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Thread: HF Cut off saws

  1. #1
    Salty Dog

    DukeInFlorida's Avatar
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    HF Cut off saws

    I hope that this might help someone else.

    PeeWee messaged me the other day that we needed a new belt for the HF cut off saw. It was slipping badly. This is a toothed type belt and runs on a sprocket pulley. It would be odd to have it wear out so soon. I asked him if he checked the belt tension. The motor is adjustable and tensions the belt. The screws are notorious for loosening. Sure enough, the vibration of the saw caused the screws to loosen. A quick adjustment and retightening of the motor fixed the problem. Back in biz.
    If you ever have to replace the belt after long use, Gates makes a replacement belt better than the HF original. I saw it on amazon for $4.29 with free two day shipping if you are a prime customer.

    http://www.amazon.com/Gates-88MXL025.../dp/B00CMIVUV6
    Last edited by DukeInFlorida; 01-20-2016 at 08:03 PM.


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  2. #2
    Boolit Master


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    Good old Harbor Freight. Never go in there without a coupon.
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  3. #3
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    thanks for this post and the knowledge that the motor/belt tension is adjustable. I rarely use my HF Cut off saw, but it's good to know there is possibly an easy solution for that problem, and there is a spare belt available.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Hmm... maybe I'll pull the screws out (one at a time) and put some clear nail polish on the threads. Works great on rifle scopes for holding the screws without worrying about breaking them loose like with loctite

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Boolit_Head's Avatar
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    If you happen to have the part number for the Gates belt that would be nice.
    On every question of construction let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.

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  6. #6
    Boolit Master popper's Avatar
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    Thinking of getting one but want to know if it will take a fine tooth metal blade. When I looked at them they just had a slotted 'whacker' disk for a blade. Gates belt # would be helpful.
    Whatever!

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Boolit_Head's Avatar
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    I just got one recently but don't remember what the teeth look like. Either way they buzz right through 223 brass when making 300 blackout out of it.
    On every question of construction let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.

    Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823

  8. #8
    Boolit Master gpidaho's Avatar
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    To add to the warnings: When attempting to change the blade on my HF saw the screw that holds the blade in place seemed welded in place. The instructions that come with the saw make no mention of right or left hand threading so I called HF customer support. After endless time on the phone I was told it was left hand thread (After I'd mentioned that most large chop saws are left hand thread so blade doesn't work loose) Support told me I may have to get "creative" to get it loose. Well guys it is RIGHT HAND THREAD. HF customer support is every bit as great as the tools they sell. Gp

  9. #9
    Boolit Master



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    I've read that it needs to be changed to a set screw, however there is a question about the head clearance. That was in a thread long ago and far away.
    Bill

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by popper View Post
    Thinking of getting one but want to know if it will take a fine tooth metal blade. When I looked at them they just had a slotted 'whacker' disk for a blade. Gates belt # would be helpful.
    I have a big drawer FULL of industrial grade slitting saws in HSS and carbide (1/2" to 4" diameter) I use in my milling machines and NONE of them will fit the tiny shaft in that HF thing! You have to buy the blades in a 3 pack from them for ~$10. They are fine toothed.

    They do cut soft metals, plastics, and wood. Not so much steel! Those blades they sell say HSS but are not quality, as usual. One cut thru steel and the blade is shot.

    If you want to cut more than simple thin brass cases, get the PROXXON saw. Excellent power, quality and a selection of blades are available.

    banger

  11. #11
    Boolit Master



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    Someone came up with a carbide tipped blade once. I think there was a modified arbor involved.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    For cutting brass cases you will want a fine tooth HSS slitting saw blade (like the ones HF sells), not a carbide-tipped woodworking blade. The industrial carbide slitting saws I use are made from SOLID carbide, not brazed insert tips.

