Please click the small photos for a closer look
A really safe
and clean way to
Cut a Thin Wall Tube
© Frank Ford, 2008; Photos by FF
This week I've been duking it out with an old light fixture that had been converted from European sockets to American ones a long time ago. For reasons I can't explain, the sockets were of different diameter, and the bases were brazed to the fixture, so I had to replace only the tubular section of the socket. Three of the four fit normally, but the central one was about 1/8" larger in diameter. I found a mating piece at the electric shop down the street, but it was made for a dimmer unit, and the tube was too long for my use.
Here's how I cut it down.
There's no way the CFL would fit into the new socket tube on the right - I'd have to cut it to match the short one:
I chucked up a piece of scrap aluminum and turned it to slightly smaller than the inside diameter of the tube. Then, I reversed the piece in the chuck and turned the larger diameter to be a nice fit inside the tube.
First I turned a short section:
Trial fitting it to make sure the diameter was about right:
Then, leaving the cross slide in the same position, I finished the diameter and slipped the tube right over it:
I next moved the entire assembly back in the chuck and tightened down on the end of the brass (plated) tube:
With my skinniest parting tool, I simply cut the tube to length:
The chuck held the tube solidly and the aluminum insert made a nice backing for when I cut through the tube:
See? Safe, easy, and neat as you please:
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