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Sabre saw for chopping rods?

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  • ChazzC
    replied
    Getting back on topic, I have to agree that while a saber saw could be the answer from small stock & tubes, my PortaBand in a SWAG Off Road vertical table does everything I need. However, it does take up real estate, albeit on top of a roller cabinet with my Craftsman 10" 3-Wheel bandsaw.

    What Cenedd needs is a "Twin Cutter Saw:"

    Click image for larger version

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    OK, it looks new, and almost is, but 17 years ago I was already a tool junkie and it was on sale! This baby will cut through:

    1-1/2" OD x 1/8" wall galvanized tube (1-1/4" Sc 40 pipe)
    1-1/2" square (or 1-1/2" x ? tube) x 1/8" wall mild steel or aluminum tube
    1-1/2" x 1/8" wall mild steel angle/channel
    1/8" mild steel/aluminum plate
    Corrugate sheet material (1-1/2" x 1/8")
    2 x 4 pine
    1-1/2" PVC pipe

    Maximum OD/cross-section is limited by the blade size and wall thickness by the capability of the saw, which uses a pair of custom counter-rotating carbide tipped blades (actually listed on eBay NIB for $55; I got my spare set for free according to the receipt, which is amazingly still readable). Used saw kits are also available on eBay, ranging from $66 — $105, including s/h (you can also get the "universal" version for $65 —$70).

    The kit includes a nice blow molded case, which doesn't take up much room:

    Click image for larger version

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    I've only used mine a couple of times, always outdoors with the stock held in my "Vintage" WorkMate because it makes more swarf than a sheet metal nibbler and it flies everywhere. It does cut smoothly & fast and I'm sure it will outstrip a PortaBand in a lot of cases.

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  • Cenedd
    replied
    Funny you should mention that as I've only today been reposting these in a sidebar.
    I know, I definitely need to get round to a decent replacement table as the one you can see is broken and also bad....but you expect this from a grinder!




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  • BCRider
    replied
    Cenedd, you posted earlier that you might get even a little relief by moving some stuff up into an attic or other area? It's often amazing what getting even a little room can do for things. It still demands careful planning but hopefully you get even a little more room for even a smidge of space relief. And then reorganize to get the absolute most from it. Earlier I suggested that for short work that your Portaband could be mounted and stored fairly low and for quick cuts you simply bend over and use it quickly. The same is possible for some other tools. A bench grinder is one such. Most of the time my grinding is done quickly in well under a minute. If you're the same then bending over a little to do a quick bit of grinding won't be a back ache deal. And if the grinder is on a sub plate of nice plywood it can be released from where it's held firmly and clamped to the normal work top for longer work so you're comfy the whole time. That's the sort of things I'm thinking that can help a lot with planning how to use a small area the best.

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  • Tundra Twin Track
    replied
    I’ve had great success with these Lenox blades in steel especially if cutting oil can be added and blade speed slower,adding oil efficiently is just about 2 person job.I’ve cut through the hex head on 7/8” high grade bolts with these.It’s tough to beat a bandsaw but sometimes there’s no room for them. Click image for larger version

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  • Cenedd
    replied
    I swing a mean short file ....but a junior hacksaw (that I've seen)? I'll pass!

    EddyCurr I've been setting up for outdoor work - deployable saw horses with an MFT style table between and so on. Trouble is that I can't have anything out permanently - the office took a good chunk of a pretty small garden - and lugging everything out, setting it up, having it start to rain on you and carting it all back in again gets old very quickly. What I need is - as always - what I can't have; more space. Not without a lifestyle change (moving house and going further out) that isn't so compatible with a kid in school. Once we know which secondary school he goes to, that might change.

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  • EddyCurr
    replied
    Yes, investing in a good hacksaw frame makes a big contribution to successful outcomes. The frame, together with a selection of blades in good condition and possessing the appropriate tooth count for the size of stock to be cut, goes a long way to minimizing demand on the "power source" - no matter how severely affected by atrophy. Besides, your Portaband is close at hand for the jobs that warrant it.