    banger

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Pee Wee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpidaho View Post
    To add to the warnings: When attempting to change the blade on my HF saw the screw that holds the blade in place seemed welded in place. The instructions that come with the saw make no mention of right or left hand threading so I called HF customer support. After endless time on the phone I was told it was left hand thread (After I'd mentioned that most large chop saws are left hand thread so blade doesn't work loose) Support told me I may have to get "creative" to get it loose. Well guys it is RIGHT HAND
    THREAD. HF customer support is every bit as great as the tools they sell. Gp
    Yes, that little Phillips head screw is a bugger to get out and was getting reamed out and making it almost impossible to get out, I changed ours out to a hex head bolt. Makes changing the blade much quicker and easier.
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  14. #14
    Boolit Master gpidaho's Avatar
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    I'm not saying "Don't buy this saw" For the price it's been worth it for me. You don't need "Snap-on tools" to work on the lawn mower. I"ve cut hundreds of cases down for my Blackout and 8X57. Just be aware of what Pee Wee and I are warning you of. Gp
    Last edited by gpidaho; 01-20-2016 at 05:38 PM.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master popper's Avatar
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    now to find a coupon. got zepp's holder, nice work.
    Whatever!

  16. #16
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    http://www.amazon.com/Gates-88MXL025.../dp/B00CMIVUV6

    Quote Originally Posted by Boolit_Head View Post
    If you happen to have the part number for the Gates belt that would be nice.


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  17. #17
    Salty Dog

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    The HF blades have a 3/8" diameter hub. Most of the other commercial 2" blades use a 1/2" hub.
    I have chuckbuster, who works for a tool distributor in Michigan, looking into better blades. Like coated ones, etc.

    In the meantime, I suggest putting beeswax on the cutting teeth regularly to keep the blades cool and lubricated. Most any cutting teeth (just like drill bits) need lubrication for long life. The "kerf" is especially susceptible to damage, causing the blades to start to bind while cutting. Lube in the form of beeswax will greatly lengthen the life of the blades.


    Quote Originally Posted by bangerjim View Post
    I have a big drawer FULL of industrial grade slitting saws in HSS and carbide (1/2" to 4" diameter) I use in my milling machines and NONE of them will fit the tiny shaft in that HF thing! You have to buy the blades in a 3 pack from them for ~$10. They are fine toothed.

    They do cut soft metals, plastics, and wood. Not so much steel! Those blades they sell say HSS but are not quality, as usual. One cut thru steel and the blade is shot.

    If you want to cut more than simple thin brass cases, get the PROXXON saw. Excellent power, quality and a selection of blades are available.

    banger


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  18. #18
    Salty Dog

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    BTW, if you saw my thread on the 9mm swaging, we are making two cuts per 223 rem brass case, to get the jackets made. We're doing a batch of about 2,000 jackets. So far, we have been through a bunch of blades!


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  19. #19
    Vendor Sponsor chuckbuster's Avatar
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    Have a couple test blades coming Duke. They are USA Made HSS not the Chinese version as HF sells. More money up front but the lowest priced tool is not always the least expensive. I checked on carbide, everything I have found so far is a lot coarser tooth than HSS, I am afraid we will get burrs using them on brass.

    Lets try plain to begin with and see what tool life is with them. Coating may not be possible, due to thickness (or should I say thinness) of the blades. Relatively HIGH Temperatures involved in the coating process and warping could be an issue.
    Your idea on waxing the blade is a good idea. Also with doing the quantity that you are I wonder if something could be or needs to be set up to make sure there is NO build up of chips in the fixture. Recutting can be a real problem without even realizing it.
    Talk soon
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  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I cut thru up to 1/2" thick brass barstock (round, square, and hex) all the time for my antique instrument/clock repairs and reproductions with no problems at all. Much harder than those simple thin brass cases. Gives a good clean cut.

    But the HF blades do dull very easily. They even have a hard time cutting thru standard hard brass bolts! I use the HF saw for cutting small wooden parts, plastics (slowly or they melt), and softer brass, and brass welding rod. Never any steels or SSTs.

    For harder/larger material, I use my industrial slitting saws mounted in my milling machines. I have R8 arbors to accept saw arbor holes up to 1.5". I use industrial cutting lubes for my saws. And do not run them very fast at all.....~600-900 RPM....depending on diameter and material being slotted.

    banger

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BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
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HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
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