Hand Tools

Thanks, John! *PIC*

David Weaver
You're about to be thanked for something you'll have no clue about except for my mention....as to why you're responsible!

My last bugaboo for hand work with metals is ripping and crosscutting steel. I have a portaband, but it can accidentally point harden things, and it strips teeth off of blades constantly, and they're expensive ($20 for 3 at the very least).

I also have a good hacksaw and good 18tpi lenox blades. But the stroke is short and it's a fight to use it, and the blade changing is constant (and not convenient).

In a period of distraction while experimenting yesterday morning and dreading blowing through expensive portaband blades, i thought it would be interesting to try one in the frame saw.

BLAM!!! it's fantastic! it's not like it's super fast, but it doesn't need to be - it's pleasant, no chance of hardening anything, and I can cut a 14" file that's 0.25" thick (only the older ones are that thick) in about 15 minutes. The portaband could do most of this perhaps in 5 minutes, but I can cut by hand more accurately.

This would be an all out knuckle smashing fight with the hacksaw and both it and the portaband have depth issues and with the hacksaw, the desire to bear down leads to sore hands and sometimes a headache for me.

This new setup fits in my hand tool wants - it's like taking a brisk walk, easy - just build a rhythm and go. Iv'e cut about 10 or 12 inches of metal so far and not a single tooth shows any damage at all. I could cut two files like this with the portaband and then something owuld let go, or sometimes if the blades aren't that great, something point hardens and the tips are run off of all of them at once.

This has great potential for making things like stanley plane irons, etc, as I can cut the sheet stock on a long gradual diagonal instead of across the width of the steel (which is fast, but absolute murder on hacksaw blades).

If the teeth stay perfect on these bimetal blades, I can touch them up with a diamond file.

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