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.


$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!


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.


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


@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.


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.


@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!


Just re-discovered this abrasive tube mitering setup:
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.


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.


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


nice call out!

Here it is for posterity:


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:


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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