\m/etal Room Refresh... was: Power Hacksaw. Temporarily offline.

  • It is binding on start of the backstroke, I think the chain drive just needs alignment tweaking. I’ll work on it Monday night during the Metal Room cleanup I’m working on.

    More troubling is that I think I’ve found the cause of @Grant-Fraser’s wandering cut problem… There is a design flaw where if the blade binds on anything, for any reason (like cutting thin-walled tubing with a too-coarse blade) the motor pulls downward on the frame, hard. Kicks the blade out sideways. I’m going to see if I can find an answer in my copy of the Edgar T Westbury power hacksaw plans… as I recall, he had a cam that limited depth of cut on each pass, and also lifted the blade slightly on the return stroke to clear chips and prolong blade life.

    Right up until it started binding, the thing was cutting 2"x1" aluminum bar stock like a hot damn. Straight and square cuts. I finished up the one it started on the vertical bandsaw, but the power hacksaw is full of win for making those tedious cuts while you do something else nearby and supervise it. The fact that it is burning up dollar store blades is a nice feature compared to the $50 special-order blades the porta-band needs. Took me two weeks to get them last time I ordered. I’ll probably go get some “expensive” Starrett blades from KMS for the hacksaw, probably cost me $15 to get a 10 pack, but they start sharper and last longer…

  • Well, I got some stuff worked on tonight, but did not get to the power hacksaw. Helped @Nicholas get the Vacuum Former and giant bedsheet iron out of the metal shop. Added an hour meter to the laser cutter:


    It is inside the side door (with the electronics) and just magnet mounted to the machine… We can reposition it later. It logs how many hours the machine has been keyed on. Hopefully we can develop some sort of maintenance schedule from that. I also vacuumed out the bottom of the machine, which was pretty thick with ash and offcuts. This is prep for setting up a rotary attachment.

    Vacuumed and started tidying up in the metal shop. Started setup for the yellow Dyna CNC mill… Which @toxuin reminded me was functional before we moved it out of the hack room… If I can figure out which way the connectors go and get that hooked up, it should be a nice addition to the shop. I’ll need to rig an enclosure to keep the chips off the electronics.

    Might mount them on a shelf under the table. We’ll see.

    If you are looking for the angle grinders, they’re in the labelled drawer under the Dyna mill. Discs are in the drawer under that. @Vaughn has asked me to stop labeling stuff with the redactor, but it is so quick, I might not be able to help myself.

    Still nice bank of machine tools we are setting up. Might be able to do a machine tools 102 using with up to 3 students at a time… We might have the ability to run 3 milling machines at once soon.

    Can anyone guess which drawer I put the sheet metal tools in? Hopefully I’ll never again get to spend several days searching for the rotary shear.


    I also started organizing the fasteners, and removing the wood-shop tools from this room, and clearing the workbench. Sadly, this counts as an improvement, because you can see a few square inches of bench surface. It’ll get better, I swear (loudly, frequetly, and with some variety. The other day @kile heard me doing it all the way upstairs in the woodshop, upon discovering that somebody had taken a boring bar from the machine tools kit and inserted it into a power outlet. Whoever that was. Pleased don’t do it again.)


    I was going to gut the spray booth to turn it back into a welding booth/tool area, but some members have convinced me that it was actually being used for painting. As far as I could tell, it was just getting used to collect garbage. I’ll probably wheel the heavy steel bench out of there, and set up the light desks to hold the painting racks. I still want to install the steel walls and a fire retardant floor in there though, because we need to be able to plasma cut and weld. Painting shit is only useful if we can make shit to paint.

  • Oh, @Grant-Fraser the sign on the chiller we took off the vacuum former says to inform you if it gets moved. It is on the workbench. I’m going to move it again, as soon as I figure out where the hell to put it.

  • Incidentally, I found a copy of the original ETWestbury power hacksaw plans.


    I’ll take a look at ours and see if it can be improved upon. At the very least, a compound leverage high-tension setup for the blade will likely make it cut straighter.

    The setup on the first page of the fourth part of the article is interesting… He’s using a dashpot to limit the descent rate, and a sliding weight to get precise balance, and cutting force. Currently, the thing just flails around under its own weight.

  • Design Lab

    I agree that the spray booth is a valuable capability - I use it, and dont gas the building! Id like to see it upgraded!

  • @Vaughn I’m going to have to suggest that you should use the paint booth for at least an hour after Senior Frogs then.

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