Correct way to de-tab?

dewy

Member
Just doing some research before I destroy the frame on my project CB750. I've seen in a few online videos and the like (Cafe Racer's episode of DCC most notable) that some kind of blow torch was used to detab some bike frames.

I'm going to have a number of tabs and centre stand to remove from my bike. And I'm not wondering if this is the preferred method by these workshops for any reason in particular. I've only got a Grinder available in my own workshop, are there any downsides to using this?
 

DesmoBro

Busted Nut
Grinder is my favorite tool it will work great, you can cut/sand/smooth with it you can probably do even more with it if you get creative...Just don't cut off the tabs you may want to use again....Example your fingers....always use gloves and no neck ties / unzipped sweaters/shit that dangles while using the Grinder
 

dewy

Member
DesmoBro said:
Example your fingers
Probably a good idea.

DesmoBro said:
no neck ties [...] while using the Grinder
Well so much for living tweed and riding dapper...

But in all seriousness I appreciate the reply and I am gradually developing a skill with the grinder while converting my fear of the grinder into a respect of one. Eye and Hand Protection are always important, I've grown to prefer my cordless grinder as it's one less hazard (no cord).
 

cinqmars2

New Member
You'll actually find contrasting theories about hand protection, although gloves will stop shards of metal from sinking into your skin, they do pose a threat of getting dragged in to the grinder, always use well-fitting gloves with nothing loose on them.

In terms of cutting tabs, the best way I've found is to find a thin cutting disc, 1mm will be sufficient:

http://www.weldequip.com/products/1mm-cutting-disc-115mm-large.jpg


Then use a flap wheel disc to smooth it out, they take a while to get through metal so you've got loads of room to get it smooth.

http://www.toolspot.co.uk/i/4162z.jpg


I find a grinding disc can leave an uneven finish as it just chews through everything it touches, but it all depends on how sober you are when you're using it though I guess.


That blowtorch you mentioned, I haven't seen the show but I'm presuming it would be a plasma cutter.

Good luck slicing your frame ;)
 

dewy

Member
cinqmars2 said:
You'll actually find contrasting theories about hand protection, although gloves will stop shards of metal from sinking into your skin, they do pose a threat of getting dragged in to the grinder, always use well-fitting gloves with nothing loose on them.

In terms of cutting tabs, the best way I've found is to find a thin cutting disc, 1mm will be sufficient:

http://www.weldequip.com/products/1mm-cutting-disc-115mm-large.jpg


Then use a flap wheel disc to smooth it out, they take a while to get through metal so you've got loads of room to get it smooth.

http://www.toolspot.co.uk/i/4162z.jpg


I find a grinding disc can leave an uneven finish as it just chews through everything it touches, but it all depends on how sober you are when you're using it though I guess.


That blowtorch you mentioned, I haven't seen the show but I'm presuming it would be a plasma cutter.

Good luck slicing your frame ;)
Pretty much the way I was looking at doing it, just starting to search around for a cheaper way of purchasing the flap discs as they are around $15-20 each for a 110/115mm size one at local hardware stores :O
 

mark13018

"In the age of information, ignorance is a choice
as stated above. Safety first... Tools of choice: grinder with thin cutting disk to remove the large part of the tab making sure to preserve the tube portion of the frame then sanding disc or flap wheel. I'd does last for awhile AND do take it slow. Just because its technically a "sanding" disc, it will still chew that tube frame pretty easily... Wouldn't want to bust out the welder because you took off to much metal. ;)
 

ILoveThumpers

Everywhere is thumpers!
Flap wheels may be the greatest invention ever. I discovered them while working on a stainless steel part at work and couldn't keep it from blueing when it got hot. The answer was the flap wheel... fantastic control, reduced heat, great finish.

-Deek
 

hillsy

Active Member
Gloves getting dragged into an angle grinder? Must be pretty thin (IE: shitty) gloves.


I use welding gloves when I grind - also use a welding helmet to protect my eyes (I wear glasses).


Cutting disc to get the tab off, then flap disc to take the stub down to the frame tube.
 

Slantyface

New Member
+1 to this thread. I was looking at de-tabbing this winter and was wondering how. Lots of good info, including the flappy sanding disk.
 

SONICJK

Reminds me of...me No, I'm sure of it. I hate him
I swear this site if the safest bunch of guys I've ever seen.
Pair of sunglasses and no gloves for me 8)
I hate grinding in gloves, I have no control in gloves big enough to do any good, and mechanics gloves are useless against a grinder wheel.

Although I did have to get a piece of metal drilled out of my eye once. So theres that.
 

Math750

New Member
dewy said:
Pretty much the way I was looking at doing it, just starting to search around for a cheaper way of purchasing the flap discs as they are around $15-20 each for a 110/115mm size one at local hardware stores :O
First time I saw something that is cheaper in Brazil, flap discs here are about $ 3 each for the same size! hahaha
 

Bert Jan

Holy Modification Batman
Over here in Holland you've got this francise store called 'Action'. They've got 10packs of cuttingdisks for 2,99 euro and a 5 pack of sanding disks for 2,49
Hey, they may not last as long as the 15$ ones, but for 15$ i can buy 30 of them hehe

As i cut, de-tab and weld on a daily basis, i figured i best buy the cheapest ones as i use them so much.
 

SONICJK

Reminds me of...me No, I'm sure of it. I hate him
o1marc said:
Sawzall and a grinder.
I'm with mark.
I use the sawzall first, then a grinder on the ones the saw won't reach, then the flap wheel.
 

Scruffy

West Tennessee
Cold chisel and a file, pay the Mennonite/Amish kid down the road to deal with it. What, he works cheap...

Kidding, angle grinder with cut off wheel followed by a flap wheel. And since I solid weld all the seams tight on old frames anyway, don't worry too much about perfection right off the bat. The added welds will still need to metal molded/dressed, etc.

We DO have some Mennonites nearby, but they all run dairies, bakeries and organic farms. With fairly modern equipment.
 

mark13018

"In the age of information, ignorance is a choice
SONIC. said:
I'm with mark.
I use the sawzall first, then a grinder on the ones the saw won't reach, then the flap wheel.
I actually have used the recip saw a few times as well... Something about the spraying embers with the grinder while I'm cutting is just visually and mentally appealing. :)
 

dewy

Member
hillsy said:
Yep. Welding gloves and helmet work pretty good.
This - motorcycle Helmets are great, but worth far too much to put in the line of duty.

I'd like the thank everyone for their input, if I can manage I may do a little practise and attempt to put together a film on how to do this.

Scruffy said:
And since I solid weld all the seams tight on old frames anyway, don't worry too much about perfection right off the bat. The added welds will still need to metal molded/dressed, etc.
Are you refering to existing welds in the frame - you redo/add to them or some such?
 

Rich Ard

doin' the backstroke in an estrogen ocean
DTT BOTM WINNER
dewy said:
...I may do a little practise and attempt to put together a film on how to do this.
A video of how to cut tabs off of things? Sounds fascinating.
 
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