Some tips for using one of the workhorses of a well-equipped workshop: the band saw.



Basic Woodworking Shop Tools - The Band Saw

By:Scott Mckinzie

The band saw is called such because the "blade" is actually a band that is held in place by pulleys and moves around in a circular motion. It is a great cutting machine that allows you to cut curves and rounded shapes.

One thing to be aware of:

The band saw is not just for wood. It may used to cut metals, glass and other materials. The thing you need to know is what type of band (blade) to use. Since we are talking about woodworking shop tools, a regular tooth blade is the most common for cutting wood. There are others such as the skip tooth blade which is used for cutting softer woods and the hooked tooth blade for cutting harder pieces of wood. The blades also come in different sizes, real thin and flexible for your curved and rounded cuts, thicker wider blades for your straight cuts.

A few safety tips for using your woodworking shop tool-the band saw:

  • Always do your maintenance and inspections that you read in your manufactures manual.
  • Make sure the saw is unplugged before starting any of your maintenance.
  • Tighten the blade according to your owner's manual.
  • Make sure the blade is in its proper track.
  • When plugging the band saw in, always check to make sure it is in the "off" position.
  • Never leave the band saw on unattended.
  • Never reach across the blades.
  • Always wear your eye protection!

A couple of tips while using your woodworking shop tool - the band saw:

There is a blade guard that you should adjust no higher than about 1/4 inch above the wood surface. When you first turn on the saw, let it get to full speed before you start your cutting. As you begin to cut, be sure that the wood stays firmly on the surface. Use a push stick for really thin cuts that you may keep your fingers at least 3-4 inches away for the blade. There will be times that you will put tension on the blades while cutting curves so take it slow and easy. If you do need to back out of the cut to relieve the tension, turn the saw off and wait until it completely stops, then back your wood out. Keep your working area clean and well lit, always stay focused and your mind on the job at hand. Do not let others distract you.

About The Author
If you truly enjoy working with wood, I highly recommend visiting Safety with Small Woodworking Projects for some good safety advice.

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