Hacksaws: How to choose 'em, how to use 'em, + other "stuff"

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AES

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@graduate owner. Thanks again, glad it is useful, I find that when I write such long stuff I find myself wondering if anyone's going to be interested.

I haven't got a leather apron (most of the stuff I do tends to be smaller-size - aeromodelling background, and all that - but I should buy one.

BTW, if your Forum handle is because you do own a Graduate (Colchester) then I HATE you!!! (Even if it is "only" a Student I'd be dead jealous - not that I've got the room for either of course). :D

@ETV: No I have no "magic Abrafile store" - haven't seen any in the shops for many a long year. Just like you the few (long and short) that I own are guarded jealously. You're right, VERY good on curves, and not really all that much sweat required (mostly). :D

@dickm: NO problem, really. It was a lot to take in all at once, and as I said before, those bloody little crescents are a real problem, so to have someone reinforcing that message is definitely no bad thing.

Thanks again all.

AES
 

AES

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A P.S to graduate owner: Re safety gear, I DO have eye protection (big visor) and gloves, but rightly or wrongly (referring back to another recent post by Eric the Viking on noise), although I have ear defenders I use them very seldom. Rightly or wrongly I've decided that having ruined my hearing years ago (unprotected against jet engine noise - but NOT at full power I hasten to add!) I seldom bother. Probably should wear them more though - the nibbler and cut off discs are probably just as damaging as the router (when I usually DO wear them)

But I do like the leather apron idea.

AES
 

-Matt-

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TFrench":1msgh5sw said:
If you do a lot of sheet metalwork in thin gauge, we've just invested in a couple of these at work:
http://www.bosch-professional.com/om/en/cordless-metal-shear-gsc-10-8-v-li-226567-0601926175.html
Absolute game changer. Incredibly controllable and neat, very little distortion on the workpiece. Overkill for DIY'ers, but it may help somebody!

I'd say not, it wouldn't last very long in a proper sheet metal shop so it's no use for that either! :p Might be nice with a bigger capacity. We have an old (probably 80's!) Bosch nibbler that manages 1.5mm stainless just fine and it's no bigger than a standard jigsaw.

Regarding the clutch nut on a 9" grinder.
Yes.
They do work.
 

NazNomad

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AES":3ox1d1kg said:
No I have no "magic Abrafile store" - haven't seen any in the shops for many a long year.

I can't remember seeing one since the 1980's. I suppose the modern equivalent is the blade sold to cut ceramic tiles?
 

custard

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Whenever I cut out small squares from a saw plate or a card scraper for scratch stock blanks, no matter if I use a hacksaw or snips, they generally end up with slightly rippled edges, which then means a lot of flattening on a diamond stone to get a mirror surface.

How would you go about this task, with the objective of keeping the blank as flat as possible?

Thanks.
 

CHJ

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I usually sandwich thin stock between more robust sheet or hardwood when cutting, then likewise between hardened stock (hardened silver steel or case hardened MS strips) to file down/draw-file any edges that need dressing.

Even cut strips for marking knives off a sawplate on my horizontal bandsaw with a hardwood support under it.
 

AES

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Hullo Custard, only just seen your Q, sorry.

Yup, +1 for what CHJ says, plus maybe a couple of other ideas.

Q's if I may:
1. Have you got a scroll saw in your shop - or even a fret saw or jewellers saw (frame/s)?
2. How hard is this stock you're trying to cut (roughly, I don't need a number, but say, like a bit of stainless? Or even harder/tougher)?
3. Roughly, how thick?
4. How often do you need to do that job?

Depending on your answers (sorry, I'm not familiar with the stock you mention), I'll answer tomorrow (bedy byes time here now, sorry).

AES
 

TFrench

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-Matt-":159g7by8 said:
TFrench":159g7by8 said:
If you do a lot of sheet metalwork in thin gauge, we've just invested in a couple of these at work:
http://www.bosch-professional.com/om/en/cordless-metal-shear-gsc-10-8-v-li-226567-0601926175.html
Absolute game changer. Incredibly controllable and neat, very little distortion on the workpiece. Overkill for DIY'ers, but it may help somebody!

I'd say not, it wouldn't last very long in a proper sheet metal shop so it's no use for that either! :p Might be nice with a bigger capacity. We have an old (probably 80's!) Bosch nibbler that manages 1.5mm stainless just fine and it's no bigger than a standard jigsaw.

Regarding the clutch nut on a 9" grinder.
Yes.
They do work.

