TubeMagic vs. Custom Router Tub Fixture

Any teams have experience with the TubeMagic Fixture V2 able to weigh in from use with their routers if the purchase was worth if over making your own? Changes overtime if you’ve used it a lot?

Any teams who went custom have any tips or features they’d recommend?

We are just getting around to using our ShopBot CNC Max and machining our own box tubing would be a huge bonus for us. Getting our router setup with a jig like this is becoming a priority so trying to figure out if we should go with the off the shelf version or if we should invest the time in making our own.

8114 got an Omio X8-2200L-USB a few weeks before the start of the season. We have a TubeMagic on order but have not had a chance to use one yet. We manufactured all of the tube on our robot using a custom jig. While very simple, it works like a charm, and we have no complaints from manufacturing the 22 tubes on our robot, including the drive rails on a WCD. We used 3 drill press vices attached to a scrap piece of 3/4” HDPE. It’s very quick and dirty, but at the end of the day, it works. It’s important that the vices are square to each other and the machine. If you DM I can talk more about the system.

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Wait for the WCP tube jig. It uses Mitee-Bites afaik, which are great little clamps.

Edit: Including a link to Mitee-Bite’s website Fixture Clamps | Mitee-Bite Products LLC.

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We also use drill press vices. Ours are attached to MDF. I’ll probably rebuild it some day after our mist lubricant saturates the MDF too much, but that will probably be years. We can use either two or three vices. We do as much as we can with two since we have a small CNC and have to lift the tube jig on and off the vacuum bed. Three vices plus the MDF is rather heavy. We don’t have enough room on the machine to dedicate some to the jig and the rest to sheet work.

In the end, the precision of this setup is adequate for our needs. I’d love a bigger CNC with a dedicated tube area made with machinists vices, but I’m quite thankful for what I have.

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Brendan,

We’ll have this for sale this week on our new site. We have 1 at our facility for testing and 2 that we sent out that are also being tested (Thanks 364!).

Things that we did differently:

  • Removable end stop
  • Aluminum strip to mount to tslot easier
  • Uses mitee bite fixture clamps
  • Ability to cut: .75" - 1" - 1.25" - 1.5" - 1.75" - 2" and 2.25" tubing
  • Not shown, but changed, an added slot for a skim pass to true up the jig to your Omio or other router.

If anyone is wanting to order one, I’m offering 10% off the retail price in return for purchasing this and testing out our new site (product feedback optional and welcomed!). I have a current log of people who have emailed that I’ll email this Wednesday or Thursday. Please email me directly here.

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Awesome!

I think this might be our new go to option then. Thanks man!

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How long are you making these jigs?
What is the ball-park cost of them?

We have had ours for a week now, Thanks R.C. for letting us test them for you!

They are awesome, and very easy to install on an Omio. The way the slots and rail come together automatically aligns the jig to your machine. After initially installing ours they both had a total run out of less than 0.05 MM according to our Haimer indicator without doing anything other than tightening the screws down.

We have machined about one robots worth of tubes on these and have nothing but nice things to say. Great product R.C.!

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Dan,

The current length is around 35".

We are unsure on pricing, goal is to nail that down this week. My initial guess is between $269 - $299. The reason for this is because:

  • Waiting on Mitee Bite to see what pricing we’ll get, the clamps are a little pricey but work great.
  • We about doubled the # of tapped holes so we can support more tube sizes
  • Verifying all tube jigs are machined to perfect straightness, this is easy to verify on our end. But it takes some time.
  • Additional pieces we have to include: Bolts / Strips for Omio / Removable end stop / Mittee bite clamps
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Thanks Clint!

@R.C,
Any plans on supporting Non-Omio CNC Machines? We have a bit of a mythical creature, a StepCaft Q204…

It might have a slightly different table standard (100mm pitch T-slots) and certainly has a longer table.

Dan,

So you if you can accept a 1/4"-20 bolt in your current t slot you can use one set of holes. If you can’t or would like two we can change the mounting pattern for you. Just shoot me an email.

Thanks!

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This actually seems like quite a bargain for the apparant level of quality, especially with mighty bite clamps.

Thanks!

I’ll try to remember to let you know when I can get back into the classroom…

Don’t have anything to say about the TubeMagic or the new WCP tube jig because I’ve never used them.

On our router, we got four machinist vises and bolted them to the edge of the router table. We check the runout every once in a while, but AFAIK they haven’t needed adjusting in the few years we’ve had them. We use a machining parallel to align the end of the tube with the end of the vise to get a stable homing location. With drill-powered opening and closing we can switch tubes in less time than it takes to load new G-code.

ezgif.com-gif-maker

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So the only question I have for this thread now is whether or not the WCP version will be named the TubeTragic

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TubeMajestic

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It’s taken, sorry. Myself and the folks at TubeTragic™️ Industries have been working around the clock for mere minutes a week on R&D for the TubeTragic™️ lineup of products. Pictured below is the TubeTragic V2, the current industry standard for machining tubes to tolerances of “better than if we did it by hand”.

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It’ll be called the MCC: Material Clamping Contraption

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I prefer Machine Fabrication Device.

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