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Magic Power-hacksaw

If you have been following our scrap made wood stove progress, you will already have seen a glimpse of the power hacksaw, but we did promise more… Here is a little video and some info on the saw.

It came from Aberystwyth University, where it has sat in storage for years, unused and unloved. There were a few other things being sold off, in a secret auction style… Delivered in the nick of time in a sealed envelope marked with out name and contact details, was our bid:

“Rapidor Manchester Power Hacksaw, 3phase – £35”

The bids were supposed to be opened the next day. We didn’t hear anything so assumed someone else with an eye for exciting old school metal working machinery had put in a higher bid. But no, we didn’t account for the special ‘academic time scale’. Two months (!) later we got an e-mail from them saying our bid was successful and it should be paid for and cleared from the University premises within ten days.

Luckily the curtness of the written correspondence was plenty offset by the nice man that worked in the nearby workshop. On the phone he agreed to help me load it into the van with his engine hoist – being a cast iron monstrosity, it is really rather heavy! I took Alex along for big man muscles just in case, but it turned out grunting wasn’t necessary, as the hoist preformed well.

Here it is loaded up and ready. It was covered with a reasonably thick layer of proper oily ‘get on your clothes and never come off’ workshop grime…

Though the innards of the machine remained relatively clean and tidy. I was assured the motor still worked, but the chain driven coolant pump had long since seized up…

It needed re-wiring to work on our single phase supply – we are using an inverter to run the original motor at the moment, which is nice because it lets us control the speed quite precisely (it also offers the tantalising prospect of running the hacksaw much faster than it was originally designed – it would probably need a few mods to handle it, but still –  “pimp my automatic hacksaw!”). It didn’t come with any blades, but they do still make ones that will fit – ones that are high speed steel – better than the originals by a long way. I imagine a crazy carbon fibre blade tensioning arm to replace the cast iron one would reduce the accelerating – decelerating weight a lot. Of course then the downwards force of the blade would be reduced, so you could rig up some kind of magnetically stationary weight to push down…

All that is quite low down on the list of ‘would be nice’ projects at the moment though… If you watched the video, you will know the temporary state of the wiring at the moment – it is running smoothly, but the details like the  auto off switch need sorting. Once that’s done we really will be able to set a job going and wonder off and get on with something else.

Responses to Automatic Hacksaw – aka operation steampunkify metal cutting

  1. Dave

    Vid looked good, cut faster than I was imagining.

    When you return home you should find some additional pipe, with additional angles, on you drive. Providing scrappies haven’t been at it

  2. Bongo

    Ah cool! Some people might be upset by scrap pipe on drive, but I certainly thought what a perfect homecoming! Thanks – Looks pretty useful. See welds of the other pipe in the next blog post. I think I have got the welder setting tuned in quite well for it.

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