Obviously if you're doing heavy work it's not going to be up to it. We have an old bosch one for heavier stuff as well. For on site trimming or cutting out patterns in the workshop I can assure you it's much easier than gilbows. Most of our stuff is >1mm aluminium or stainless and it's ideal for that.

Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
 

hawkeyefxr

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First class 'how to' well done.
Would just like to add one thing if i may, i did not notice it when reading. When you have finished your hacksawing, release the tension on the hacksaw frame that way they will last years.
 

AES

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Thanks hawkeyefxr, glad you find it useful.

Re your one comment, you're quite right, you didn't read about releasing the tension on a hacksaw. I do on the band saw (for example), but have never done so on hacksaws. No reason why not, I just never thought of it, n was never taught it, but it obviously does make sense. Thanks - because of the extra tension on my hacksaw frames the bow IS becoming "a bit less/more bowed"! I shoulddo it.

AES
 

AES

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@custard.

Thanks for the additional info about your job via PM. Sorry for my ignorance, but I now understand your scratch stock job - "a bit" anyway. (Being a dumbo, I 1st Googled "scratch block" which, apparently, has to do with coded jigsaws or something, nothing at all to do with wood working)!

OK, clear now. I'm lucky that my wife bought me a very nice scroll saw for my 70th, and personally I would use that with a suitable metal cutting blade for this job (you can down load a table of Pegas metal cutting blades from the link in my hack sawing piece - just under Photo 28). Pegas (amongst others) have blades tough enough and fine enough to cut your stuff OK. Then add a zero clearance insert to the machine and off you go.

If you don't have a scroll saw (it doesn't need to be a posh one, but MUST cut pretty slowly) then instead you could use the same blade in a Jewellers/Piercing saw frame if you've got one (the lower frame shown in Photo 14 - I think the other two frames shown in that photo probably wouldn't tension the blade well enough).

Otherwise I see only 2 choices, because neither the Goscut tool nor the Nibbler tool referred to in my post will, I think, do the job. At about Rockwell 50 your stock is a bit too hard/tough for both probably. So your 2 remaining choices I see are:

A thin cut off disc in a small drill: You don't need an expensive one - I've seen cheapos in Aldi or Lidl from time to time, and although my Workzone (Aldi) sounds a bit rough compared to my Dremel, it'll still do the job fine, OR;

A hacksaw with a 32 TPI blade: If going this route use an all-hard blade if possible, and set the job up horizontally, (flat) on the bench, not vertically in the vice.

If going the scroll saw or jeweller's saw route I don't think a "sandwich support" will be necessary (see below -PROVIDED the job is well supported below - hence zero clearance insert). 30 thou is not all that that thin in this regard. For lubrication ('cos I do NOT want "oil" all over my scroll saw!) I'd use a smear of Vaseline along each cut line.

But if you go either the cut off disc or the hacksaw route, then you'll need to set up a "cutting sandwich". Stale bread might do (!) but a piece of thin ply (up to say about an eighth inch thick, by no means critical, but STIFF) would be better - or even a scrap of thin mild steel or anything else you have to hand that's nice and stiff and not too thick.

Just as CHJ suggested in his previous post, the trick is to make a complete sandwich with a piece of support material under the job, plus another piece covering the top of the job. Do not use double sticky tape or similar between the laminations (it's too spongy). Just mark the job out on the outer face of the top lamination, then wrap the whole lot up TIGHTLY with transparent parcel tape. AND, as you cut each line, replace each of the now broken tape lines with another piece of tape top/bottom/over the cut before moving on to the next cut line. This will keep the whole assembly rigid without anything flapping in the breeze as you cut.

Lubrication is not necessary here IMO - cutting speed will be slow because you can't rush such a cut free hand, and anyway the lamination support pieces will act as a heat sink.

After the last cut, separate the sandwich - use a thin sharp knife and do NOT be tempted to lever the sandwich apart, otherwise you risk buckling the job.

You MAY have a very slight whiskery burr on the lower edge of each cut line, but this is easily removed by holding the job flat in your hand and gently applying a small smooth file, laying it ALMOST flat on the face of the job and gently stroking.

IF the cut line faces need a really fine finish before you file the profile/s into them, then set the job up in the vice (as low as possible) and use a smooth file in the draw filing method shown at Photo 27 in the files & filing post. Use chalk rubbed into the file teeth if necessary.

I don't know how often this job occurs in your shop custard, but I assume it's just "now and then". If so either/any of the above (two, or total four!) options should work without investing in anything more than scroll saw or hacksaw blades.

But if it's a "once a week job" (or more) then in your place I think I'd invest in something better - perhaps a sliding holder for a Dremel-size drill (or even a small angle grinder) to ensure dead straight lines with the cut off disc. A small thin cut off disc will definitely cut that stock - just don't let it get too hot.

