Useful, versatile, yet overlooked, the band saw is such a tool to have in your possession. The band saw uses are many and you just need to stick around to find them out!
Before we reveal the 8 uses, you need to have a good basic idea about the saw.
- 0.1 Band Saw Basics
- 0.2 #1 Cut Straight Line
- 0.3 #2 Make Relief Cut
- 0.4 #3 Curve Cuts with Band Saw
- 0.5 #4 Resaw
- 0.6 #4 Veneer Using Band Saw
- 0.7 #5 Lamination
- 0.8 #6 Small Logs
- 0.9 #7 Perfect Circles
- 0.10 #8 Metal Cutting
- 0.11 Blade Tension
- 0.12 Speed Controller
- 0.13 “Scroll and band saw are the same!”
- 0.14 Band Saw Types
- 0.15 Conclusion
Band Saw Basics
Since you are gonna work with it, it is important that you know the different parts and functions of the saw.
First and foremost, what is a band saw? A band saw has two wheels, and in some models three, that has a long blade consisting of a continuous band of metal. These bands of metal are with saw teeth of course. Moreover, the blade uniformly rotates along the wheels.
The band saw is used for artistic work more than anything else. Cutting curves and edges, making intricate cuts, laminations, and so many other works are done with this saw. And the small sized blade actually helps to make detailed intricate cuts.
In addition to these uses, it is also capable of cutting different types of materials. Although it is used mainly to deal with wood, the saw can cut through harder materials like metal too.
Now, let’s get you familiar with some of the important parts of this saw.
One of the most important part of any saw is its blade. In this saw, the blade has a guard (blade guard) which protects the user from any contact with the threatening blade. This saw generally also has another blade guard known as rear blade guard. Its job is the same. But, it only covers the rear end of the blade.
The wheel pair present in this saw contribute a lot. The lower wheel uses a system of pulley to connect to the motor. In this way, it powers the wheels, which is significant in a band saw.
The upper wheel is an adjustable that allows you to control the tension of the blade. Controlling tension is one of the most important features of this saw. In addition, it tracks the blade too.
The part which helps in making better rip cuts is the fence. All you have to do is set the right distance, which would not be so smooth without the fence. Then you can use your band saw for making better rip cuts.
Blade guides is the part whose function is to keep the blade properly aligned. And the guide post is the one that lets you control the height of the blade guides. With the guide post, you can raise and lower the blade guide to your liking.
Like the table saw, this one also has a miter gauge. The miter gauge helps the user during crosscuts since the gauge holds the workpiece at 90 degrees.
These parts of this saw are important for you to know and how they function too. Moreover, knowing about them will give you a sense of comfort when you work with the saw. And you will actually know what to do for which type of work and when to do it.
Without any further delay, let’s get to the 8 band saw uses for you.
#1 Cut Straight Line
Making straight cuts is one of the basics of woodworking. Also, it is the easiest cuts. Your band saw is very capable of making straight cuts.
Considering the fact that the band saw is relatively one of the easiest saws to maneuver, you should start by making simple straight cuts.
Making straight cuts are pretty easy. Firstly, mark the cut line. You can use pencil, color markers, etc. to draw the line for better visual. Use a measuring tape or large scale to make sure that your line cut is straight and accurate.
You will get more accuracy as long as you hold the saw firmly and grip with strong hands. The more the shaky your hands are, the less you are likely to get the perfect straight cut.
But, if your hands are too shaky, band saw uses the fence. And this fence will guide the workpiece all the way resulting in better accuracy. Furthermore, if you are a fresher or newbie then using the fence is also a good option for you.
#2 Make Relief Cut
This is one of the unique cuts that a band saw offers. It is great at making curve cuts. But, the issue with making curve cuts is that sometimes the blade might bind. And so that needs to be solved.
When you make curve cuts that are just too small radius, the chances are high that the saw might get bind. This is where the relief cuts are important to make.
