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Cutting threadless forks(5 posts)

Cutting threadless forksPAUL
Mar 28, 2001 6:52 AM
What's the best way to make a straight cut on my steel fork steerer without having to buy one of those 25 dollar cutting guides? Thanks..
re: Cutting threadless forksLarry Meade
Mar 28, 2001 7:05 AM
My LBS had some cheap old threadless stems laying around. I just took two of them and slid them to each side of the desired location locked them down. Most shops have some old stems just taking up space that they may let you use.

re: Cutting threadless forksCracker
Mar 28, 2001 7:21 AM
...How about a hose clamp. Cheap,quick, dirty solution.
re: Cutting threadless forksweezy
Mar 28, 2001 8:04 AM
BUY the $25 cutting guide. If you've ever botched a cut on a steerer tube, you will know why this guide is so important. Buy it, use it and you'll thank yourself. Plus, you can use it to cut all of your friends' forks! :)
re: Cutting threadless forksBender
Mar 29, 2001 10:21 AM
I've used a tubing cutter found in any hardware store worth it's weight. These tools are ment for plumbing applications which means they are designed to cut mild steel pipe. The tubing cutter looks like a C-clamp with two small rollers on the fixed end and a thin sharp cutting wheel on the movable end.

Most threarless forks use harder steel (if steel, or aluminum) which is much slower to cut that you garden variety schedule 40 plumbing pipe. The trick is to clamp the cutter on to the tube with a very light pressure and use plenty of cutting oil (using caution to not get the fork soaked in oil). Rotate the cutter around the tube making sure the cutting wheel is rotating and not dragging (this indicates too much pressure on the cutting wheel). You'll develop a "feel" for how much pressure to apply to the cutting wheel quickly (depends on the hardness of the tube you're cutting). Spin the tubing cutter around until the pressure feels very light (the cut is getting deeper), then twist the knob on the cutter to gradually increase the drag you feel during the rotations. Use plenty of cutting oil between rotations.

This method takes much longer that using the $25 guide and a fine pitch hack saw but, if done correctly, you create a burr free cut without removing the fork from the bike. Be patient if you attempt this, a good beer helps.

I just went through this process this past weekend.

PS DO NOT EVEN THINK OF ATTEMPTING THIS ON A CARBON FIBER STEERER! You will destroy your expensive now fork or induce damage that may come back to haunt you.