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kennedy hacksaw

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bricky13/06/2017 14:21:26
414 forum posts
48 photos

I was given one and used it for some years but could not leave it for long as the belt slipped.The motor and the saw were original with the belt driven off the motor shaft with aslight crown I presume this was a sleave but I never looked.I gave it to a friend who used the motor in a box on which was mounted his tracked traction engine which drove the tracks for exhibitions,so it lives on in part.


Eric Arthrell13/06/2017 14:53:04
47 forum posts
19 photos

​Yeah a lot of the old machines have been replaced by faster and more accurate machines and so they should be it is the only way forward .

I just think it is not a bad thing to keep your eye on the past so the old skills are not completely forgotten .

look at the colonial gun smith on youtube as an example .

I will do what I do best and Shut up now about the kennedy hacksaw


Clive Foster13/06/2017 16:12:55
2032 forum posts
73 photos
Posted by John Stevenson on 13/06/2017 09:42:04:
I could actually saw faster by hand

No surprise there. A Kennedy uses standard hand hacksaw blades and runs them pretty close to the conservative long life speed. Can't be exact because optimum speed varies for different types and tooth counts. Abuse the blades by cutting a bit fast or, better, use one of the excellent and sadly missed Keranous variable pitch type and you will be faster by hand. For a few. Have a race with 20 or so to do of a sensible solid section say 1" x 1" steel or alloy and the Kennedy will do more than ordinary guy on the hand saw. More accurately too. Neck'n neck after about 5 for me! Really helps if you set the dashpot correctly. Which 90% of users don't. Certainly the one at t'firm never was.

Got one of the early Graham Engineering 6" x 4" POS bandsaws too. Took ages to get it working sort of. After a few more fixit iterations its sort of OK but still can't be trusted to cut straight or not throw a blade. Sits in the corner on its Clive made properly safe stand for very occasional use. Manchester Rapidor does the stock cutting now and a 14" throat Startrite the clever stuff these days. Both proper machines that do what it says on the tin. As did the Kennedy in our little departmental (mostly) trials preparation workshop back at Fort Halstead.

Big issue with the Graham, Alpine branded, saw, like all the original low end imports, is that parts were intrinsically not made well enough or accurately enough to work properly. Low quality engineering for that bit too cheap selling price but not so bad that the customer "up with that will not put" has created a false market in both price and quality standards. Nowadays I have the gear to properly sort the Alpine saw by re-making the whole blade guide system, including re-machining the body, and wheel tilt mechanism so it really works properly. But the game isn't worth the candle having got most of the way there by sporadic efforts over the years. When originally purchased I, like most others couldn't have done that. Maybe £20 on the selling price to do it right at the factory. Graham, Clarke et al did know these saws were not really fit for purpose without a good deal of user re-furbishment when they bought them in showing considerable contempt for their customers. Most especially as there were some good version of near industrial quality around at the time. I was shown one some months prior to getting the Graham one. Rather beyond my wallet, possibly double Mr Grahams price, but certainly around. Showed the owner of the good one mine when asking about blade supplies and he was not impressed and, correctly, predicted the cheapy ones would soon drive out the good versions.

Had a Pools Special myself. No frills, low end machine but more than decent at the actual metal cutting business. Better than a pre series 7 Myford for sure. Cack handed, too fast, direct drive carriage feed certain to drive you nuts until you got your brain re-programmed. As ever at low end its how good you can make it for what the customer can afford using the facilities available. My Pools cut well and accurately so no skimping on the fundamentals. Which didn't stop me swopping it out for a Southbend 9 when one surfaced at the right price. Feed dials, small but still dials. Heaven. Then.


John Stevenson13/06/2017 16:31:48
5068 forum posts
3 photos
Clive, not far wrong but early on recognised the main faults which were the guide wheels and alignment and cured that by replacing the badly cast and machined guides with custom made steel units with adjustable eccentric bearings and a sub plate for these that could move about 8mm in all directions to guarantee that you could align them.

Decent bearings on the idler wheel and a new box section stand bit built in neat cooling and this thing ran foe ages and in fact it only got replaced in a now fully commercial environment when the 6 x 4 became its limitation and moved on to a 18 x 12

Because of the impending downside the 18 x 12 has to go and will be replaced by another 6 x 4 so life goes full circle
Ian Skeldon 213/06/2017 19:13:19
461 forum posts
30 photos

mmmm Where might be the best place to look for a used saw? In my youth we used to have a clonky old thing with a solid starret blade and a recipricle movement, wasn't that slow as I remember it and certainly better than doing a dozen by hand.



John Stevenson13/06/2017 19:20:04
5068 forum posts
3 photos
It's got to the stage now where some of the old reciprocal worn out saws are fetching more money than a new cheap compact import.
I think Warcop do a small bench top model that could even fold away into a drawer
Mike Poole13/06/2017 20:15:53
2446 forum posts
53 photos

I have a Rapidor Manchester which still has its original paint from 1972, still in A1 nick. Looks like it was made in 1872, still can't resist watching it work when I should be getting on with something else but something enjoyable about not having to put any effort in to cut large stock.


Ian Skeldon 214/06/2017 11:40:01
461 forum posts
30 photos

Ahhh yeah I remember the thing we used to use having a sort of rhythm to it, never saw it (see what I did there) fail. I used to take the old blades and grind them, they made fantastic sharp knives that held their edge well.

I might have to get a Chinese one as there are only a few used ones on ebay and none local.



Peter Andrews 321/02/2020 03:39:22
24 forum posts
72 photos

Good morning guys.

My question is also about a Kennedy Hacksaw.

I bought one last year in quite good condition for £40 from Facebook market.

