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Cutting large tubing

Hi. I hope someone out there can help me. How do you cut large
round and square tubing (10 to 20 mm) so the slices are square? Is
there a jig I can make that will help? I end up with slices that are
really off and have to do a lot of filing to get them even. Its a
real waste of expensive tubing as well as a lot of work. Looking
forward to ANY help. J.C. Thomas

jiust check my jig, it will accomodate 10 to 12 mm, but mot 20.

yes, you can cut round or square tubing so that it is even. Allcraft
carries a jig made specifically for that purpose. It is inexpensive
and well worth the money. there may be other companies which also
carry it, so check around. I use mine all the time for nice cuts
and when I am doing several, can set the little blocker so that all
of them are the same size. - Alma

There’s a thing called a miter box that carpenters use for sawing
wood (especially if the want a certain angle, such as 45 degrees) It
should be pretty simple to make a small one that would do just fine
for cutting the tubing. Or even wire. All you need are a few pieces of
wood. And possibly they are available ready-made from an equipment


If you don’t have access to a lathe, I’d suggest you take an
adjustable speed drill and mount it in a vise or use a C-clamp to
lock it down to a bench. Wrap a little masking tape around the
tubing to keep the chuck from scarring the metal and tighten it in
the chuck. Set the trigger for a low speed and hold a jeweler’s saw
so that the teeth of the saw blade are facing in the opposite
direction of rotation and hold it on the tube with light pressure. I
often chuck up smaller tubing in my #30 hand piece and use my saw to
cut it off in this manner.

David L. Huffman

For round tubing, use a tubing cutter from a hardware store as the
simplest solution. It’s used to cut copper pipe for plumbing. It will
leave a compression bur on the end, but the cut will be straight. The
bur is easily removed with a few slicks of a file.

For sqare tubing, get an aluminum mitre box from the same place. The
teeth of the box saw it comes with is too coarse for metal. You can
use a hacksaw with a metal blade, or a Japanese joining back saw. Use
a piece of flat molding, like screen molding, and a wedge (inserted at
one end, rather than from the top) to hold the tubing flush against
the side of the mitre box. K.P in WY

J.C., You can inprove your cutting technique by using a piece of 90
deg angle iron. If the tube is small enouth, simply lay the angle
iron over top of it with the end at the point where you want to cut
it. Place your saw blade up against the edge of the angle iron and
cut whilst keeping slight pressure on the saw towards the iron. This
should make a good square cut. If the tube is too large for the angle
iron, make a 90 deg guide by (having) welded two pieces of iron or
aluminum to achieve the same jig only larger. If the tubing is too
small for jig, lay the tube down into the angle iron which should be
supported on each side and do your cut. Let me know if that helps.

Don at The Charles Belle Studio where simple elegance IS fine jewelry!

Hi J.C. , Go to a local hardware store or plumbing supply and buy a
small pipe cutter. These are hand held and should cost under 10.00.
You clamp it to your tube (round) and rotate. Tighten a little and
rotate the device a few more turns. Although the end of the tube is 90
deg., it will have a curve so you will have to grind or file a little.
If you just rotate the device one turn it will score the tube and you
can then use your saw to cut a nice end. With square tubing (this is
only a guess) I would make a jig to score the tube and saw. If you
have access to a band saw with very fine teeth, that may be a way to
go. Don’t over look the possible use of an abrasive wheel to do the
cutting or finishing the tube’s end; just take into account the
effects of heat build up and wheel clogging, a good lubricant should
help. Will E.

G’day; Firstly you must square up one end of the tubing, testing
with a small engineer’s square. (3" from a good hardware store) Put a
bit of wood smaller than the round tube in the bench vice. Rest the
tube in the wide groove made by the two jaws, pressing the squared
end of the tube against the wood. Now press a fine marker pen or a
soft pencil against the tube at the place where you want to cut and
carefully rotate the tube. This should give you a true guide line
around the tube. Resting the tube in the jaws groove, use a fine saw

  • a junior hacksaw for instance with a very fine blade to just cut
    through the tube in one place. Give the saw a stroke on a bit of
    candle to lubricate it. Rotate the tube and make another cut.
    Continue carefully around the tube to cut the slice right off, then
    sand both cut faces with 250 grit wet-and-dry paper. I have cut
    quite large (6" dia.) thin wall tubes like that. Use a similar method
    to cut the square tube, but using an engineer’s square to scribe the
    guide line. Don’t attempt to cut right through either round or
    square stock; unless you are pretty good, your cut will certainly go
    ’off square’. You can buy tube cutters in most good hardware stores
    which will cut perfectly true pieces, but will turn the tube ends
    inward. You can’t use these for square section of course. It is
    possible to make a cutting jig which will help the job, but it’s far
    more work to make than cutting the tube using the guideline. If you
    want to cut thin wall tube (chenier, for hinges) up to about 2mm dia,
    in exact lengths, you will find such a jig in jewellery tool supply
    catalogues. I made one from their picture! If you REALLY want, I
    could scan my jig and send you the pic.

John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua Nelson NZ

Actually, yes, there is. X-acto makes a small miter box and back saw
blades that fit their larger tool handles. I’ve one that I have used
for years roughing blanks for bone and horn carving.

Ron Charlotte -- Gainesville, FL OR @Ron_Charlotte1

Check out jewelry supply stores, as there are also small metal mitre
boxes used for cutting wax that I have adapted for tubing by placing a
bit of fitted wood on the bottom, (so that you don’t screw up the
jeweler’s saw blade when you cut through). Use as you would a regular
mitre box.

Lisa, (1 new baby chick hatched from an egg that I swiped from an exotics’
cage…looks like a regular chicken that exploded ) Topanga, CA USA