Sat, 05 Mar 2011
Primitive Melt Cutter
Last year one of our suppliers sent us a simple tool to cut the webbing we buy into the canvas belts we sell. A cartridge heater is fixed in the blade which, when hot, will cut and seal webbing made from synthetic fiber like polyester or nylon.
To work properly, the cartridge needed a 220 volt power source. The diameter being metric seems to narrow the market in cartridges to 220 volts, but no matter, I found a 110 V to 220 V transformer on-line--cheap and a lot easier than wiring in two out-of-phase circuits! A little bit of grease and the arm brings the blade down to the anvil quite easily. A strong spring pushes the blade back up.
Automated cutting machines are comparatively inexpensive, $3000 plus ex factory in China or Taiwan. I don't know how long it will last, but this hand tool tickles my fancy and cost less than $100.
There was only one glitch. The head of the bolt that fixes the hot blade in its socket snapped off. Luckily, I had the right tool, a bolt extractor. It had lain unused in my tool box since the time M. Carpentier helped me rebuild the engine of my 1959 Volkswagen some thirty years ago.
posted at: 23:02 | path: | permanent link to this entry