Before you know how to use a band saw and actually use a power tool like a band saw, at first I think you should know what a band saw is. A band saw comes with a long sharp blade consisting of metal teeth stretched between wheels to chop materials. They are used in woodwork, metalwork, and lumbering.
The power saw may be a machine designed to chop the tool at a desired length or contour. The band power saw is quicker and easier than hand sawing and it is used for an ideal square cut or big intricate cuts or angles on the workpiece.
Different types of band saws
Band saws differ from type to type based on their features and working capabilities. The most important two types of band saws are briefed below:-
Benchtop saw: They offer maximum cutting width and height. But they also allow vibration while you are working. Their blade choice is also minimal and their adjustments are not so perfect. So they are suitable for light-duty use.
Floor model saw: These saws are heavily constructed. Though their cutting width and height are less than the benchtop saws, they are more suitable for heavyweight works. They come with vibration dampening cast-iron components. So these saws do not vibrate while working. They also have blade guides and many blade choices, blade tensioning and tracking systems. Their tables are also longer than the benchtop saws.
Cutting with a band saw
Blades: You need different types of blades to make cuts of different types on different types of workpieces. The blades of band saws have different features also.
Blade width: Understanding blade width is a very important factor if you are willing to know how to use a band saw. You cannot use any type of blade of any width on every workpiece. For thicker woods and straight cuts, you have to use a wider blade. They wander around less than the narrower blades. But if you want to cut curves then you have no other alternative but to use a narrow blade. Narrower blades will give you better curved than any other blades. There cutting radius could be even equal to the diameter of the nip of a ballpoint pen. For your help, some measurements of blades with multiple widths are given below:
- 1/8-inch blade will make 3/16-inch minimum radius cut
- 3/16-inch blade will make 5/16-inch minimum radius cut
- 1/4-inch blade will make 5/8-inch minimum radius cut
- 3/8-inch blade will make 1-1/2 inch minimum radius cut
- 1/2-inch blade will make 2-1/2 inch minimum radius cut
- 5/8-inch blade will make 4-inch minimum radius cut
- 3/4-inch blade will make 5-1/2 inch minimum radius cut
- 1-inch blade will make 7-inch minimum radius cut
TPI: Teeth per inch is one of the most important factors in using a band saw or any other type of saw. Blades with low TPI can cut thick to thicker wood. But they will give you a rough cut. And blades which have high TPI will help you cut thin, intricate curves, sheets with a nice and smooth cut.
Blade tension: Adjusting your blade tension with respect to any situation is very important for using a band saw. You will find the blade tension adjusting screw on the upper rear part of the machine. You need to tension the blade not so tightly and not so loosely. You will come to know about the necessary information about adjusting your blade tension from the instruction manual which comes with your saw. An important reminder about your blade tension is that you should release your blade tension when you are not working with it. This might be helpful to increase your blades life span. When you do not have to use the saw for some days, then you should release tension a little so that the metal does not become fatigued and break the blade earlier than usual.
Blade guide: Blade guides are the circular screws present in between the blades. They hold the blade perpendicularly for making it convenient for making cuts. You have to make sure they are at a proportional distance and perfectly on their position.
Blade guard: There is a blade guard present in front of the blade for your safety. Make sure it is very close to the cutting material. If it is not, then there is a possibility of slipping your finger to the exposed blade and cause an unhappy incident.
Now we will learn about cutting with your band saw. After you are done taking all the preparations before cutting with your saw, you will be ready for starting to cut professionally.
Begin by marking your workpiece perfectly. If your markings are wrong then no matter how accurately you cut, your project will definitely be faulty. So be sure that your measurement is correct and you are drawing the lines perfectly.
If you are intending to cut a workpiece which needs to be cut in smooth angle then you should start cutting from the shallow angle. If the angles are shallow at both sides, then you should start your cut from both the ends and finish at the middle. If you intend to finish your cut at the shallow angle then you might be making a big mistake. Because when you want to finish your cut at the shallow end, there is a big chance of not being able to finish the cut at the required length since the end is too narrow to follow the line and cut with perfection.
For cutting veneers, a band saw is the most ideal power saw to use. Hold the board against the fence with the sting to be cut parallel to the blade. Change the fence till the required thickness of the veneer is simply to the way facet of the blade from the fence. Activate the saw, and ease the wood through the blade whereas holding the board against the fence and therefore the table. Once finishing the cut, shut down the saw, change the fence and repeat.
That would be everything about how to use a band saw. Thanks for reading the whole article. You can use these techniques to make several types of cuts for your projects like making cabriole legs, making wooden sheets, cutting thick or thin lumbers or bent laminations.