Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Agony of Defeat

Do you remember when the Wide World of Sports used to come on TV, and it had cool video clips of great sporting moments during the introduction? I used to love watching it. "The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat!" The image for the "agony of defeat" was a downhill skier going totally out of control and spinning, flipping, cartwheeling, smashing and flopping over a ramp about 10 feet high.

Well, that's how my tube notching jig worked when I tried it yesterday. To make a long story short, the tubing has thin walls, and the hole cutter has course teeth. I knew it would be touchy, but I thought maybe if I eased the cutter forward very lightly that it would cut without really binding up. Not a chance.

On the first try the cutter locked into the tube and whipped it out of the jig, C-clamps and all. Thankfully it was only a short test piece. So, I reclamped the tube on the OTHER side of the jig, and tried again, using even less pressure. It started to cut a nice fishmouth, but as soon as I was about half way through, the cutter jerked and locked in. I had to undo the clamps to un-impale the cutter from the tube.

Now, I could go get a hole cutter with finer teeth, or even weld up something out of an old saw blade, but I've already wasted way too much time on this stupid thing, and I'm beginning to feel like I'm making no forward movement in my life. Keep in mind that there is a psychological reason for doing this project. I'd really like to feel good about having done something myself, that I can enjoy for a long time. And this stupid tube jig is making me irritable.

Conclusions? I should have saved 2 weeks, and just used the stinking grinder to fishmouth my tubes as I have been so far. I'm getting pretty good at that method. Maybe someday I'll get a real tube notcher for another project.

J

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