I so wanted one I thought nothing of driving from Surrey to Coventry to collect it.

I have just started to strip it down into the sum of it's parts to clean and restore.

I wonder if anyone knows how to dismantle the Vice please?

One thing I have noticed that the vice seems to be generic across the 4 models.

I have undone the main bolt and dropped the hexagon undercarriage, which has loosened the front of the vice.

I was hoping that the screw thread would outrun it's self and just drop out.

Unfortunately this is not the case and it just turns until you cannot move it.

I have searched YouTube and spent about half a day on Mr Google, but have hit a brick wall.

Any assist would be great.

Many thanks


Peter Andrews 321/02/2020 03:53:24
24 forum posts
72 photos

Hi again.

My bad I had a cataract done 2 days ago lol.

I have just seen a small pin in the hexagon so I need to tap it out.

Thanks anyway.

peak421/02/2020 13:10:23
1046 forum posts
98 photos
Posted by Peter Andrews 3 on 21/02/2020 03:53:24:

Hi again.

My bad I had a cataract done 2 days ago lol.

I have just seen a small pin in the hexagon so I need to tap it out.

Thanks anyway.

Hello and welcome to a friendly forum.
Re your new toy, you will find lots of useful info on the Kennedy at this chaps site HERE


Kiwi Bloke22/02/2020 02:25:43
355 forum posts
1 photos

Can Clive Foster please expand on setting the dashpot correctly? As far as I can discover, the manufacturer's 'special' oil is an ISO VG460 oil, which might as well be Unobtanium in small quantities. Perhaps that's why 90% aren't set up correctly.

Can Clive or anyone else suggest a suitable dashpot oil? And, for bonus points, one that can be had in New Zealand?

Alain Foote22/02/2020 04:39:22
27 forum posts
3 photos

Steam Oil for loco cylinders is 460 viscosity if I recall correctly, so should do the trick.

Hopper22/02/2020 06:08:05
4165 forum posts
89 photos

ISO 460 oil is listed as same viscosity as SAE 85w-140 gear oil available at any car parts store. Should do the job.

Kiwi Bloke22/02/2020 08:24:58
355 forum posts
1 photos

Thanks Hopper! Why didn't I find the information myself? Entering 'ISO VG460 SAE' into a search engine finds the equivalent spec. without any problem. I think I just gave up, without really trying, assuming it was going to be too difficult (to find). Story of my life...

Clive Foster22/02/2020 09:17:17
2032 forum posts
73 photos

Kiwi Bloke

As far as I know setting the dashpot is one of those "you will know when its right" things. Bit more damping for thiner or softer material, bit less for larger or harder.

Just (!) a matter of making sure that there is enough down pressure on the saw for it to cut but not so much that it fills the kerf mid stroke and starts tearing rather than cutting.

I'm unconvinced that the standard 24 tpi blade recommendation is the best for all materials. Seems more pipe, tube and smaller sections appropriate than for larger parts. As I recall things the one we had at work went much better with Keranous variable pitch blades than with the normal type. (Wonderful things those variable pitch blades but dropped from RARDE stores as being too pricey. Much younger Clive didn't have the bottle to grab a lifetime supply!).

I'd be inclined to experiment with coarser blades. After all power hacksaws like my Rapidor use what seem to be silly coarse blades by hand saw, and bandsaw, standards so logically same might apply to a Kennedy. Probably best to start by applying the standard 3 or 4 teeth engaged rule.

I. like may folk, tend not to experiment when first getting a new toy. Just plough in and fine something that works more or less then stick with it until hitting something it can't cope with. Then play around unit finding another more or less works set-up. Objectively it's much better to block out some time for a proper investigation of how it works and what works best when. Which I've been telling myself since I was about 10 years old. 65 2/3 rds now and it hasn't stuck! Some folk are slow learners.


Edited By Clive Foster on 22/02/2020 09:17:52

not done it yet22/02/2020 09:43:02
4169 forum posts
15 photos

3 or 4 teeth engagement is generally only applicable to thin materials. Few go less than 4 teeth per inch.

But as always, there will be exceptions, particularly for other materials (think large circular -band saws for wood).

Dave Halford22/02/2020 19:52:27
616 forum posts
5 photos


18tpi is OK so is motor oil, 1" blades will work on the 90

Kiwi Bloke23/02/2020 09:16:42
355 forum posts
1 photos

Thanks Clive.

I have a love-hate relationship with my Kennedy - mostly hate. It's got more stamina than the old Armstrong hacksaw, but doesn't cut as straight.

The dashpot was always something I'd figure out one day - now's the day! Perhaps. Experiments with the valve setting and SAE 90 gear-oil just confused. I'm not clear whether the dashpot is supposed to relieve blade pressure on the return stroke, or just act to make sure down feed is slow. If it's supposed to relieve pressure, I'd expect the blade to be set so it raises the frame and arm on the forward stroke, but the geometry doesn't seem to make this happen. I've tried to make this happen by adjusting the blade within the clamps, but without obvious improvement. Perhaps thicker oil will transform the thing.

I believe these saws were intended mainly for the installers of electrical conduit, etc., so perhaps my trying to saw 30mm dia stainless yesterday was expecting a bit too much. It took ages. I agree that 24tpi is too fine a pitch - especially for solid lumps.

Baz23/02/2020 09:46:29
333 forum posts

I purchased a brand new Kennedy from AJ Reeves about 25 years ago, it has never cut straight and the dashpot has never worked, I cannot get any tension on the blade so it flexes sideways as it cuts, the dashpot does nothing, no matter how I adjust it, it certainly does not relieve on the return stroke. Can someone please tell me the correct way to install the blade, teeth forward or backward.

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