[TowerTalk] Pipe Cutters

Jim Lux jimlux at earthlink.net
Sat Dec 8 12:23:52 EST 2007

-----Original Message-----
>From: Bill Cotter <n4lg at qx.net>
>Sent: Dec 8, 2007 8:17 AM
>To: "Richard (Rick) Karlquist" <richard at karlquist.com>
>Cc: 'T talk' <towertalk at contesting.com>, "Mike, K6BR" <noddy1211 at sbcglobal.net>
>Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Pipe Cutters
>I think Steve's answer in an earlier post (using a file to clean 
>the cutoff wheel) adequately solves the aluminum 
>loading-up-the-wheel problem. A similar problem occurs when using a 
>grinding wheel, and using a diamond tool to restore the wheel. Of 
>course, you sacrifice the wheels, but so what. They are very 
>For years I have used a Delta bandsaw for cutting tubing sections. 
>The fact that you have to push the work through the blade, makes 
>the case for Mike's suggestion of using a cut-off saw. Not to 
>mention, you can 'chop' any length, since there is no throat-depth 
>issue (ie: bandsaw). A blet grinder and tapered reamer make the cut 
>complete, and ready for telescoping.
>And, yes, reading the manual says what to cut and what not to cut. 
>I think you have to put the manual into perspective. It is written 
>for the lowest common denominator walking into Harbor Freight, not 
>for those who have the experience and skills to be innovative.
>I just added this cut-off saw to my Christmas-request list! Thanks 
>73 bill n4lg

Even better, one of those compound miter saws used for cutting trim.  The fine pitch carbide blade works really well on aluminum extrusions and tubing.  

The practical advantage of the circular saw type blade over the band saw type is that the blade is a lot more rigid, so you get a straight cut.  Bandsaws and hacksaws have flexible blades and some amount of practice is needed to get really straight cuts.  A handheld sabersaw works well on aluminum panel (get a "bimetal"blade for good results on medium thickness aluminum).

(Mind you, i've stopped making my own panels ever since I found out about frontpanelexpress.com... Weird cutouts, tapped holes, anything you might want)

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