by Pat Goss
I often get customers in the shop that ask me how we do certain things. One thing that they’re always amazed at is how we manage to cut various things and keep it so neat.
The first thing we don’t do is we typically don’t use a hacksaw. We use hacksaws for a lot of different things, but when it comes to stuff like exhaust systems and so on, brake lines, air conditions lines, spot welds, all of these different things, we have specialized tools that we use to do it.
Exhaust systems, we use one of these chain cutters. The advantage to this over others methods is you have several of these cutting wheels on it, you wrap it around the pipe, and because you can’t cut all the way around the pipe, because you can’t swing the tool, all you have to do is go back and forth.
Because you have cutters all the way around the pipe, it cuts the whole things off, just as slick as anything you’d ever want to see. That’s how we do that.
Brake lines, fuel lines, AC lines, and so on. Normally, you’d use a tubing cutter. But in many cases you won’t have enough space to use the typical tubing cutter. So, we use these specialized ones. These have ratchets in them.
What you do is tighten them down on to the tubing. And then you can move this like so. If I was trying to cut this, what would happen is the center would ratchet around the pipe like that.
It cuts it off, you don’t need a lot of space to do it. They come in different sizes. The red one would be for brake and fuel lines, the blue one probably for air conditioning lines, and it’s great around the house.
Another thing of course is spot welds. How in the world do we brake spot welds without tearing up the metal around them. We use one of these, some people refer to them as fly cutters. They’re often referred to as spot weld cutters. They have sharp teeth on these cutter heads.
What we do is we take a center punch, and we make a center punch right where we want to have the cut made. Right in the center of it. Then the pointer on this tool fits into the dimple that we just made and it compresses. It pushes in.
We push the drill down, the cutter cuts a nice circle right around the spot weld, and you haven’t damaged any of the metal or anything like that. It does a great job.
These are just some of the specialized tools that we use in the shop to have clean, efficient cutting of various things.
And if you have a question, or a comment, drop me a line. Right here, at MotorWeek.