You may want to create a new furniture piece or make your existing furniture appear sharper, and you can do so with various types of saws. However, a bandsaw is the most reliable tool you can use to give your wooden plank a nice curve. Here is everything you need to know about what is a Band Saw used for, types, set up and more.
What is a Bandsaw?
A Band saw is a highly recommended tool for cutting woods and carving them. To define simply, bandsaw is a tool mainly used by metalworkers, woodcutters, and lumberjacks. You can find bandsaws in different shapes, sizes, and features, but they all work in the same way. Some of them are portable, whereas others are big and heavy. A Bandsaw is almost the same as a scroll saw. Both of these saws can carve and create beautiful patterns. However, it is way more powerful than a scroll saw since it can cut various materials.
How Does a Bandsaw Work?
A bandsaw has an upper, a lower wheel, long and sharp blades are used to cut the materials. It also consists of a surface located between the two wheels. This surface is used as a support for the materials required to be cut or carved. Let’s see more about what does a band saw do.
What is a Band Saw Used for?
Some of the uses for a band saw are as follows
- General purpose of a band saw is to cut a piece of material or to carve a piece of furniture, but it has many other functions that are not common.
- A band saw is most commonly used for cutting curves or creating patterns. It is more useful than a jigsaw, or a scroll saw for curving since it gives more control while cutting and helps in creating the perfect circle or a pattern. Also it is quicker to carve a block of wood or metal using a band saw.
- It is also used to resaw a piece of wood or metal which are shapeless or not properly sawed. Other saws do not give the perfect curve, and hence, they are re-sawed by band saws to give such materials a finer look.
- It’s mobility is also one of the reasons why it is used for resawing.
- It can also be used to cut a thick plank of wood or slice it into smaller pieces without worrying about irregular shapes.
- Bandsaws also make the cutting process easier since they are versatile and strong.
- A band saw can also be used to make intricate cuts since it can accurately carve a piece of wood or metal.
- In addition, it can carve small and perfect patterns, which makes it easier for the woodworkers to use. It is also used for ripping wood since it can cut straighter pieces of wood, unlike other saws.
Types of Bandsaw
There are many band saws, but the most common bandsaws are of two types. One type of Bandsaw is portable and can be placed on your worktable. Another type of Bandsaw is heavy and comes in large sizes usually kept on the floor. To choose the most suitable type, you need to understand the similarities and the differences between these bandsaws.
As the name suggests, a benchtop bandsaw can be kept on your work table due to its portability. This type of bandsaw is more suitable for someone who uses it as a hobby. However, such bandsaws have less power since they consist of short blades. Nevertheless, they can still cut thick materials if the blades are long enough.
Floor Standing Bandsaw
A floor-standing bandsaw can be used by professional woodworkers who must cut or carve thick pieces of materials. This type is more powerful than a Benchtop Bandsaw since it is bigger and can cut thicker pieces of wood. However, a floor-standing bandsaw requires a larger space on the floor, making it difficult for someone who faces space constraints. This Bandsaw can also be cut in depths and is built to be used more frequently.
How to Set Up a Band Saw?
Despite the clear instructions, sometimes even the most skilled woodworkers misunderstand the process of setting up a band saw. Therefore, here are simple steps you will need to follow to set up your Bandsaw properly.
Step 1: Set Up a Proper Table
Setting up a proper table is necessary so that you can perfectly carve with your band saw. It is also necessary to ensure your safety. You need to make sure that your table is flat so that the bandsaw does not slide and fall. The surface of the table needs to be hard to reduce the vibration of the bandsaw since a more vibrational one can be dangerous. There should also be clearance around the blade to ensure that your wood is carved accurately.
Step 2: Blade Alignment
You need to install a small blade in the Bandsaw first. Blade installation and alignment are the most crucial step towards setting up your saw. You will also need to find the perfect blade for your band saw based on its width. After you have found the perfect blade, you need to adjust it by opening the wheel box of your Bandsaw. When you have opened the wheel box, try to place the blade in the centre of the wheel so that the blade goes deeper into the wood and gives it a finer curve.
Step 3: Blade Tension
Blade tension ensures smooth cuts, and therefore, it should be checked using tension scales. You can also check it manually by opening the wheel box and placing your finger on the side of the blade. Then you need to push the blade slightly towards the spine. While checking it manually, you also need to ensure that the band saw is unplugged to save yourself from any danger.
Step 4: Adjust the Blade Guides
You should also check the blade guides before commencing your work. The ideal distance between the side guides and the blade should be 0.5 mm. You also want to make sure that the blade and the side guides never come in contact. If the side guides and the blade are touched, it will break the blade.
Step 5: Thrust Bearing
You need to make sure to adjust the thrust bearing so that it does not rotate along with the movement of the blade. The thrust bearing should not contact the blade to make it work more effectively. There should be a gap of 1 mm between the blade and the thrust bearing to make the cut more accurate.
Step 6: Align the Fence
The last step is to align the fence and make sure it is parallel with the blade. This will help you to re-saw your wooden board without any hassle. You also want to make sure that the fences and the blade are at an angle of 90 degrees with the table’s surface to make sure that your Bandsaw cuts effectively.
How to Use a Bandsaw?
- Before using your band saw, you need to make sure that your hands and eyes are well-protected. For this, you need to wear gloves and eye protectors.
- The next thing you need to do is adjust the tension in the blade to make sure it carves or cuts well. For this, you will need a tension scale. If the tension in the blade is not measured properly, it will result in improper cuts. Therefore, if you are a newbie, you should measure the tension to ensure perfect cuts.
- After measuring the tension, adjust the blade guard well by moving it up and down. After you are done adjusting it, make sure to lock it in place before cutting the wood or any other materials.
- Check the speed of the Bandsaw before cutting the material. The ideal speed to cut any material using a band saw is 1000-2000 fps. However, if you are cutting wood, it is okay to increase the speed since wood can handle a high speed. On the other hand, when cutting metal, make sure to lower the speed since metal is harder than wood and requires slow cutting.
- Mark your cut to avoid any mistakes while cutting your piece of material. If you are a beginner, you need to mark the measurements to avoid going wrong anywhere and get regular shapes while cutting.
- Once you are done with marking your cut, turn your Bandsaw on and align your piece of material with the blade. Make sure you keep your hands far away from the blade to ensure your safety. Keep your hands on the material in such a way that it perfectly cuts your material. Try not to force the blade to cut your material perfectly.
- Once you are done with cutting your material, release the tension from your blade so that it is not still when you use it the next time.
Understanding the usage of a bandsaw is not difficult if you follow the instructions carefully. If you are a newbie, you need to read the manual instructions with the Bandsaw to set it up properly and use it without facing any issues. You also want to do a little research about the brand of your Bandsaw because different models have different functions. With a little amount of guidance and practice, you will master the art choosing the best bandsaw and using it like a pro.