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Hemingway Compact Powered Hacksaw

Any Experience with this kit?

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Jonathan Mead22/07/2016 17:47:32
30 forum posts
12 photos

Having got the mill and lathe set up, I think the next tool that would be useful is some kind of powered saw, either a bandsaw or a powered hacksaw. The latter is attractive as I think it will have a smaller footprint in the workshop but the only small one that seems to be commercially available is the Axminster at over £600.

The Hemingway kit is a bit more affordable at under £400, but it is hard to tell from the website how much of a job it is to machine and assemble the kit. Does anyone on the forum have any experience of building one? Is it fairly straightforward, or are there lots of complex machining operations needed?

Thanks in advance for any help that you can give.

Neil Wyatt22/07/2016 18:10:45
18899 forum posts
734 photos
80 articles

Small bandsaws are cheaper, but they do eat space like nothing else - that's why I put mine on wheels.


Rainbows22/07/2016 18:46:36
647 forum posts
208 photos

As a cheaper alternative you might want to google "Myfordboy Hacksaw". £10 for plans then its made from stock materials.

Only ever seen the youtube video for it though.

ASF22/07/2016 19:02:18
131 forum posts
12 photos

I made one of the Myfordboy saws from plans. Cuts very accurately using a normal metal blade, and the vice holds short pieces well.

Mine uses 17mm hex for the main saw frame, and stock metal for the rest.

Probably the hardest part to locate, for me, was the motor.

Must have cost about £120 plus a fair bit of time. embarrassed

Martin King 222/07/2016 19:11:21
939 forum posts
420 photos

Jonathan you have a PM, Martin

Douglas Johnston22/07/2016 19:37:28
763 forum posts
34 photos

I made one of these many years ago and it was a total waste of time for me. The one I made from a Hemmingway kit used shortened hacksaw blades (only about 6" long ) and never got a lot of use since it took ages to saw through even small sections.

I later bought a 6 by 4 metal bandsaw and never ever wanted to go back to a powered hacksaw. I too put my bandsaw on wheels and made a more rigid lower base so that it fits neatly under a bench when not in use.


Metalmuncher22/07/2016 20:51:10
34 forum posts

There were plans for a powered hacksaw in one of the first editions of MEW. I made one and it has done me well. Its a bit slow but if you plan ahead and set it going while you do something else its fine. I'm getting too old to cut stuff up by hand.


Mike Poole22/07/2016 21:44:50
3168 forum posts
72 photos

I bought a Rapidor Manchester for 25 quid in A1 condition, the only problem is I can't resist watching it work instead of getting on with something else. It is very pleasurable to watch though.


JohnF22/07/2016 22:25:08
1124 forum posts
183 photos

I have a Femi bandsaw, made in Italy it has a very small footprint easy to move if you need to stow away. Had mine for maybe 10 years and no problems. Worth shopping around for the best deal. You can also buy a table to use it as a vertical bandsaw but very easy to make one as well. pic of mine if you wish anyone.


PS no connection with either Femi or the suppliers just a satisfied customer


JA22/07/2016 22:56:17
1282 forum posts
79 photos

I have a Hemingway powered hacksaw kit sitting on the shelf waiting to be started this coming winter. I have considered it THE answer after my experiences with a Chinese band saw. Mind you I have hankered after a Rapidor saw but I do recognize they were always the most ignored and neglected machine tool in all workshops I worked in or visited.


Enough!22/07/2016 23:03:13
1719 forum posts
1 photos
Posted by Rainbows on 22/07/2016 18:46:36:

As a cheaper alternative you might want to google "Myfordboy Hacksaw". £10 for plans then its made from stock materials.


Did I miss something in the video on the Myfordboy blog site?

It shows the saw cutting through a block of steel 3.5" x 4" with a 12" hacksaw blade. It looks like it's cutting through butter but it seems to be a time-lapse. On the video it took maybe a minute. Nowhere, that I noticed, did it tell you how long it actually took. It would be interesting (and informative) to know. Also whether a single hacksaw blade stood up to it.

Edited By Bandersnatch on 22/07/2016 23:04:13

Ady122/07/2016 23:33:45
4910 forum posts
726 photos

A power hacksaw is a manual hacksaw that never gets tired but It can take quite a while to get through stock bigger than 2 inches.

