email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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Kennedy "Hexacut" Hacksaws
W. Kennedy Ltd and Chas. Taylor of Birmingham, England
Taylor Home Page  Kennedy Bending & Taylor Cutting-off Machines
Taylor Capstan Lathes  Taylor Chucks & Lathe Accessories   Kennedy Hexacut Saws
Taylor Brass Lathes   Conventional Taylor Lathes  Taylor Trimming and Beading Lathes


Literature for the Kennedy Hexacut is available

A part of the Chas. Taylor of Birmingham company from 1969 following a buy-out, W. Kennedy Ltd had associations with Taylor that went back to 1904 when Charles Taylor lent Bill Kennedy money to start his company in West Dayton Middlesex. The company originally specialised in static and portable bending and coiling machines for strip, bar, tube, tees and angle sections and, as an explosion took place during the first half of the 20th century in the demand for domestic and industrial metal piping to carry water, gas, steam and electrical wiring (and reinforced concrete bars) so the company found a ready market for its products.
Kennedy also produced a range of small mechanical hacksaws, of most ingenious design, used as portable units on building sites and in both home and professional workshops.  Long out of production (though greatly sought-after) it was introduced in 1954, at the British Industries Fair in Birmingham, and became commonly known as the "Hexacut" - with its sliding mechanism protected under a "Hexaglide" Patent No. 681620. Two models were offered: the rare 88 lbs No. 90 with a 1/4 h.p. motor and a capacity on round bar of 3
1/2-inches ("90" referred to its capacity in mm) and the more common (and easily-carried) Model 60 (capacity 2.4") that used a rather weak 1/6 h.p. motor. The latter machine, weighing 41 lbs in ready-to-run form and just 22-inches long, 71/4-inches high and 10-inches wide (and with a maximum capacity of 23/8-inches on round bar and 2-inches on square and angle material) was marketed as a labour-saving device for small workshops that would take up little more space than an engineer's vice.
A standard 12-inch hacksaw blade (24 t.p.i. is a useful general-purpose type) was snapped in half to provide the cutter and held in place with Allen-screw retained clamps. The machine was developed as far as a Mk. 2  Model that used (like previous examples) a pressure die-cast aluminium body to the front of which were secured two hexagon bars that acted as runners for the vice jaw and, at the rear, an extension to carry the crankshaft bearing and act as a (concentric) pivot point for the overarm. The machine was available in either ready-to-run form, bolted to a cast aluminium base plate and adjustable on it slightly for belt-tensioning purposes, or as a basic unit for the customer to motorise himself. In its complete form the saw carried a "full-size" 1/6 hp (ball-bearing spindle) over-load-protected Hoover-made motor that drove, by a flat belt, a ground-steel pulley whose support shaft ran in phosphor-bronze bearings (the special belts can be supplied, email for details or measure yours carefully and buy online here). At the other end of the pulley shaft a crank-arm was arranged to oscillate a connecting rod connected to the bright-steel hexagon bar frame; to the top run of this frame was bolted a length of hexagon bar to form a V-shaped slideway that ran trapped between two parallel hexagon bars secured into the top face of the overarm carrier (you can now see where the name "Hexacut" came from.). The saw's action was damped by an oil-filled dashpot fitted with an adjustable pressure-relief valve and filled with Wakefield Castrol "V" - a now-unobtainable SAE140 steam oil that the makers warned must not be deviated from. However, experience has shown that an SAE 90 gear oil works just as well. The machines controls were, by the Mk. 2 version, well thought out and included an automatic switch off, depth and length gauges, push-button release of the saw arm and a built-in steel carrying handle. A number of simple accessories were listed including pedestal and tripod stands, work-support tripods and a screw-adjustable length stop.
Designed for heavier, professional use, it is worth noting that, although the Kennedy Model 90 was fitted originally with a 1/4 h.p. Hoover motor as standard, rather than the 1/6 h.p. used on the Model 60, later versions of both the 60 and 90 (dating from some time during the 1970s) used a superior motor by LEMAC (Lothian Electric MAChines of Haddington, Scotland, a Company that still exists today: http://www.lemac.com/about_lemac.php). This motor could be wired for 240v or 110v operation, so greatly increasing the machine's versatility for building site use.  On the Model 90 at 240v, this 1450 r.p.m. motor was rated 1/4 h.p. and one is well worth having, as 90s in particular tend to be sluggish when run on an aging 1/4 hp Hoover.  LEMAC motors of exactly the same appearance were also fitted to the Model 60 but, as only pictures of these have been seen, it is unknown whether the specification was identical.  The ingenious mechanical automatic cut-off device on earlier machines (the weak point of which was the flimsy plastic switch on the Hoover motor) was also superseded on both models by a MEM 2SPS motor starter with no-volt release, surface-mounted in its own enclosure on either the side of the saw in front of the belt cover (Model 90) or the forward-facing side of the motor adjacent to the carry handle (Model 60).  These later saws are otherwise identical mechanically to their antecedents, although the die-cast aluminium saw body was painted black and, on what was probably the last type made, the cast belt cover and motor were painted in their entirety in the Kennedy trademark turquoise, making them "rather visible". These later variants are very rare, and seldom appear for sale, suggesting that far fewer were sold than of the earlier type - a situation possibly caused by growing competition from cheaper imports in the final years before the brand's demise..

