Instructables

Hacksaw and Cordless Drill Lathe (Sort of...)

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I had a milled carbon steel tube that I wanted to modify by cutting a "cone" off the end, but wasn't sure how to make an accurate, square cut as I could not use a tubing cutter. I also did not want to pay someone to cut the cone. My "on-the-fly" method using a hacksaw and cordless drill worked surprisingly well and quickly, with very little flash and few burs.
 
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Step 3: Cut.

Picture of Cut.
Run the drill at a moderate speed. The hacksaw is not considered a "high-speed" cutting tool. Keeping it slow will also allow you better control. Once a line is established you should only need to control the drill speed and keep the hacksaw blade straight and level. There should be little need to bear down and put pressure on the blade, it should dig in itself. Move the blade back and forth slowly so the cutting is done along the blade, not in one area. Allow the tools to do the work!
glorybe3 years ago
You will really want one of the grit edged saw blades. If the metal is hardened you also will need to keep it very cool or it will not be hardened after the cut. Also if failure of the part might result in injury the part should not be altered. For example making a drill collar that spins at speed can lead to serious problems if the strength or brittle qualities of the material are altered in any way.
It is great that you are trying new things and sharing them with others. It is simply this world is more complex than it sometimes appears. I am reminded of the chrome plating shop that was sued for a fatal accident after some hobbyist sent in some bolts for chrome plating that were taken from a washing machine. They were somehow used in an area of a car that looked good with those chrome bolts but when the bolts failed due to the plating a fatal wreck was the consequence. When we handle a piece of metal it is hard to know how that metal may be used down the road.
justmakeme! (author)  glorybe7 months ago
The metal was not hardened and I had a high-quality saw blade with small teeth. I also knew exactly the where, what, and why of the project. I had a grit-edged saw blade but decided not to use it because it would've made a much bigger cut, the cone would've forced it back into the face, and did not have the rigidity of the other blade.
I've used a drill in exactly this way, clamped into a "Workmate". Chucking the work is the key, your solution works mainly by luck and a light hand. It would be better to grip the work properly.

That said, hacksaw, files and polishing media would allow you to make all kinds of interesting pieces of metal.
justmakeme! (author)  Dream Dragon7 months ago
The interior diameter was slightly less than the outer diameter of the 7/16-inch driver socket and it fit in REALLY tight. I had to tap it in with a hammer. Luckily, everything was concentric and parallel so there was no wobble at all when I was cutting. Getting the socket back out of the tube was the hardest part. I had to beat it out with a hammer and brass punch. There was no tapping.
Mini 14 Flash Suppressor???
justmakeme! (author)  Tool Using Animal4 years ago
10/22 actually, but the Mini 14 isn't much different. Different size barrel and sight slot.
rimar20004 years ago
John Smith6 years ago
Ha, I do this all the time, but using my Dremel. It works wonders. Nice instructable!
seriously? then i have some questions 1. wont it go to fast? 2. could you make an instructable im to tired to think of something 3. how
haha, i meant that instead of the hacksaw i use the dremel. Everything else is the same
oh darn i hoped on a dremel lathe :P
haha if you want a cheap wood lathe, look at Grizzly industrial's drill lathe. dont have a link now, but look through them. They're not too overpriced.
I've been doing this for years. What where you cutting? looks cool.
you can also use metal bars in the drill against a grinder or file to make sharp points or curved edges.
Just did this today, but with plastic gears and some brass tubing.

A skill everyone should know =)
cool instructable!