I recently came across a used, 14″ Bolton cold saw on craigslist at a price that was too low to pass up. I was a little skeptical at first due to the off-brand, but figured that performance is what matters. Since the saw was powered, I could try it out and make the decision first hand.
The 14″ saw is the largest commonly available cold saw size. At 90 degrees, the saw can cut round pipe at 4.75″ OD and rectangle up to 5.5″ x 4″. A 14″ equivalent cold saw by Scotchman retails for over $7,000. Even at retail, new, the Bolton cold saw is ~1/4 the cost of the Scotchman. For all that money we save we could buy 14 cotton candy machines (Audrey’s dream come true) or maybe even buy a used pick-up truck for staff and members at The Foundery to access…;)
Back to the Bolton Cold saw: I went and check out the saw which is currently being used by a local artist/furniture maker. The owner had various square tubing profiles in his scrap bin that I cut at various angles. I tested the saw on steel tubing with wall thickness ranging from 0.065″ to 0.25″.
The saw’s performance far exceeded my expectations! I have spent many hours on Scotchman cold saws and I could not tell a difference when looking at the cut quality. If blindfolded while using the saws, I would not have been able to tell the difference between the Bolton or Scotchman. When I cut two 45 degree pieces and lined them up on a flat table as if making a picture frame, the cuts were very precise along the full height of the tubing. I could not have made as nice of a mitered cut on a band saw or abrasive chop saw. SOLD!
Now if you have an eye for detail you may have looked at this picture and been thinking “Corey, your driving around with a busted cab brake light. That’s illegal!”.
Well funny story. You see, that brake light was in perfect working condition when the seller began loading the cold saw into the bed of my pick-up. I know, weird right?!? I thought that since the seller had a small forklift on hand, loading the 450 lb saw would be a simple task…nope. After loading the saw onto the bed of my truck, the fork lift was being used to slide the saw forward toward the cab when BAM! the saw slid off it’s pallet and fell right against the cab of my truck.
Because I’m a terrible blogger, in the heat of the moment I forgot to take a picture of the saw leaning against it’s impacted position and instead rushed to get the massive piece of steel of my trucks cab. To help illustrate this fail, I used my cutting edge photo editing skills to recreate the cold saw’s resting position:
Crazy to think that’s an edited image huh!? When you come into The Foundery to use the cold saw I hope you pay homage to the sacrifices my truck has made to the cause.