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How to Cut Pipe at an Angle Accurately



A viewer, Dave, wrote in and asked how to cut angles on pipe so you can weld them together.

There is a great site, pipefitters.com, where you can get all sorts of jigs, templates, etc. There is also a jig you can put in your drill press where you clamp your pipe into the jig, set your angle, and then use a holesaw that takes out a half moon on both sides. That's the fast way to do it!

Without all of that fancy equipment, here's what Kevin does.

First, figure out your angle. You can take a straight edge, line it up on the pipe you're going to weld to. Now you have at least one straight line to cut. It's time to to the chopsaw or bandsaw and cut it off flat.

If you have a bandsaw, clamp the metal into the vise, set your head at the angle you want, and fire up the saw. It cuts the pipe neatly.

Afterward, Kevin finds it helpful to mark the center on both sides of the pipe. Just look down the angle. Once everything lines up and is square and straight, mark it so you can identify the front and back of the pipe.

When you place one pipe on the other, which is held in a vise horizontally, however, you have a big gap where it butts up to the other pipe. Kevin places a marker flat on top of the horizontal pipe and traces a line on the upper pipe, carefully keeping the pen flat and level as he draws a half moon on the upper pipe. He repeats the tracing on the other side.

He emphasizes the importance of keeping the pen parallel to the horizontal pipe to get the most accurate line possible. Then it's time to head to the grinder - wearing your safety glasses!

Kevin uses his bench grinder to grind a half moon into the metal pipe, which takes about a minute and a half. Then he finishes the end of the pipe using a wire wheel.

He checks the fit and finds he still has a gap, so he again draws lines on both sides. Then it's time to head back to the grinder. Slow and easy, work it in until your half moons fit well on the bottom pipe.

Kevin's going to go back to work, so you have time to hang around for another moment to see Caron totally space out how to operate his equipment .....


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