Part of my recent experimentation with milling on the lathe involved cutting some steel bar stock roughly to length with a hacksaw. 1/8 x 3/4 bar wasn’t too strenuous but 1 1/2 x 3/4 was way too much like exercise. After considering the alternatives to just quitting, I settled on as cheap a horizontal/vertical bandsaw as can be got the imported 4×6, in my case, the Craftex CX122. Back-ordered during the “Black Friday” echo sales we get in Canada due to proximity to the US, I picked it up on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve.
Assembly was a bit of a challenge due to less than stellar documentation but I think I have it together correctly. I say think because the instructions included a list of required tools and a reference to a loose parts list but neither actual assembly instructions nor the aforementioned loose parts list. </rant>
Anyway, after a fair bit of squinting at the tiny exploded parts diagram and replacement parts list (all the parts of the entire machine, not just those to be assembled) I had a saw and no leftover parts. This, of course, required something to be sawn.
I chose a round bar of mystery steel offcut the metal vendor threw in with my first order because it was bent over part of its’ length. (I don’t want to be there when 1 inch steel bar gets accidentally bent!) Cutting off the bent bit is a useful thing and low commitment if things went pear shaped. I set it up and fired up the saw. After a good while, I had two pieces of steel and no catastrophe. I did realize belatedly that the drive belt was insufficiently tensioned and did correct that. That bit was in the instructions so was entirely my fault.
The cut is nice and smooth and reasonably straight and best of all, my arms do not feel as if they are going to catch fire or fall off. Metal working is looking more enticing already.