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View Full Version : My first tool gloat, free saw



Sportandmiah
07-02-2010, 12:52 AM
Just when I thought that I would never fall into free tools, an old friend is preparing to move, and gave this to me. It's a Carolina Metal Saw, model HD10. I know nothing about this model or what size it is. It was free, and ironically I was going to go to HF this week to check out their metal saws. It does has some surface rust...nothing too bad that I can tell, and it runs fine. Any thoughts on how to best clean it up?

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t182/bigsport/Machining/saw1.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t182/bigsport/Machining/saw2.jpg

ldn
07-02-2010, 01:45 AM
That looks like a nice find! Probably better than any HF saw.

As for cleaning it up I just tried the phosphoric acid thing for rust removal for the first time and it worked really well.

J. Randall
07-02-2010, 04:17 AM
Not to rain to hard on your parade, but the HF saw is probably a better saw. Those Carolina saws were sold out of the back of pickup trucks all across the country, usually had hydraulic presses and floor jacks all sold with some story about being surplus, or someone had ordered them and then the sale did'nt happen. Not very good quality stuff. On the bright side, it was free and better than no saw at all.
James

bobbyjim
07-02-2010, 07:13 AM
Back in the late 70's and early 80's they would come to the shop I worked at. Came in with a tractor trailer and parked it at a motel and the sellers all had pick up's with N.C., S.C and other state plates. I bought there press and crane and other items. They were all better quality than the currant HF items.

The story they always told me was they were built by N.C. State Prisoners. The hydraulics were the same Chinese you get today. True or not I have no idea. But I still have an engine stand and a engine crane with the Made in America stickers on them. The steel is heavier and I think there better made than any currant HF model.

wierdscience
07-02-2010, 08:21 AM
The biggest failing of those saws are the guides and the movable slide the front set are mounted to.Spend some time fixing and aligning those and you'll have a good saw.

Stu
07-02-2010, 09:43 AM
My old sheet metal shop bought one of them 30+ years ago. We had a few problems with the hyd. cylinder, but otherwise a decent saw. I wouldn't worry about the rust, just tune it up a bit and cut metal.

Bill

MTNGUN
07-02-2010, 10:40 AM
Cutter over at Shop Floor Talk wrote up a restoration on a Carolina saw. He was less than thrilled with it, and last I heard, was using an import 4x6 for most of his sawing.

But if yours is in working condition, enjoy it.

Alistair Hosie
07-02-2010, 12:47 PM
That saw looks good to me I can't imagine hf being better than that but what do I know clean it up and do a good job redoing it up and it will serve you for years.good Luck Alistair

Deja Vu
07-02-2010, 01:50 PM
Just when I thought that I would never fall into free tools, an old friend is preparing to move, and gave this to me. It's a Carolina Metal Saw, model HD10. I know nothing about this model or what size it is. It was free, and ironically I was going to go to HF this week to check out their metal saws. It does has some surface rust...nothing too bad that I can tell, and it runs fine. Any thoughts on how to best clean it up?

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t182/bigsport/Machining/saw1.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t182/bigsport/Machining/saw2.jpg

...don't mind if I bring the photos along...
Have you cut anything with it yet? If it cuts truish(after checking the blade), and isn't making any obvious grunts, then I'd say you got yourself a nice tool. FREE! But if you don't use it, and it clutters the shop, then it might be better given away again.
You want to clean it up..... I'd take the whole thing apart right down to the last seal. Well, not THAT far. But within reason upon inspection.
You might want to restore that li'l sucker. . Did you already clean the name plate? It doesn't look like it, but that would be the key in presenting your freshly painted project. ;)

MTNGUN
07-02-2010, 02:17 PM
Cutter's HD10 restoration thread (http://www.shopfloortalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6263&highlight=carolina), the thread includes a manual.

And his concluding remarks:


I don't want anybody over paying for one of these things because the truth is they are not worth a damn. My little $180 Homier copy of a Grizzly 5x7 is a much better bandsaw.......

