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FatWheels
05-04-2009, 10:11 PM
My metal bandsaw is down right now and I needed a cutoff so I got out my armstrong cutoff saw and a nub of candle wax and went to it. My stock is some mystery metal but not too exotic or mysterious. I got it from a local fab shops drops and it's 1.75" BMS of some description. I used a high tension frame with my coarsest 12" blade, which happened to be 18tpi.

My question is how long should this take? I'd have like to try a 14 tpi blade as it seemed to take forever. I am way above average upper body strength as I am a paraplegic but that's not too central to my point. Do Starrett or Lennox blades make that much of a difference?

Also, since no one ever seems to mention bench work, I'd be curious to hear about any horror stories you may have on file work or 'acoustic' :D machining you've had to do in a pinch. Makes me admire those westerns where the lil woman hides a file in the cake.

cheers,

Jim

x39
05-04-2009, 11:21 PM
Good blades do make a difference. I sometimes make hacksaw blades out of 14 tpi bi-metal bandsaw blade. They're agressive as hell, and will cut a variety of materials from steel to wood. A big advantage is they will cut soft material without loading. I've done a few projects completely by hand just to see if I could do them, using hacksaws, files, egg beater drills, chisels, etc. It's kind of fun to see what you can accomplish without electricity, using scrounged materials makes things even more interesting. A word of caution, if you intend to do a lot of work with hand tools, beware of tennis elbow. As to how long it takes to cut a piece off, it just takes as long as it takes. Slow and steady is the key.

Scishopguy
05-05-2009, 12:27 AM
Good blades make all the difference in that they stay sharp, don't lose teeth easily, and will cut tough metals (like cap screws) without any trouble. I personally think that Lenox and the best of what is available today. I have tried Starrett, Bosch, and Black and Decker but got better service from the lenox. They even make a blade with fine teeth (28 tpi) at the nose and medium teeth (18tpi) the rest of the way. This allows you to cut through tubing without the blade hanging up because of too coarse a blade.

FatWheels
05-05-2009, 04:05 PM
Thanks for the info on blades. It sounds like some lenox blades are on my 'stimulate the economy' list for my next tool spree.:cool:

But how about some of you others, I was hoping for some old gaffers with manual education or apprenticeships under their belts to weigh in. Anybody ever have to cut through their manacles? In our illustrious hamageddon posts someone had nearly gnawed through his arm but as I have no wiki link no one will likely believe me.

A better approach is to perhaps ask a serious question, so here goes. Is the tooth count only related to the thickness of your stock or is their some relation to the relative hardness and the fineness of your blade tpi. Now I can see using a coarse blade on something gummy like aluminum but is finer better for harder steels. Also, can a hacksaw be used for tool steels or hardened stock. I guess I could do some experimenting here, but what say you?

thanks in advance,

Jim

Silverwolf
05-05-2009, 04:16 PM
Get a 12" ductile iron blade from you local Princess Auto. They are about 30 to 130 bucks, but it will cut pretty much anything with no coolant, and a 24" ductle water main lasts about 2 minutes. Blades fit right onto your cut off saw. They last forever! Practically. I'm a contractor and us 14" ones about 30 times a day and I get about 2 months on a blade. I buy the 130 buck ones.;)

Silverwolf
05-05-2009, 04:22 PM
Actually, come to think of it, they make the same blade for a 4" angle grinder. They also have the hardened steel blades, but they don't last as long. The cut will take alittle longer, but the blades are about 10 bucks.:eek:

FatWheels
05-05-2009, 04:31 PM
Thanks Silverwolf for your prompt replies. I only have two hacksaw motors though, and I'd hate burn either one of them out. If I ever get an electric cutoff saw, I may invest in the ductile iron blade you mention. I am a southerner though, and have no access to Princess Auto. I'm on the other side of Lake Erie in other words.

regards,

Jim

Silverwolf
05-05-2009, 05:59 PM
The 12" blades are for a gas cut off saw, like a stihl. They fit all cut off saws, only difference may be the collet, but the collet is removable if your shaft is larger. Most rental places also sell the blades, like United Rentals, or Cat Rentals. Any construction supply store, maybe even Home Depot. It may cost more as Princess Auto is the cheapest place on the planet. But the blades last, will cut anything including blacktop, cement, all steel, wood , plastic, you name it , it cuts it. Thats why there so handy on my job sites. One saw does all. Even bevels ductile. In case you didn't know, ductile is extremely tough, practically can't break it with an excavator! It has a ceramic type coating inside, and is very difficult to cut. Not for the cut off saw though. Good luck.

FatWheels
05-05-2009, 06:41 PM
Thanks again Silverwolf for your prompt reply and helpfulness. I am not clear enough I guess. My hacksaw is just that, a hacksaw. I was talking about my 'hacksaw motors' tongue-in-cheek as I meant my arms. I didn't know about ductile pipe though, and it sounds like you've got a great solution for your cutoff saw. Cutting through iron and ceramic thirty times a day for three months at the cost quoted is a good deal. Not at all what I was talking about but I got that covered now I guess.

regards,

Jim

Silverwolf
05-05-2009, 07:29 PM
Ok, my mistake. I thought Armstrong cut off saw was just that , a cut off saw. Didn't know you mean your arms.:rolleyes: An electric hacksaw is only about 130 bucks too. Same time, but less arms.

Liger Zero
05-05-2009, 07:37 PM
Quick rule of thumb: If it's just one or five I hand-saw it. If it's more than that I rig up a fixture and bandsaw.

I have an old trade manual that has a chapter on saw-blades. I get time I'll scan and post it.

Silverwolf
05-05-2009, 07:46 PM
Good rule, but I like to have the tool for the job. If I run into a situation where I don't have the right tool. I'll buy it. Probably a cheap one, if low use is expected. But usually I'll fork out and get a nice one. Gettin quite a tool collection now. Wonder what I've spent?:D

Liger Zero
05-05-2009, 07:50 PM
Wife has some machinist-training apparently she never learned about the TPI and all that because she was asking me why I have four hack-saws... each frame has a different blade.

One is marked Steel, one is marked Copper, one is Aluminum, one is Backup Steel. :)