Most hacksaws are hand saws with a C-shaped frame that holds a blade under tension. Such hacksaws have a handle, usually a pistol grip , with pins for attaching a narrow disposable blade.
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The frames may also be adjustable to accommodate blades of different sizes. A screw or other mechanism is used to put the thin blade under tension. On hacksaws, as with most frame saws, the blade can be mounted with the teeth facing toward or away from the handle, resulting in cutting action on either the push or pull stroke.
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In normal use, cutting vertically downwards with work held in a bench vice, hacksaw blades are set to be facing forwards. While saws for cutting metal had been in use for many years, significant improvements in longevity and efficiency were made in the s by Max Flower-Nash. Clemson, a founder of Clemson Bros. Clemson conducted tests which involved changing the dimensions, shapes of teeth, styles of set, and variable heat treatments of blades.
Clemson claimed enormous improvements to the cutting ability of blades and built a major industrial operation manufacturing hacksaw blades sold under the trade name Star Hack Saw. Powered hacksaws may use large blades in a range of sizes, or small machines may use the same hand blades. The pitch of the teeth can be from fourteen to thirty-two teeth per inch TPI for a hand blade, with as few as three TPI for a large power hacksaw blade. The blade chosen is based on the thickness of the material being cut, with a minimum of three teeth in the material.
As hacksaw teeth are so small, they are set in a "wave" set. As for other saws they are set from side to side to provide a kerf or clearance when sawing, but the set of a hacksaw changes gradually from tooth to tooth in a smooth curve, rather than alternate teeth set left and right. Hacksaw blades are normally quite brittle , so care needs to be taken to prevent brittle fracture of the blade. Early blades were of carbon steel, now termed 'low alloy' blades, and were relatively soft and flexible.
They avoided breakage, but also wore out rapidly. Except where cost is a particular concern, this type is now obsolete. For several decades now, hacksaw blades have used high speed steel for their teeth, giving greatly improved cutting and tooth life. These blades were first available in the 'All-hard' form which cut accurately but were extremely brittle.
This limited their practical use to benchwork on a workpiece that was firmly clamped in a vice. A softer form of high speed steel blade was also available, which wore well and resisted breakage, but was less stiff and so less accurate for precise sawing. Since the s, bi-metal blades have been used to give the advantages of both forms, without risk of breakage. A strip of high speed steel along the tooth edge is electron beam welded to a softer spine. As the price of these has dropped to be comparable with the older blades, their use is now almost universal. The most common blade is the 12 inch or mm length.
The kerf produced by the blades is somewhat wider than the blade thickness due to the set of the teeth.
It commonly varies between 0. Hacksaws were originally and principally made for cutting metal , but can also cut various other materials, such as plastic and wood; for example, plumbers and electricians often cut plastic pipe and plastic conduit with them. A panel hacksaw has a frame made of a deep, thin sheet aligned behind the blade's kerf, so that the saw could cut into panels of sheet metal without the length of cut being restricted by the frame.
The frame follows the blade down the kerf into the panel. Can Max give him a ride? They get a late start. On the turnpike, Max lets the Jaguar soar. To hell with it, if he is caught. The night is his time of day: black solitude, enchantment. He glances at Toby. The boy is asleep with his mouth open. A while later, Toby wakes up.
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He asks Max to stop the car. They both urinate by the side of the road, in the amber nimbus of the parking light. Max keeps the car stereo very low, so they can talk. Toby tells him he has seen his father; he came to Boston with his new wife, a Lebanese Muslim who has been to college in Mount Holyoke. Not much older than Toby, but a funny throwback to the fifties. Plucked eyebrows, shiny brown hair done up in curls and sprayed to stay put like a wedding cake, skin soft and creamy, perhaps because she is too plump, lots of rings, and these incredibly correct clothes. The new deal is Toby gets an allowance from a trust—so much per month, enough to live the way he lives now and pay medical insurance.
Boy, were they ever worried about insurance! Is there some way I can sue to get some of his real money? Toby dozes off again. When he wakes, he tells Max he is scared. The job with Roland is just lugging equipment around and working the projector. Who will want to hire an assistant to a guy teaching about film? Charlie is the only one who thinks about his future. Charlie can get anyone into the program, even this late in the year. He asks whether the allowance from the trust will cover tuition and the cost of living in New York.
Toby replies that if the school will take him he supposes he can work for Charlie part-time, maybe even stay with him. The boy might think he is walking into a trap. She too is a part of the trust. Enough to pay for her and a nurse for life. Sky absolutely spotless, as though it had been washed down. Max heads for Highland Terrace, slightly tipsy from the rum punch served in the Harkness Quadrangle for Law School students and their parents.
Horror of horrors! Now that the classmate has explained it, the reason for his presence becomes clear—even plausible. He has a son, who was moreover in a class that Max taught; of course, Max failed to connect the son with the parent. Yes, the proud father explains, he had the boy in the second year of college! One wife, one child, and one house. The classmate laughs. He works in the mortgage loan section of a Hartford insurance company. Serves him right. He must have used that one-wife line one thousand times.
At home, Camilla is waiting in the cool shade of the garden. She serves Max a glass of iced tea with mint. He absorbs the news, and also the realization that she is not asking whether he might be willing to move to London as well, to be with her. Camilla observes him as he stares at the wisteria, which has begun to bloom. Already he has pushed the resentment down into his gut, where it will rot like a field mouse in a snake.
His fingers lie quiet and flat on the glass table. She averts her eyes. When she looks again, she sees that he has fallen asleep.
S HE DEPARTS next week, just as she had moved into the old Sparks Street apartment, with one large, heavy suitcase sufficient to contain all her paraphernalia—the blue jeans of which she takes such excellent care, velvet skirts in many shades of pastel, little-girl long dresses, wool socks, and underwear rolled up in tiny balls—bending under its weight until Max wrestles it from her hand and lifts it into the trunk of a waiting taxi.
Later that summer the quickie divorce comes through. When the papers have been signed, she holds out her hand to Max and then her cheek, which he kisses. Such odd people. They have lined all the drawers! White linoleum, with red strawberries! Not just here, in the kitchen, but even the bureau drawers. In my bedroom, all through the house. Look: a vegetable juice machine! An electric knife sharpener and a wall bracket for the Dustbuster!
The thing itself is in the pantry, plugged into the outlet, gathering force. You can hear it breathing.
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Do you suppose someday they will drive up to the door, use the set of keys they forgot to return, and take away all these gadgets? We were having a cup of tea at the kitchen table.
Hiding would be easier, I supposed, in Cambridge than during weekends in Billington. Fortunately, the real estate agent—contacted on my behalf by Charlie—quickly found a best-selling writer eager to rent the Billington house from year to year. On his side, the package deal included a wife, seemingly ready to keep up the garden, and two small children with turned-up noses. I liked thinking about the children; they would learn to swim in my swimming pool, and later on in the year, zipped up in snowsuits, matching knitted ski hats on their heads, they would slide down the meadow on my Flying Eagle sled.
I had been careful to point out its presence in the garage. Toby was in Cambridge during the summer of my divorce, hanging out, as he put it. We saw each other often. I would find him waiting in the kitchen when I came home from my office at Langdell. He would have prepared a surprise, one of the recipes for sherbets and Italian ices he was always trying out. Sometimes the Cambridge heat was so heavy that, instead of eating the surprise in the garden, We turned on the air-conditioning and took refuge inside.