spectrum is the new variable speed cutoff style bandsaws that will mitre and handle 3" plus tubing. Cost around $1200.00!!!! :cry:

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The other end is the 14" abrasive chop saw available at my local Lowes for $150 bux. :)

 

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I just wondered what you guys were using to get accurate cuts for exhaust fitment.

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Hey,

 

I just got a Milwaukee Dry Cut 14" saw when I built my SS exhaust. What an awesome tool! Cuts perfect, NO SPARKS, NO DUST, very very little burring...works great for cutting stock as well and it cuts through it like butter (I still get a kick out of it it works so fast). Made it a lot easier to make nice joints for TIG welding. I contemplated alot between a cheap abrasive saw and this one and I am glad I bought the dry cut...I know its something I will have for forever and not dealing with the mess of abrasive blades was worth it.

 

The carbide blades last a looonnggg time but are really expensive. I have one for SS and one for aluminum. I had to make a little jig to allow it to safely clamp tubing as well. I really like Milwaukee quality, however the only issue I have with this saw is the clamping system isn't the best in the world but it works.

 

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That deal from K&D tools sucks. I had one, and I broke it within two attempts at uses. Quite honestly your better off marking and cutting with a sawzall.

 

IMO horizontal bandsaw is the way to go. I like Austin's solution but I am willing to bet its well out of my price range.

 

Evan

 

I looked at this milwaukee unit, this looks just like a standard chopsaw with a $150 blade... Austin can you elaborate on the differences?

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That deal from K&D tools sucks. I had one, and I broke it within two attempts at uses. Quite honestly your better off marking and cutting with a sawzall.

 

IMO horizontal bandsaw is the way to go. I like Austin's solution but I am willing to bet its well out of my price range.

 

Evan

 

I looked at this milwaukee unit, this looks just like a standard chopsaw with a $150 blade... Austin can you elaborate on the differences?

 

I have the Makita version of that saw, it's a 12" cold cutter with the tripple chip carbide blade. The big difference between the cold cutters and abrasive cutter is the rpms, cold cutters spins at a slow 1300 rpm and the abrasive cutters are 3800 rpm.

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the chain cutter works in tight spaces, and limited access, and it works reasonably well, its NOT and will never be as good as a power saw, and its certainly not a production tool, and if you get into a hurry or tighten it a bit to much it breaks,but they sell replacement cutter chains, but theres alot of times you can,t use a power saw.

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Dave is right on the cold cut saws,

 

They have a high torque lower rpm motor. The carbide blade actually creates chips like a end mill instead of grinding the metal. Therefore there are no sparks and no dust...it also cuts very fast. The pipe never gets hot and the finished cut needs almost no further prep work, I usually just hit it with a file real quick so I don't cut myself.

 

The saws are around 400 dollars and the blades are 150 each, the blades provide thousands of cuts per sharpening (so ive been told and read) and can be sharpened several times.

 

The lack of spark and dust was enough for me to buy one, you can use it right next to your car and not worry about where the sparks are going and no need for a mask. When your done just sweep up the chips. I use it for cutting stock and SS exhaust tubing. I use an old horizontal single speed wood bandsaw with a metal blade for aluminum just because I got it for free.

 

The only problem with these type saw IMO is you get one chance with the cut on mandrel bent pipes, after that you usually cant get the bend back in the vise...you are also limited to how accurate you can be with the angles...compound angles cant really be done either (not that they should ever be but sometimes the need arises). I have my trusty hack saw and 4" grinder and hose clamps for tight or awkward cuts, just have to go slow.

 

Also adding to this, I have build many exhaust with my 4" grinder with cut off discs. I just used a hose clamp to get a good perpendicular line around the pipe and then mark it. This is usually more then accurate enough for MIG welding and is fast and easy. The only reason I bought the Milwaukee was for TIG welding my Stainless exhaust,it has come in handy for lots of other things too though...

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Sawz-All and my grinder with a cutoff wheel. I'm going to try using my friends crafstman mitter saw with a cutoff blade on it. Then I can get some awesome compound cuts.

 

Also a bench grinder.

Not a wood working miter saw!!!! The sparks and heat from the abrasive cutoff wheel will melt the plastic blade guard and all the plastic that is close.

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Not a wood working miter saw!!!! The sparks and heat from the abrasive cutoff wheel will melt the plastic blade guard and all the plastic that is close.

 

True! I have a big DeWalt with a melted guard to back that up. The little dust collector bag caught fire the first time I used it with an abrasive wheel.

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So if i take off the gaurd and bag... then I should be ok?

 

I personally would not do it. If you have a harborfreight near you buy one of their cheap reciprocating saws $39 (sawzall knock off) and it can handle all you want to do. My best guess is the wood miter saw is going to be damanged because it is not really made to do that.

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Back in the day before we had George Fisher radial saws strait from the Germans we used an ordinary chop saw....The craftsman one they have on sale for $100 would do you just fine if your only running 3". Its all in the cut-off wheel your using if your cutting tubing. Go to your towns best steel retailer/wholesaler and tell 'em what your up to and what you need---wheel to cut steel tube-- total cost about $30. That simple

pm me if you want some tips on fitting tubing, this is more difficult to do right than I thought before fittin' pipe. Good luck

 

RK

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For the hobbyist the cheap old chop saw was good for me. Yes it makes a little mess, but I prepare for that. Spend less on the saw and buy your self a decent 12" dics sander/belt sander combo and you can sand any angle you need. I found that the with the one and only mandrel exhaust system that I put together(I am making the point that I am only a hobbyist), that the disc sander was invaluable for making the finally fitment.IMHO

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I personally would not do it. If you have a harborfreight near you buy one of their cheap reciprocating saws $39 (sawzall knock off) and it can handle all you want to do. My best guess is the wood miter saw is going to be damanged because it is not really made to do that.

Do not buy the harbor freight sawzall knock offs. I bought one and after minor use went and bought a Skill because it stripped the drive gear.

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we had one of those cheapo's from harbor with our demo derbey stuff and never had one issue, crazy huh? The new dewault is nice but the regular Milwaukee Super is still the standard IMHO. When we have to cut a line of tubing in the plant we also use saw-blocks. A saw-block wraps around your tube by a clamshell design with both sides of the block fixed shut with vicegrips ans 1/16" slot to just get a sawzall blade in, very handy.

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