The mighty miter

If you’re planning on using a drill I would figure out a way to get more clamping force than that small arm will provide.

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Out of curiosity what was the price. I have a similar design I’ve been meaning to make for a while now and have been trying to figure out what a reasonable expectation for cost is should I decide to sell a few to get the machining costs down.

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$193 shipped. They have a steel version that was $10 less, I think. I’ve seen this design at Nothern Tool and others for a bit more.

And yes, I plan to make something to extend the clamp rather than just hitting the one little spot.

Follow up:
With the fine tooth hole saws from Metal-Guru this notcher worked well.


Verified the 0* mark was at 90* to the tube and went for it. Using a D-handle 9amp drill with a side handle and a speed-lock button (so I can have a good grip, steady feed, and let go if things go bad.)

I’m still considering a C-clamp with a V or angle full length for the clamp but the installed clamp seemed to work well on a shorter piece.

Fit up was good after some simple cleanup.


As an aside, the difference between the BigBoxStore hole saws and the fine tooth saws is phenomenal!

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Resurrecting this thread a bit. If anyone is using a lathe for tube notching, I would be very interested in seeing your setups. Mainly, how the tube or tubes are mounted into the tool post. Thanks in advance.

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@Johnmarmalade Showed a photo of his lathe mitering setup HERE.
Maybe we can get some more detail about the setup in this thread?

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@Jukka4130 @JMY

My setup is very rudimentary and there is lots of room for improvement. However, it is cheap (<$50) and is very easy to make if you have access to a mill.



The back plate and tool holder clamp area were machined. The side plates and clamping plate I had plasma cut by Send Cut Send. The fasteners are all 1/4-20.

I’ve been able to notch tubes very slowly (a few minutes for a full cut, 30 seconds for a skim pass). Rigidity is the big thing holding it back. My small import lathe is the source of a lot of that. I plan to make a solid tool post at some point to replace my compound for notching. I also plan to replace the clamping screws/nuts with wing screws/nuts so I don’t need wrenches to secure a tube.

As I said before, it’s a very basic first iteration. If anyone is interested in improving the design or wants to re-create it I’d gladly share the files.

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I have a setup made for smaller tubes. It’s made from a drill chuck that was used on a student project I made 20 years ago.

And I also made a second setup for larger tubes. Made from scrap angles I had laying around and c-vises.


Both are very ugly and lowtech, I know. But they work very well and are stiffer than the sync notcher that I still use too sometimes . The notches are much more clean.

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@Johnmarmalade Thanks! I saw the photo about your setup, but did not understand it in its entirety until those renders. The interface between the tube mount and the tool post was what I was missing. The renders make 100% sense since the interface does not really be more robust than that when using sensible feeds. Need to build one up, and give it a try.

Thanks @Golem for sharing your setup as well. The use of the drill chuck is a smart move for small tubes!

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Just re-discovered this abrasive tube mitering setup: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qyj-g9-ME9Q
Maybe one day …

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@Johannes abrasive mitering is great, it is quite fast and precise. I had a similar setup when I began, it is not expensive to make if you are creative. But it makes a lot of metal dust, so having a very good dust collector is a must.

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I made a simple but big improvement to my mini lathe miter setup today! I made a machinist jack to put right under the tube holder and was able to get clean cuting with no chatter. No more binding up near the end of the cut.

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Love the innovation!

What are your thoughts on a system that directly clamps to Paragon blocks? I have never been satisfied with the V-style tube clamps.

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There’s a picture of a good Set up using paragon blocks and an aloris style toolpost In this gallery. Lots of other good stuff too

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nice call out!

Here it is for posterity:

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you could probably also do yourself a favour and swap that wobbly mess of an attachement for an actual hole saw arbor, either one from pargon or, since you have a lathe, make one yourself :wink:

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What size is that lathe?

Looks like a smaller Atlas based on the flat ways. I think 6 and 10 were the most popular.

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On the list for sure! There is a taper, I belive MT3, under that chuck so I will probably use that.

9x19. An older version of this one.

Oh man. That lathe is almost 300 lbs. I’d need a really sturdy bench to mount that onto. And as someone who knows hardly anything about machining, I don’t think I’d be able to lift that much weight by myself.

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