All power hacksaw machines are basically similar in design. Figure 6-1 shows a typical power hacksaw and identifies its main parts, which are discussed below.
Base. The base of the saw usually contains a coolant reservoir and a pump for conveying the coolant to the work. The reservoir contains baffles which cause the chips to settle to the bottom of the tank. A table which supports the vise and the metal being sawed is located on top of the base and is usually referred to as part of the base.
Vise. The vise is adjustable so that various sizes and shapes of metal may be held. On some machines the vise may be swiveled so that stock may be sawed at an angle. The size of a power hacksaw is determined by the largest piece of metal that can be held in the vise and sawed.
Frame. The frame of the saw supports and carries the hacksaw blade. The machine is designed so that the saw blade contacts the work only on the cutting stroke. This. action prevents unnecessary wear on the saw blade. The cutting stroke is on the draw or back stroke.
Some machines feed by gravity, the saw frame having weights that can be shifted to give greater or less pressure on the blade. Other machines are power fed with the feed being adjustable. On these machines, the feed is usually stopped or reduced automatically when a hard spot is encountered in the material, thus allowing the blade to cut through the hard spot without breaking.
The shift lever allows the number of strokes per minute to be changed so that a variety of metals may be sawed at the proper speeds. Some saws have a diagram showing the number of strokes per minute when the shift lever is indifferent positions; others are merely marked “F,” M,” and “S” (fast, medium, and slow).
The adjustable feed clutch is a ratchet-and-pawl mechanism that is coupled to the feed screw. The feed clutch may be set to a desired amount of feed in thousandths of an inch. Because of the ratchet-and-pawl action, the feed takes place at the beginning of the cutting stroke. The clutch acts as a safety device and permits slippage if too much feed pressure is put on the saw blade. It may also slip because of a dull blade or if too large a cut is attempted. This slippage helps prevent excessive blade breakage.