In the waste part of the material, make a straight cut up to the line and back it out the same manner. You should look for places where the blade could bind up and do the same thing to each of those places. Thus, relief cuts are done.
Now, these relief cuts will free the blade and you will be able to continue with making curve cuts. Relief cuts are made where the curvature takes sharp turn.
#3 Curve Cuts with Band Saw
This is one of the band saw uses which has kept the band saw in the play really. It is a great tool for making curve cuts. Remember that not many saws are known for making good curve cuts. Band saw is one of the very few exceptions.
Making curve cuts is actually linked with making relief cuts. If you do not make relief cuts, the chances for making the perfect curve cut are reduced significantly.
Firstly, mark out the exact line. In addition to marking the curve cut line, you need to mark for relief cuts too. Before starting with curves, you need to first make relief cuts. Then the curvature is not cut at one time, rather it is needed to stop at every relief cuts.
Actually, you cannot do it in one straight go. Instead, stop at the relief cuts and make the curvature piece by piece. With the addition of relief cuts, the saw will not bind. Furthermore, you will have the perfect curvature.
What is resaw? No, it does not mean sawing after sawing after sawing and so on. Resawing is the cutting of any broad sheet and making smaller thin pieces. A band saw can perform resawing better than most other.
The ability of a band saw with regards to resawing is truly mesmerizing. It is so capable that it can even resaw a large log without any problem. Moreover, resawing is also good to make more products out of little resource.
#4 Veneer Using Band Saw
Making veneer has never been easier. Your band saw is perhaps the best tool for making the perfect veneers. A piece of wood can be sawed into several pieces and used as one set for many purposes. For example, you can get a matched drawer set or, for instance, a set of curved doors. In this way, you can maximize the use of any idle board that was supposed to be useless.
Therefore, this saw is a great addition to your saw collection.
Lamination is the process where many thin parts of wood are bent in such a way that you can make any desired shape. This is something that many people are unaware of. Even the ones who have been using this saw for a long time.
Thin laminates that compose a bent lamination are never done better with any saw other than the band saw. Just like veneer, lamination is also a great way to increase making more interesting designs.
After cutting thin pieces, you are to hold them in any desired shape and glue them. After that, the waiting game is on. Let the glue dry and then you will have your wood piece like you designed.
#6 Small Logs
The band saw is used to make small cuts. And this is a lot easier with this saw because of the small size of its blade. Now, you can make smaller logs from a big one using a band saw.
This can be highly useful for you. You can use such little pieces to decorate your house. Furthermore, making curved ones will provide you with the chance to use them in the kitchen for putting down hot food.
Additionally, selling these is also preferable. There are many people who like to buy such type of substances.
See? Your band saw’s gonna make you rich too!
#7 Perfect Circles
With your band saw, it is not just circles. Rather it is perfect circles that you will be able to make. The process is pretty simple.
Mark down a circle on the wood piece. Locate the center of the circle and make a hole right at the center. Make long tangent to the circle at the starting point of the cut.
Get a nail or such type and drive it down the hole made earlier keeping 90 degree angle with an auxiliary table fastened to your band saw. Now, turning the cut material into the band saw blade should allow it to rotate pivoting on the nail.
In this easy fashion, you can make perfect circles with the band saw. By the way, band saw uses small blade and that helps in this work too.
#8 Metal Cutting
One of the reasons why I recommend getting a band saw is its versatility. As far as its versatility goes with regards to cutting materials, it is a master.
In addition to cutting simple wood, it is able to cut a much harder material which is metal. Even though the cuts will not be as perfect as cutting wood, it is still very possible in many cases.
Moreover, this allows you to have another saw which cuts metal. But, it is noteworthy that you should use the appropriate blade while cutting metal.
So, there’s your 8 simple and easy band saw uses. Therefore, read them again if you have to and with time you will get perfection.
Now, there are more interesting things that need to be discussed. So, stick around if you want to know more about this saw.
Blade tension is one of the unique features that this saw provides its users. This is a very important feature in a band saw. So, what does blade tension mean?
