Chris and I took a 300 mile trip over to Louisiana to buy a hacksaw last weekend. There were a few other stops along the way of course. You might think this sounds a little crazy but I needed something to cut metal with and it came up for a good price. You’re probably thinking I’m talking about something like this…but I’m not.
I’m talking about this. A Power Hacksaw! It works just like a hacksaw but is a little bit bigger. It also has a motor to do the work for you. There are smaller power hacksaws that use blades similar to the one above. This one uses 14″-21″ long blades that are 1″-2″ tall. I think it’ll cut up to 13″ wide or a piece 10″x 10″ square material.
The seller had a motor but offered the saw for half as much without it. I’ve got some extra motors laying around so I chose to let him keep the motor. He also included a rolling base for it as well. The saw is in good working condition and cuts well. The paint is pretty rough and the handwheel for the vise is missing a few handles. There’s a three speed gearbox on the back for selecting cut speed. There’s also about 20 spots to oil. It weights somewhere around 1000-1200 lbs making it one of the lighter things Chris and I have moved recently.
The saw cuts on the pull stroke and lifts slightly on the push stroke to keep from dulling the blades. There’s a ratcheting mechanism that lowers the blade as it cuts and the down feed pressure can be adjusted. Shown below is the ratcheting mechanism. Also shown below is a lever that works as an on-off switch. When it is pulled forward the machine starts. When the cut is finished, the lever is released automatically and is pulled forward by a spring turning the machine off. Well, it will once I get it all wired up.
Originally, the previous owner just used a regular switch to turn the saw on and off. I’d like to make use of the cutoff though. To do that I’ll need to use a contactor and control circuit. Luckily, I picked a couple contactors a while back. More on that in the next post. I haven’t finished wiring everything else but have got the enclosure mounted.
I have it directly wired up for a few test cuts while I’m waiting to get some wire in. It doesn’t cut perfectly straight and I’m still investigating why. I did shim the blade to improve it and now have it at 0.008″ per inch from vertical. I’m not sure how accurate I should expect from a 50 year old industrial machine. Once I get the wire in, I’ll finish up the electrical stuff and post again.