Several of you have emailed and pmailed me about Carolinas over the last few months and I have tried my best to discourage you from buying the ones you found, did I not? So I will say it one more time for you visitors: never pay more than $100 for a Carolina Tool & Machinery or a Ramco bandsaw & only then if you don't mind trading your money for the experience of learning why they are a P.o.S., IMO, FWIW and AFAIAC.
And remember the definition of experience: what you get when you don't get what you want.

Here are a few specific observations:
1. The vise is weak & is likely to shift or release at the most inopportune time.
2. The cylinder is awkwardly placed and uses only a plumber's brass 1/4" needle valve to regulate it. I was never able to control the cut force accurately. I tried several times to adjust the balance spring to help that situation with no positive results that I could tell.
3. The worst part is the saw frame doesn't have enough backbone - it resonates & seems to flex during the cut.
4. The result of all that is I could not keep it cutting straight no matter what I did. It would cut fairly straight for a while & then just seem to start wandering around. It reminded me of that brain-dead pit bull puppy I rescued from wandering around in the traffic a few years ago; I could teach Thuggy to not get on that chair today but it had nothing to do with any other chair & it also had nothing to do with tomorrow.
5. The motor mount is inadequate & allows the motor to jump around resulting in belt slippage; I think this would be the 2nd easiest of the design flaws to remedy but it wasn't worth screwing with afaiac.
6. The switch configuration was a joke - pull on/push off and poorly located. It fried too.
7. I suppose the best part of the saw is the gearbox; I wasn't able to tear it up and I was able to keep the blade running true on the wheels so those parts of it are probably worth something if only for a shop-built project.

Deja Vu
07-02-2010, 04:28 PM
But also in the same thread by the new owner after Cutter let it go:


By Old Man, the new owner:
Suzie cut several 4" H beams today. Straight and square, I have to really hold it back though, it will overload and kick the breaker. I have decided the answer is more power. So, I ordered a new 1 HP motor today.

He seems quite happy to be the owner of "Suzie" ;)

John Stevenson
07-02-2010, 04:40 PM
It's got to be better than a hacksaw.

.

Alistair Hosie
07-02-2010, 05:07 PM
John Stevenson would you mind alterring your language in front of a proud qualters and smith owner:DAlistair oh you meant a hand hacksaw ok then Big Al forgives:D Alistair

Deja Vu
07-02-2010, 05:21 PM
It's got to be better than a hacksaw.

.
LOL! You crack me up!

tyrone shewlaces
07-02-2010, 05:33 PM
I had to use a Carolina band saw just like that one at one of my previous jobs. Often I opted to use a hack saw rather than mess with it. I cussed that thing every time I used it. You could not leave it alone to cut through anything and had to babysit and encourage it through every cut. Sucked. As horizontal band saws go, that one is unfortunately toward the extreme bottom of the heap, but for free it's OK.

Once I found a decent Wells band saw on Craiglist for $50 to replace the Carolina, but the place was too cheap to spring for it. Too cheap... Like the time wasted using the crap saw we had was worth it for another 10 years. Oh well - standard manager mentality. I already had a nice Wells in my own shop or I might have got it for myself.

My advice is to set it up as good as you can, but probably don't spend any effort nor money trying to improve it. Just too cheap a foundation to build anything on and would be a waste. Better to sell the thing when you outgrow it and put that into the next saw.

I too am sorry to rain on the parade, but my experience was memorable enough to hold a bit of a grudge.

John Stevenson
07-02-2010, 05:38 PM
LOL! You crack me up!

I was serious :confused:

Everyone is pissing on the OP's find but the alternative is a hacksaw.

Years ago I bought one of the Kennedy bench saws that use a part or broken hacksaw blade, people rave about them and they fetch serious money [ I sold mine for 3/4 the price of a 6 x 4 Taiwanese saw ? ]

They are total rubbish, they take about 20 minutes to cut thru a piece of 1-1/2" bar but people say well you can be doing something else ?????

What like get a life ? I'd sooner have the Caroliner saw and do a few mods to it.

Deja Vu
07-02-2010, 05:53 PM
I was serious :confused:

Everyone is pissing on the OP's find but the alternative is a hacksaw.

