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Looking for insight milling tubing

M. Moore

Jun 8, 2007
Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada
I cut tubing quite often on my mill. Usually a bit smaller than 3 x 5 but I have some experience. The problem as has been mentioned is holding the part and reducing chatter. I would be very inclined to cut that shape into one longer part but double the profile so you are making two parts at the same time. I would use a 3/8" end mill and cut out the shape, flip and cut the other side. Holding the tubing in two vices you can clamp quite close to the cut.

I would also just cut down in one pass for the long profile cut and then make two more depth cuts at each end (45° end) to max out the end mill length. Flip and do the same so this will leave you with about a 1" section of uncut material on each end (assuming 3/8" x 1" end mill). Then just zip cut the remainder and cut to length on your bandsaw? Or you can make a partial depth cut to length on each side and zip that after as well then you are done.
If this is a part that is being fitted for welding it should be accurate enough?

There is not enough info in your original post so you may want to expand on that for better responses. If the part is 20' long then my method may not work.....

No need for special cutters and 3/8" carbide end mills are cheap enough. Definitely use coolant. Don't waste time with a plasma or any other method.

Good luck,