I can't recommend specific angle grinder "holders" but if you follow the 1st link you'll find loads of pix of metal cutting stuff (in some cases they look big enough to cut up bits of scrap battleship)!

The 2nd link will take you to many pix, a few of which may ring a bell if you're considering the Dremel-size tools option. These include a couple of DIY holders that look easy to make. Again I can't recommend any specific products/plans because the bit of sheet cutting I do with cut off disc I do with a hand-held Dremel (or clone).

1st link:
https://www.google.ch/search?q=abrasive ... IqyJIook1M:

2nd link:
https://www.google.ch/search?q=mini+dri ... 93&bih=498

HTH.

But I stress I'm no expert and there are many other members with knowledge and experience, so it could well be that someone else will come up with better ideas.

Good luck.

AES
 

graduate_owner

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Hey AES,
Firstly my handle - I have owned an old Myford ML8 for a number of years but never much liked the outboard turning, (possibly because I don't have the original parts) and had read that the graduate was the bees knees for turning. So when I saw a graduate bowl lathe going for silly money, I had to buy it. Then I searched for a handbook and came across this forum. Little did I realize how brilliant a forum it is, I just wanted some info on the lathe as a one- off query. Anyhow I was so pleased with getting the lathe that I used Graduate Owner as my one-off handle. If I had known how much use I was going to make of this forum I would have chosen a shorter handle !!!!

So, whilst my handle refers to the union graduate lathe ( you don't hate me yet, I assume), I do in fact have a Colchester lathe, a square head Master mark 2 - so now you can hate me. Just to go one further, I also have a floor standing vertical milling machine, and an Eagle surface grinder. I am ashamed to say, they don't get a lot of use. So now feel free to loathe and detest me to your heart's content.

Pity you are so far away. You would be welcome to come and play with them

K
 

AES

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Thanks for the handle explanation g-o! :D

As I'm sure you realised (?), I was only joshing - truth is if I ever tried wood turning I think I'd get really hooked and that's definitely do NOT yet another "thing" to spend my non-existent time and money on! (hammer) (as applied by my long-suffering wife).

But I am jealous of all your metal working gear. Thanks for the "invitation" but these days I rarely get to UK (although my UK relations are almost all gone now) I have "promised" a road visit to a couple of Forum contacts, but my stupid back's not going to allow that any time soon, if ever. I remember only about 20 years ago, leaving Zurich early one Saturday morning in my little Escort, driving to just outside Cardiff to pick up an aero engine part, stopping for a few hours sleep in some hotel on the M4 early Sunday morn - it got foggy - and delivering the part back to ZRH by 8.00 on the Monday morning - quicker than courier, and no Customs formalities!

Those days are long gone unfortunately. My better half and I are off to the Black Forest for a week next week. It's only about a 2.5 hour drive (max) but regardless of if either she or I drive, it'll need one, probably 2 stops to "de-cramp" my back and legs!

But thanks, I appreciate it, you have a play for me instead (my little Chinese mini lathe is not bad, it just lacks rigidity). :D

AES
 

AES

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Thanks mate. It's not very funny sometimes, but hey ho, I'm still alive!

At least when I can't do much in the shop I can (sometimes) sit at the PC and make long posts on the Forum (the last hacksaws thingy took over 2 months - NOT contiguously I hasten to add)! :D

AES
 

Aden30mm

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A wise old Chief many years ago saw me struggling with cutting duralumin with tin snips. The secret he told me was to lock the bottom handle of the snips in a vice, and cut using pressure on the upper handle moving the material to detail the cut. For thicker section you can place a pipe over the tinsnips handle to increase the leverage. Please note in some circumstances power tooling was not available.

Nice thread AES (Aircraft Engineering Squadron)??

Rgs

Aden
 

AES

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Hullo Aden 30mm. I know what those are (they were fitted to our Hunters, and later Lightnings) when I was on 1st line in the RAF - a WHILE ago now though!

Thanks for your positive comments.

I hadn't heard the tip from your wise old Chiefy before, thanks for that. Perhaps our Chiefys weren't as hairy "buttocked" and wise as yours!

Sorry to disappoint though - my AES handle is simply my initials (first, middle, family), nothing cleverer than that.

AES
 

Silly_Billy

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If anyone needs a 1-handed hacksaw that works a treat, then I found the Milwaukee 48-22-0012 Compact Hacksaw is really excellent. The frame's rock solid and it's a quality tool. If Veritas made a junior hacksaw, this would be it.
49698_48-22-0012-lg.ashx
 

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