Years ago I bought one of the Kennedy bench saws that use a part or broken hacksaw blade, people rave about them and they fetch serious money [ I sold mine for 3/4 the price of a 6 x 4 Taiwanese saw ? ]

They are total rubbish, they take about 20 minutes to cut thru a piece of 1-1/2" bar but people say well you can be doing something else ?????

What like get a life ? I'd sooner have the Caroliner saw and do a few mods to it.

I read you right, and it was still funny. I knew you were speaking the truth. I too was defending him for his "gift". Heck! I'll sometimes not do a project if I have to use a hacksaw extensively.....spoiled as I am.

er.. I mean a "hand" hacksaw.

Sportandmiah
07-02-2010, 08:09 PM
I've done some reading on this saw today, and people either love it or hate it, like every other product made today. I plan to dis-assemble and clean it up, as I haven't had a chance. I'd assume a rusted saw blade will need to be replaced...should I test it or just buy another blade?

My theory is if the saw cuts decently, than I win. If not, I'm out nothing. But the tinkerer in me will make it work if it doesn't want to. :)

Happy Sawing

tyrone shewlaces
07-02-2010, 09:57 PM
That's a sound theory. I'm sure the saw is not that bad and that my prejudice against it is because in a commercial/professional setting, it was ridiculous to me that we had to fight that stupid saw - almost every day. At home things change a lot.

Personally I'd rub the rust off the blade by cutting through some metal with it. If it's dull or in bad shape other than the rust, a blade might be in order. I wouldn't sweat the rust only because the cost of a new blade exceeds the value of the saw. Oops sorry - my prejudice is bleeding through again.

John is probably right. Hopefully it's gotta be better than a hack saw. If not, sell it cheap and gloat about what you bought with the free saw money. You can't lose.

wrenchbender
07-02-2010, 10:31 PM
a free piece of equipment is a good piece of equipment, even if it needs some maintenance.

I haven't stumbled into free saws yet. have tho aquired a PAR-X ratchet for $5 that was a snap-on brand like blue point had my dealer put a kit in it and it is my fave. ratchet.

I was out on a parts mission and found a hd. cold saw in the man's garage that he was trying to move. A conversation ensued and he told me if i loaded it right there it was mine for $50. took 3 of us to load it but it came home with me that day. later examination revealed it to be a 12" with pneumatic vices.

good find and that would hold true even if was HF piece as the price was right...

Deja Vu
07-03-2010, 11:51 AM
I've done some reading on this saw today, and people either love it or hate it, like every other product made today. I plan to dis-assemble and clean it up, as I haven't had a chance. I'd assume a rusted saw blade will need to be replaced...should I test it or just buy another blade?

My theory is if the saw cuts decently, than I win. If not, I'm out nothing. But the tinkerer in me will make it work if it doesn't want to. :)

Happy Sawing

Did you have a chance yet to open the saw up? Did you go through with testing the blade? Did it feel sharp? Both edges generally equal in friction? Will you paint it also? ....a little sanding, scrubing, washing...yada.
Buy a new blade anyway... Even if the existing blade is good to cut, no tellin' when a jamb or strip might occur and require that "extra" blade.

Sportandmiah
07-03-2010, 05:57 PM
I picked it up last week but haven't had a chance, as I'm working all weekend. Monday I'll take some better pics and post them here for eval. Not sure how far I'm gonna take the restoration, as I have a kid on the way in a couple weeks. The grease monkey in me wants to strip it down to the last bolt...we will see.

Black_Moons
07-03-2010, 06:31 PM
Hmmm, I recently had a poke at one of them giant bandsaws at the local metal store, Just to see how much deflection there was with a couple lbs force.. Oddly, I think it deflected just about as much if not more then my swivel head 4x6

Course, it does use a MUCH bigger blade.. But then, it also has a giant span beween blade supports.

Sportandmiah
07-09-2010, 01:21 PM
I fired it up last night, knowing the saw blade had a little rust on it. I started to cut a 2" dia cold rolled steel round, hoping the rust was minor. Turns out the blade is pure rust, as the teeth just fell apart. So a new blade is next on the list.