88, страница 42

88, страница 42

Cutting with a Hack Saw. Use

a good-quality saw with a bimetal blade to cut pieces of mild steel.

Cutting on Table Saw. A non-ferrous blade can cut flat brass sections easily. (Blade guard removed for clarity.)

The key to getting the best results is to use a high-quality hacksaw with a bimetal blade. The nice thing is that neither one is expensive. A good saw will have a stiff spine and frame that won't twist or flex while you're cutting. That means you'll get a smoother cut. The hacksaw should also allow you to angle the blade for through cuts, as you can see in the inset photo above. You just need to position the stock in the side of your vise to make the cut.

Working with Files. When it's time to clean up a sawn edge or shape a part, you'll need a few different types and cuts of files. You may already have a few of these lying around in your shop, but if not, they aren't very expensive.

The files you'll need most often are the large, flat pattern files, like those shown on the opposite page.

A Thinking Safety. The shavings and sharp edges created as you work make eye and ear protection a must. So always wear your safety glasses and ear muffs. In addition to

installing the right saw blade, you'll want to make sure you have the guard in place at all times. And finally, a pair of leather gloves can provide added protection as you work.

working with


After you've completed the layout for your project, the next thing you'll need to do is cut the pieces to size. Here again, you're probably familiar with the tools you'll need, but you'll want to keep a few things in mind before you begin.

Safety First. It's a good idea to clean up the sawdust around your table saw and disconnect the dust collector from any tools you'll be using. You may not get many sparks, but brass shavings are very hot. They could smolder in a pile of dry sawdust, resulting in a fire.

The most important safety concern is eye injury. If you've gotten out of the habit, now is the time to dust off your safety glasses and make sure to wear them. They'll guard against flying metal shards.

The noise from cutting brass is more than an irritant — it's also a safety issue. So I always put on a pair of ear muffs before I cut metal with any power tools.


The easiest way to cut brass is at the table saw. A "non-ferrous," metal-cutting blade will slice through sheet brass very easily. In

addition to triple-chip ground, carbide teeth, these blades are designed with a negative hook angle to prevent kickback.

Unfortunately, you can't cut low-carbon steel with your standard woodworking machines. So, when it comes to mild steel, I prefer the old-fashioned method — a hacksaw (inset photo at right). It's fast enough for small projects and a whole lot quieter too.


ShopNotes No. 88

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