    Is it feasible to position a secondary vise or similar clamping fixture somewhere else that is more amenable? A vise is pretty weather-tolerant, you see them riding the rear bumpers of welding & utility trucks all the time. A simple canvass cover would be an easy little luxury accessory to add protection.
    Last edited by EddyCurr; 06-21-2022, 04:07 PM.

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  • BCRider
    replied
    Originally posted by Cenedd View Post
    ....hacksaw....power source spends most of its time these days sitting behind a desk working remotely....so is probably inferior to yours!

    ....The other thing is that the wall behind me tends to get in the way of my elbow. .....
    I'll see your remote working and raise you with being a 68... soon to be 69.... year old retiree. And certainly not one of those retiree marathon runners either ! ! ! !

    If you can't hacksaw something held in your bench vise without feeling crowded or hitting your elbows on something with the back swing than you can't effectively use a file either. And that would be a major problem for me. I know you have a very cramped shop area but not having room to run a hacksaw or a file without hitting the wall behind you is one of those things to add to the reno list up near the Home spot.

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  • Mike279
    replied
    I have a 12 volt Milwaukee Hackzall and it works great for it's intended purpose. Wood, drywall, Plastic pipe, lightweight metal. It will hold any blade and run times are very good with a larger style battery. 20 mm metal is not going to be this tools strong suit.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cenedd
    replied
    Definitely interesting to see how bad, comparably, the power option is. My hacksaw is a decent Bahco high-tension frame. It's power source spends most of its time these days sitting behind a desk working remotely....so is probably inferior to yours! The other thing is that the wall behind me tends to get in the way of my elbow. I think the only way forward is to try to progress plans to make more room so I can at least have the vise holding the stock at an angle that I can wield a hacksaw at. That's going to have to wait until we resolve the sewage issue that's currently writing off the kitchen. It was going so well but now it looks like the problem is under someone else's land but our fault - well, the builder we employed but getting him to foot the bill I suspect is going to involve court costs and then he'll as like as not fold the company and resurrect in a new very similar name with no liability. Yeah, I think priorities just changed :-/

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  • Tobias-B
    replied
    I gotta say, I'm with BC on this- I use a hand hack saw in preference to anything powered and reciprocating.
    And I leave the sawzall right under the bench. But only reach for it occasionallly.

    If you have a porta- band, use it. It's light- years more civilised than buzzing back and forth.
    I have a larger band saw in a different part of the barn, and wander over when the cut needs
    to be better than - or is too big for- the hack saw.

    t

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  • BCRider
    replied
    I guess I was hoping for a nice easy way of bypassing some of that chain of you can't do A until you've done B but you can't do B until you've done C but....
    Very much a "Been there, done dat, got the shirt" along with you deal. It's annoying. But the struggle is real....

    On Paul's router table example. He was actually suggesting a similar idea but with the jigsaw mounted under the table instead of a router. But then you have the same issue of lack of permanent space to mount said saw with table. Someone actually makes an upside down saw just like that now. But it's a fast strokes per minute focused on wood. Plus it's a boxy thing you would need to dedicate room towards. And due to your situation that's just the very thing you're trying to avoid.

    Ya know.... I just went out and took those little offcuts from the test last night and cut through them with a hacksaw. And I didn't even change the blades which are getting a bit tired. I keep two hacksaws on hooks just below the vise. One has a 32TPI blade and the other an 18TPI.

    The bit of tube was hacked through using the 32TPI in only about 10 strokes in 17 seconds. I attacked the 3/8 and after bashing a fingertip on the tube used a bit more caution at the end and did it in about 20 seconds. That was so interesting that I could not resist and took an end off the 3/4" bar which had been cut in the past with a shear and was squished oddly. Cutting through that with the somewhat dull 18T saw took about 90 seconds and gave me some much needed workout. So the lighter stock items can be cut with a hacksaw in the same time as using a jig or recip saw. The heavier stuff takes a little longer. Or perhaps with a new blade it might have been closer to the same 70 seconds. The old blade was giving me a fair bit of binding so it suggests that I have worn away most of the set..... Hold on....

