A bandsaw (also written band saw) is a saw with a long, sharp blade consisting of a continuous band of toothed metal stretched between two or more wheels to cut material. They are used principally in woodworking, metalworking, and lumbering, but may cut a variety of materials. Advantages include uniform cutting action as a result of an evenly distributed tooth load, and the ability to cut irregular or curved shapes like a jigsaw. The minimum radius of a curve is determined by the width of the band and its kerf. Most bandsaws have two wheels rotating in the same plane, one of which is powered, although some may have three or four to distribute the load. The blade itself can come in a variety of size and tooth pitch (teeth per inch, or TPI) which enables the machine to be highly versatile and able to cut a wide variety of materials including wood, metal and plastic.
Instructional Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNa1_tcDo1g
- Wear safety glasses at all times upon entering a lab situation.
- Check wood stock for defects before cutting, such as knots, cracks, and foreign objects.
- Plan sawing procedures so there is a maximum of forward feed and a minimum of backing out.
- Cut only flat stock whenever possible. When cutting dowels or other round stock, use approved holding device and get permission for this special setup.
- Be sure the saw blade is the proper width for the job being done.
- Blades are different widths and may require relief cuts to be made when cutting small radius curves.
- Hold any wood firmly on the table and not up off the table.
- Set the upper blade guide ¼” or less above the wood to be cut.
- Always keep fingers out of the path of the blade and a safe distance from the blade.
- Feed material into the blade at a moderate rate of speed.
- Allow the machine to come to a complete stop before backing out of a long cut. Do not back out of a cut with the machine running. This can pull the blade off of the wheels.
- Turn off the power after using the band saw and stand by until the machine has come to a complete stop.
- Keep the table clear of scraps and clean table of scraps after the blade stops moving. Never pick pieces of wood from the machine while it is in motion and then it is wise to use a push stick or brush.
- Make all adjustments while the machine is off and stopped.
- When handling long pieces of wood, set up a work stand for material to rest on way out of machine or get help and do the pushing yourself.
- When operating the machine, keep well balanced and stand carefully to avoid injury from unexpected slips or falls.
- When a band saw blade breaks or comes off the wheels, step away immediately, shut off the power without endangering yourself, and then notify shop personnel.
- Always keep clear of the area to the right of the band saw when it is being used because if the blade breaks it may whip out into this area.
- Check the blade for cracks or splits before using the band saw. If a crack is found, unplug the machine and notify shop personnel.
- Listen for tell-tale sounds as you cut. A clicking sound may mean a cracked blade.
- When making adjustments it is a wise practice to unplug the machine to avoid accidental starts.
- Turn on the dust collection system and close all gates, except that for the band saw.