Author Topic: Ajax Power Hacksaw reborn  (Read 5188 times)

Offline Brian.Garvey

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Ajax Power Hacksaw reborn
« on: August 03, 2014, 09:53:10 PM »
After 15yrs of looking I finally tracked down one of these at last.

They are worth almost nothing now and were imported mainly for use in schools.

I bought this one off a teacher that is retiring this year, he has used it all its life cutting just 15mm brass.

The board had come in and wrote off a lot of old machines, so he bought a few bits and sold some - this being one.

7hr round trip later and the saw was home.

Power hacksaws are machines of old and now bandsaws have taken over as you may know :old: . I didn't want to buy a band saw as they take up too much room and you need to spend over 3k to get anything decent that will cut a 4'' round perfectly square. A power hacksaw on the other hand will plod along with a 20euro blade and cut bang on every time.

The main reason I wanted this exact saw was because back in school these saws were wrote about briefly in the Engineering book, they were said to contain (from memory) all the main Motions/Mechanisms related to Engineering.
As sad as it sounds the saw when running was fascinating to watch and the fact that it did all its movements just from a rotating motor was possibly one of the main reasons I knew Engineering was to be 'my thing'.

Basically, I have a huge grá for this saw as it means so much to me, the mechanism is the only one of its kind on a power hacksaw and it was designed and built in England about 50yrs ago by a very small team - what more could ya want!

So with all that said I set about doing a full rebuild on it - even though it had no wear at all it was painted by the students before the summer hols a few years back TWICE in the wrong colours and very badly done too.

I researched original colors and found that it came in slate grey + starburst orange in a few spots.

Here it is in a sorry state just out of the trailer,

The switchgear was all added later and incorrect, possibly to have an nvr switch on there for school regs. Some bits came with it, one small guard was missing. Otherwise it was all there.

These saws came with integrated coolant + tank, but I have never seen one of these in a school with the belt fitted to pump as coolant is deemed as a slip hazard in most schools.

Loads of paint and grime everywhere,

Stripped down to its basic parts, gave them all paint stripper and a wash then moved to cup brush in grinder,

Amazing how rough the castings were, and how far casting finish has come. They were all hand ground in the factory to smooth!

The main bed was a bear to clean,

Headstock too,

The blade lifts off automatically on the forward stroke to save blade. The mechanism also feeds down an increment at a time per stroke via a cam and sprag clutch. This feed increment is adjustable Im sure you all know(but for those who dont!)

Here is the main part of Mech,

That nut is brass believe it or not...

The sprag clutch apart for cleaning and re-grease, no wear at all.

The oil holes and vee grooves for oil also cut by hand,


Got the head stock stripped wired brushed primed and painted. Paint is as original as possible, its an oil proof machinery enamel. Head stock almost together here,

New brass oilers installed where needed - some were jammed with paint - as many originals were kept as possible,

All original imperial bolts were kept and reused. Some of them were once off's and made in house.

Gave bed a second strip, lots of hard paint on here, pressed out original bearings, inspected, cleaned and re-greased,

Arm for feed per stroke fitted, colors actually go well together - could see where orange was applied originally by studying them all before stripping,

Handle for main crank was missing so had to make a replacement,

Saw mainly assembled here, first oiling to flood all bushings,

New motor,

First cut, fitted piece of copper pipe -10mm to coolant pipe, this is flattened with a pliers to figure out approx restrictor size needed to provide just enough, sadly, the piping and nozzle were all missing but I do know this is how it is done, once I get cross-section for adequate flow Ill make another end pipe/nozzle.

Temporary switch fitted for testing while I make the new switch plate,

More pictures shortly once uploaded. Must add a video too of it in action and its wonderful mechanism.

Hope you enjoyed this 'mini rebuild' Very happy to see machine now in its 'as new state' This yoke is high on the ranks in terms of sentimental value to me as mentioned at the start.

''Timing, perseverance and 10 years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success''

Offline philjoe5

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Re: Ajax Power Hacksaw reborn
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2014, 10:38:20 PM »
Nice restoration Brian.  I remember using a power hacksaw in shop class in 1960.  I always liked its mechanical movement.  I'd buy a used one if I could find one but here in the states where I live they're not to be found.

You did a great job.  Thanks for sharing.  I look forward to the video

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.  - Mark Twain

Offline b.lindsey

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Re: Ajax Power Hacksaw reborn
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2014, 01:46:33 AM »
Even if it was in good shape when you got it looks like a new penny after the restoration. Well done and it should give you many years of good service I would think. Thanks for sharing the pictures and I too will look forward to the video.


Offline Dave Otto

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Re: Ajax Power Hacksaw reborn
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2014, 02:21:08 AM »
Beautiful restoration Brian

Looks like a quality machine that will give you years of service.


Online fumopuc

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Re: Ajax Power Hacksaw reborn
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2014, 05:36:16 AM »
Hi Brian, I would say another 100 years of power hacksawing could be possible now. Looking nice your perfect restored new toy.
Kind Regards

Offline Rhynardt

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Re: Ajax Power Hacksaw reborn
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2014, 08:30:25 PM »
Hi Brian. I have exactly the same ajax hacksaw as you do! Its a sight to see it cutting with all its mechanical movements. Could you please post a photo of the vise as my machine came without the part with the screw to tighten the vise. Kind Regards
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Offline Coopertje

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Re: Ajax Power Hacksaw reborn
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2014, 09:25:45 PM »
Very nicely done, I like it a lot! Sure you will enjoy using it, just the first scratch will hurt!

Regards Jeroen

Offline sshire

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Re: Ajax Power Hacksaw reborn
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2014, 12:07:54 AM »
Bravo, Brian! A restoration as it should be done. I've never seen one running, so I'm waiting for the video.