    ... New blade in the 18T saw. Stanley bimetal as it happens. New time for 3/4 inch mild round stock.... 40 seconds and not even breathing as hard. Yep, that's 30 seconds faster than the rather risky feeling jig saw cut on the same bar. I didn't do this as a speed run either. Just smooth easy strokes. I did rock the saw through a little tilt. Tip forward, 5 or 6 strokes. Tip back, another 5 or 6. Tip forward, etc, etc. About a 10 degree shift each time. This makes it easy to keep the teeth engaging well and cutting well and certainly speeds the progress on wider cuts. Not needed for up to 1/2. But for anything bigger it's a huge help.

    So bottom line is that your best option for a small and light portable saw for small stock cutting might be the human powered one you already have. .. Just watch the knuckles during the final break through.

    And this has been a big eye opener for me too.

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  • Dan Dubeau
    replied
    I use my Portaband so much It hangs on a hook under my bench vise, and is plugged in all the time. Going back to a recip saw would be a major step backwards IMO. The saw in you link does look handy for other jobs around the house though. I wouldn't look to try and replace the portaband with it though.

    Look into finding a spot to store the portaband that makes it easier to get at and use, so that it is no longer a pain or drawn out process to grab it for quick and easy cuts. I used to store mine in an overhead cupboard and always had the same issue until I brought it out into the open and hung right next to where I need it all the time. Haven't touched a hacksaw since

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  • Cenedd
    replied
    Darn it, why can't you guys tell me what I want to hear sometime! The attraction was something small and light that I could stow in a drawer. The 12V drill driver pleasantly suprised me with its capability but I've found two things this morning. Firstly the quoted "50mm" in metal is for pipes and for mild steel it's only 8mm...which I may as well hacksaw by hand!
    Secondly I eventually found a a video that tested it on metal - most were on wood: video (links straight to the test on metal - 18V first, then 12V)
    As you can see, the small 12V unit looks rather pointless for the task. The 18V might be acceptable but it's already out of the cheap category, not as small and tops out at 16mm. Even the top of the range 18V-32 tops out at 20mm and that's over three times the price and definitely not small. And that doesn't look like it'll provide performance to offset the price tag: threaded rod

    BCRider I do want to get my portaband mounted vertically better than just clamping the handle in the bench vise. I've seen Blondihacks' video but I've been overthinking that one for a while now. The vise is about the only place currently that it could go and It can't stay there permanently. My plan is to remove the shelving and storage that really writes off half of the very little space I already have. That means getting that storage relocated to the loft and that means getting rid of what's up there....which, to cut a long story short, is complicated. I guess I was hoping for a nice easy way of bypassing some of that chain of you can't do A until you've done B but you can't do B until you've done C but....

    Paul Alciatore It's a nice idea and one I'd definitely not thought of. I'd like a router table but I don't have the flat space for even the plate, let alone in/out-feed. Very jealous of your two-car garage. My wife asked how much space I'd like (hypothetically!) and that seemed to be a good size....but I don't doubt you can easily (over-)fill whatever you have.

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  • The Artful Bodger
    replied
    Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
    Sabre saw also has the "shaper problem"; it cuts only half the time. Bandsaw will be faster.
    Of course if you have a shaper you could cut off with that.

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  • J Tiers
    replied
    Porta-band, or other bandsaw, or a small metal-cutting circular saw have the advantage of pushing the work down against the table. As mentioned, the sabre saw wants to kick up, or, if upside down, wants to kick the work up.

    Sabre saw also has the "shaper problem"; it cuts only half the time. Bandsaw will be faster.

    Leave a comment:

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