A Ruined Saw Blade Becomes A Bowl

Every workshop generates waste, whether it be wood shavings, scrap metal, or fabric scraps, and sometimes that waste seems too good to throw away. [Igor Nikolic]’s hackerspace had a ruined circular saw blade in the trash, and rather than let it go to waste he took it to the forge and fashioned a bowl from it. Then because another blade came his way and he wasn’t quite happy with the first one, he made another.

The second of the two bowls, in its finished state.
The second of the two bowls, in its finished state.

Saw blades are not promising material for forge work, being made of a very high-quality hardened steel they do not take well to hammering even when hot. So his first task was to anneal his blade in a kiln, heating it up and then letting it cool slowly to soften it.

Working the blade into a bowl shape was done on a home-made ball anvil. The blade was marked to provide guide rings as an aid to forming, and the bowl shape was progressively built out from the center. The first bowl was a little irregular, in his second try he’d got into his stride. Both bowls were mounted, one on a cut acrylic base, the other on a set of feet.

A project such as this can only be done with a huge amount of work, for which owners of larger forges will typically use a power hammer. [Igor] admits that a swage block (a specialized anvil for forming such curved shapes) would have made his life easier, but we think he’s done a pretty good job.

If you’ve been paying attention to recent Hackaday articles you may have noticed the start of our series on blacksmithing. We’re indebted to [Igor] for the genesis of that piece, for he was operating the portable forge that features in it.

How To Have An Above Average Time With A Cheap Horizontal Bandsaw

[Quinn Dunki] has brought yet another wayward import tool into her garage. This one, all covered in cosmoline and radiating formaldehyde fumes, is a horizontal bandsaw.

Now, many of us have all have some experience with this particular model of horizontal saw. It waits for us at our work’s machine shop, daring us to rely on it during crunch time. It lingers in the corner of our hackerspace’s metalworking area, permanently stuck in the vertical position; at least until someone finally removes that stripped screw. Either that or it’s been cannibalized for its motor, the castings moldering in a corner of the boneyard.

This article follows on the heels of [Quinn]’s other work, a treatise on the calibration of a drill press, and it outlines all the steps one has to take to bring one of these misunderstood tools into consistent and reliable operation. It starts with cultivating a healthy distrust of the factory’s assurances that this device is, “calibrated,” and needs, “no further attention.” It is not, and it does. Guides have to be percussively maintained out of the blade’s way. Screws have to be loosened and adjusted. It takes some effort to get the machine running right and compromises will have to be made.

In the end though, with a high quality blade on, the machine performs quite well. Producing clean and quality cuts in a variety of materials. A welcome addition to the shop.