Blade tension is a term for any band saw that refers to how tight the blade is. It is needed to tighten the blade when working with this saw. You need to stretch tight the blade to work. That’s the simple understanding of it.
Setting the right and appropriate blade tension before starting to work is a must. But, what is the appropriate tension? There is no fixed height really that you can set. This is because it depends on what and which type of cut you are making. Furthermore, it also depends on the material type which you are cutting.
Therefore, depending on the type of cut and also the material type, you have to set the correct blade tension.
Now, how to raise and lower the tension? For most modern band saws, it is actually pretty simple. Most of them will have a fast mechanism that allows you to set the tension yourself. On the other hand, there are some which will need you to spend a little time. These are mostly the older ones.
Ohh I almost forget to mention one more important thing about the tension. No matter what height you work with, you must lower the tension completely after you are finished working with the saw. If you don’t then the blade could break prematurely. This is one problem that too many band saw users face. Hence, be smart and lower that tension of your blade after work!
This is one of my favorite features in a band saw. The adjustable speed controller gives the user more freedom.
It is important to keep the saw at the right pace for different types of cut. You cannot make different cuts keeping the saw at the same pace. For example, when you are cutting a soft piece of wood, you can go at a quick pace. But, if you are cutting a harder material like metal, for instance, you should adjust the speed and slow down.
Cutting harder materials with a fast paced blade is going to really wear out the blade, and ultimately your saw itself. As a result, it is important that you use this feature in the proper manner.
“Scroll and band saw are the same!”
I can’t believe that some people are still confused about these two tools. THEY ARE NOT THE SAME! Okay? There are some obvious differences between the scroll saw and the band saw.
Firstly, the scroll saw is great for intricate and precision cuts. While a band saw is not an unknown to intricate cuts, it still lacks precision compared to the scroll saw. The band saw is more like a boss in the industrial or professional works. On the other hand, scroll saw is perfect to get clean and smooth cuts.
A band saw can cut through thick materials better than most other. In fact, it is the perfect tool for such cuts. On the contrary, scroll saw with its thin and delicate blade is not so good at cutting through thick materials.
Even though the band saw is pretty good at making curves, circles, and different type of shapes, it is not better than the scroll saw at these. The scroll saw is actually the ideal option for such type of job. This is mainly because of the fixed saw that allows you to move the material around while cutting.
As far as versatility is concerned, it is actually a disputed matter. While some favor the band saw to be more versatile, others tend to take the scroll saw’s side. But, in my humble opinion, I would say that the band saw wins this fight. This is because it has the capability of cutting different types of materials including a strong one like metal.
Can you use both? You can keep both the saws. There’s not gonna be any problem. They are different and will offer you more range of versatility. Moreover, you can profit from their similarities as well. But, it is not anything that’s necessary. Therefore, it is up to you to decide if you really need both of them.
Band Saw Types
There are different types of band saws. First of all, there are two types available. They are stationary and portable.
The stationary one is the more appropriate one which is large in size and comes with a table. It is most used by professionals. On the other hand, there is the portable or handheld band saw. This is used mostly by people who work around their house or in garages. It is mainly for unofficial purpose.
Next division is with regards to the purpose of use. There are generally three types in this category.
- Meat band saw
- Metal band saw
- Wood band saw
From their names, you can understand easily how they have been categorized. Meat one is generally used in slaughterhouses for cutting meats, bones, and stuff.
Metal and wood band saws are used to cut metal and wood type materials respectively.
Then there are two distinction, horizontal band saw and vertical band saw. The idea is simple. Position of the cutting blade is positioned differently in these two. Position is horizontal and vertical. The horizontal one cuts down into the stock. In the vertical one, the workpiece is moved against the blade during the cut.
Make the most of the 8 band saw uses we discussed. And remember that you might not get everything right the very first time. But, that does not necessarily mean that you won’t get it done. Keep practicing and use your saw with more innovation.