The basic Kennedy No. 60 saw supplied for operation by the customer's own motor. This unit lacked the aluminium base plate of the complete machine and was fitted with V rather than flat-belt drive

The complete Kennedy No. 60 saw with base and a Hoover 1/6 hp motor.  On the side of the motor can be seen the automatic stop switch operated, very simply, by a pivoting bar acting against the underside of the frame.

In this publicity picture of the No. 60 saw the cap normally fitted to the top of the oil dash-pot has been left off

Rare Kennedy Model 90 saw with a capacity on round bar of 31/2-inches and square and angle of 3-inches. Although a much stronger machine than the Model 60 at 36-inches long, 141/2-inches height and 121/2-inches wide (and weighing 88 lbs.), the machine was far less portable.
Note the hexagon bracing bar running from beneath the end of the vice to the main body

A light-weight portable tripod designed to hold the saw when used "on site".

Mild-steel pedestal stand for workshop use. The saw was not bolted down but could be lifted off for use elsewhere in the works.

Instead of the plain length stop one with a screwed end could be specified at extra cost.

A tripod stand to support the end of long work

As an option vice jaws set at 45 were available

Rare Kennedy Model 90 saw on the maker's tripod stand. With a capacity on round bar of 31/2-inches and square and angle of 3-inches, although this was a much stronger machine than the Model 60 at 36-inches long, 141/2-inches height and 121/2-inches wide (and weighing 88 lbs.), it was far less portable.
Designed for heavier, professional use, it is worth noting that the Kennedy Model 90 was fitted originally with a 1/4 h.p. Hoover motor as standard, rather than the 1/6 h.p. used on the Model 60.  Later versions of both the 60 and 90 (dating from some time during the 1970s) used a superior motor by LEMAC (Lothian Electric MAChines of Haddington, Scotland, a Company that still exists today: http://www.lemac.com/about_lemac.php).  This motor could be wired for 240v or 110v operation, so greatly increasing the machine's versatility for building site use.  On the Model 90 at 240v, this 1450 r.p.m. motor was rated 1/4 h.p. and one is well worth having, as 90s in particular tend to be sluggish when run on an aging 1/4 hp Hoover.  LEMAC motors of exactly the same appearance were also fitted to the Model 60 but, as only pictures of these have been seen, it is unknown whether the specification was identical.  The ingenious mechanical automatic cut-off device on earlier machines (the weak point of which was the flimsy plastic switch on the Hoover motor) was also superseded on both models by a MEM 2SPS motor starter with no-volt release, surface-mounted in its own enclosure on either the side of the saw in front of the belt cover (Model 90) or the forward-facing side of the motor adjacent to the carry handle (Model 60).  These later saws are otherwise identical mechanically to their antecedents, although the die-cast aluminium saw body was painted black and, on what was probably the last type made, the cast belt cover and motor were painted in their entirety in the Kennedy trademark turquoise, making them "rather visible". These later variants are very rare, and seldom appear for sale, suggesting that far fewer were sold than of the earlier type - a situation possibly caused by growing competition from cheaper imports in the final years before the brand's demise. The special drive belt for the 90 can be supplied; email for details or measure yours carefully and buy online here).

email: tony@lathes.co.uk
Home   Machine Tool Archive   Machine-tools Sale & Wanted
Machine Tool Manuals   Catalogues   Belts   Books   Accessories

Kennedy "Hexacut" Hacksaws
W. Kennedy Ltd and Chas. Taylor of Birmingham, England
Taylor Home Page  Kennedy Bending & Taylor Cutting-off Machines
Taylor Capstan Lathes  Taylor Chucks & Lathe Accessories   Kennedy Hexacut Saws
Taylor Brass Lathes   Conventional Taylor Lathes  Taylor Trimming and Beading Lathes


Literature for the Kennedy Hexacut is available