On a big job I did, 5 inches diameter, it took 2 to 3 weeks doing it for a couple of hours each morning

Edit: eclipse blades performed well, two blades a slice, both of which survived for more minor work (if they didn't jam and snap when being retrieved from the cut)

Bandsaws are popular because they are a lot faster

Best and "simplest" for round stock is parting off on the lathe

Edited By Ady1 on 22/07/2016 23:55:55

thaiguzzi23/07/2016 07:05:32
704 forum posts
131 photos

Mine is a pre-war Denbeigh power hacksaw, flat belt and all. Had it since the late 80's. Weighs a ton, done a LOT of work, never ever had a problem with it. Bit like a shaper, it drinks oil. Pick 'em up in decent nick for a couple of hundred quid, and will outlast you.

The trick to getting them to cut well, is

a) correct tpi blade for the material

b) make sure the hydraulics are working well, so the blade is lifting on it's return stroke.

Then get on with something else or go make your cup of tea...

Me being a luddite, i love 'em.

Clive Foster23/07/2016 08:24:26
2990 forum posts
105 photos

I'm surprised that no one has picked up on the Kennedy style hexagon bar guides for a Home Shop made power hacksaw. Effective and looks to be much less work than the usual felt bar'n bits methods. OK hex bar is more expensive per unit length than flat sections but probably comes out similar overall as you don't need so much metal.


Paul Lousick23/07/2016 08:40:04
1901 forum posts
673 photos

I have a small bandsaw which I bought 3 years ago for $350. One of the best investments that I have made for my workshop. It will cut 125mm dia steel and will cut thru 25mm in no time at all and only weighs 23kg. The support stand for the saw is an old milk crate which will be replaced by a proper stand when I get round to it. (still looking for a round tuit). I would recommend using a bi-metal blade. They cost a bit more but last for much longer. The one in my saw is over a year old and gets used regularly. The round white object is a tube of wax, used for lubricating the blade. 

Bought mine on line but now sold by Hare and Forbes in Australia. (should also be an agent in UK)


band saw.jpg

Edited By Paul Lousick on 23/07/2016 08:48:50

not done it yet23/07/2016 10:26:21
6519 forum posts
20 photos

Every powered hacksaw I have used has cut more than just over a half inch square in an hour! (see Ady 1's post above) smiley Or maybe he cut several slices off in that time?

I'm surprised nobody has suggested the blade must have been put in back to front or upside down! Maybe using a slitting saw in a horizontal mill might be an option?

oldvelo23/07/2016 21:44:13
280 forum posts
54 photos


Hate them or love them with power hacksaws. Being the latter then I can give a monocled view on power hacksaws and the use of.

A couple of Hacksaws I have worked on can be seen on Youtube search for "Wobbly Hacksaw" and
"Power Hacksaw Rebuilt and Testing"

Sure they are not as quick as a Bandsaw but will perform well if set up properly and up to 5 kgs weight on the blade.

Old "Wobbly" has now a DC motor with variable speed from 0 to 90 strokes a minute and copes with anything thrown at it.

A standard hacksaw blade is used with a mix of 50% kerosene dripped on the cut and gives many hours use on one blade.

Number Two tool is a Vertical Band Saw converted to cut steel Pics in my Albums.


JasonB24/07/2016 07:53:04
22017 forum posts
2540 photos
1 articles

Blackgates also do a set of hacksaw castings for about £200 don't know how it performs.

Bizibilder24/07/2016 10:39:05
114 forum posts
7 photos

Should take you to some pictures of my own power hacksaw. Made to a design published in ME some years ago. The original designer was a Mr R J Cochrane. The drawings are available from the ME plans service WE54.

It will cut 2"x 2" steel in about 25mins and 1.25" round steel in 5 mins.

The design says you need to weld the frame but mine is made without welding. The cost was under £50 as much of the steel channel and angle was from a friendly "offcuts bin" at a local steel fabricators.

Edited By Bizibilder on 24/07/2016 10:40:54

MW24/07/2016 10:45:58
2051 forum posts
51 photos

When i bought a bandsaw some people told me it would be a waste of money getting a cheap one, sure the blade jumps off the wheels every now and again but it must be one of the most used pieces of workshop equipment i have, and not just for ME stuff so i'd take the plunge and get one.

I once hack sawed a piece of 3" square block of mild steel NEVER again, it was truly awful.

Michael W

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