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Hacksaw blades

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  • Hacksaws are a common workshop tool. The frames come in a range of shapes and sizes. For any given frame there’s a range of available hacksaw blades to cope with different materials and situations.
  • The hacksaw frame can be adjusted to take different blade lengths and when the blade is placed in the frame and it is tightened to the correct tension by a tensioning device such as a wing nut. The hacksaw blade must be of the right pitch which is determined by the number of teeth in an inch of blade.
  • A blade with many teeth per inch has a fine pitch, one with few teeth per inch has a coarse pitch. The power hacksaw is used for square or angle cutting of stock. The band saw uses a continuous band blade. A drive wheel and an idler wheel support and drive the blade.
  • Blades are available in several materials including carbon steel, high speed steel, and alloys of steel such as molybdenum and tungsten. (NOTE: alloy steel have harder teeth, but they are brittle and break easily.)
  • Having too many teeth cutting will result in the tooth cavity filling with chips before the cut is complete.
  • The important thing to know when putting on a blade is that the teeth must point towards the front of the frame. This is because the hacksaw is designed to cut on the forward stroke and a blade that is put on backwards will be quickly ruined.
  • Hold the handle in one hand and the other end of the frame with your other hand. To start the cut, steady the blade at the spot to be cut with the thumb, and nick the corner with a LIGHT BACKWARD stroke. Press down on the forward stroke and lift a little on the return stroke because the teeth cut only on the forward stroke
  • Use the full length of the blade. If this is not done, the teeth will ware down in the middle of the blade and when a full stroke is taken, the blade will bind up.
  • Loosen the wing nut near the hacksaw's handle. Loosen the nut by turning it counter-clockwise. Ensure the wing nut is loose enough so you can remove the old blade from the frame. Remove the old blade from the frame. Remove the blade by lifting it off the blade retaining pins at each end of the frame. Install a new blade onto the blade retaining pins. Ensure the blade's teeth point away from the handle. Tighten the wing nut by rotating it clockwise until the blade is tight.
  • Make a test cut on a piece of scrap metal held in a vise. Tighten the wing nut further if the blade binds or flexes during the cut. For heavy-duty cutting jobs like steel reinforcing rod or pipe, an 18-teeth per inch blade would be the best choice. For a job that requires medium-duty cutting, like a thin wall electrical conduit, a 24-teeth per inch blade would do a better job. When cutting light metals like aluminum, a 32-teeth per inch blade should easily do the trick.

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