Daily Archives: March 23, 2016

How to use a band saw

If you work with wood and have the intention to equip yourself with a band saw, whether it is a new one a an used band saw then we can recommend you how to find a good band saw. Once you have got enough the information and tips then decide to purchase a good one for your wood workshop, congratulations on your purchase! Now that you have a band saw in your hand, here comes the next question: how to use it correctly in safety, accuracy and efficiency? In this article, we will provide you with a basic, simple guide on how to use band saws.

1. Make sure you have enough power to supply your band saw with

This is actually something to be considered when you are choosing your band saw. You should make sure the power source in your workshop is what your band saw can go with, or vice versa. Fortunately, usually band saws are made to operate properly on the normal household electricity. If you are to go with big, industrial band saws, be ready to equip your workshop with 3 phase power for them to operate.

2. Set up your band saw

Each band saw has the instructions and manuals attached, read them carefully before setting up your saw, and pay special attention to the safety information. When you assemble your band saw, make sure it will have a comfortable height for your ease in working. Check the place you put your band saw, the light should be clear and bright enough.

3. Go with the right blade

Depends on its type and size of the wood you use, you will need a suitable blade. Check the width and teeth per inch (TPI) of the blade to choose the correct one. 

Blade width: The narrower the blades are, the shorter the turning radius; whereas a wider blade will last longer but will not be able to produce sharp curves. A blade’s width often ranges from 1/8 inch to 3/8 inch.

Blade TPI: The TPI of a blade will decide how effective the cut is. Higher TPIs help you to make smoother cut yet the speed would be slower. Lower TPIs, on the contrary, the cut will be rougher but the speed is fast. Normal blades have their TPI ranging from 16 TPI to 8 TPI.

4. Safety first

Do not leave the band saw plugged in when you need to adjust it. Even if you have turned it off, you should also plug it out. The switch can be accidently switched on at any time during your working time.

5. Pay attention to the blade tension

Adjust the blade tension of your band saw to a suitable one. If you leave it too tight, the blade tends to be damage easily while if the blade is not tightened enough, it can slip and shake when you are cutting.

6. Check the blade’s position

Open the cover of your band saw and check the blade’s position. The blade should run at the wheel’s center. If it is not in this place, you should adjust the knob to move it there. When you finish adjusting it, close the cover.

7. Check your blade guides

Normally, a band saw will have some blade guides near the place of the upper wheel. This blade guide can be move so choose a suitable position for it. Do not let it come too close to the cutting surface, they can jam the wood.

8. Mark your cut

On the wood that you are going to cut, you can use a pencil or a specialized marker for wood so that you can trace the line easily when cutting. Do not use an ordinary marker that will leave forever stain on your wood.

9. Check all the materials needed before starting your cut.

Stop halfway to find a missing piece of wood would be a frustrating experience so check all of your necessary materials before you start cutting. Then plug in your band saw.

10. Power on your band saw and begin to cut following the lines you have marked. During the cut, do not let your finger come near the blade. You should better buy a pair of safety cutting gloves. If you are cutting and your blade wobbles, stop. Unplug the saw and adjust it before resuming the cut.


How to choose a good band saw 

If you are interested in working with wood, professionally or personally, you should have at least once or twice heard of band saws.  The band saw has a blade which consists of a metal band filled with teeth along the length. With a band saw, you can cut various materials with high accuracy. Especially, when you need to handle special shapes, you will find band saws extremely helpful. 

band saw

Now that you think of buying yourself a band saw, there may be several questions that you have to contemplate. To get a basic hold of the information of band saws, you may want to read the band saw reviews. Basing on these pieces of information, you may have an idea of how to choose a good band saw. Yet if you would like some more general information, like a summary of what to look at when choosing a band saw, this article is for you.

Below are some brief guides on the basic features that you need to consider in order for you to choose the band saw that would be the best match of your needs:

1. What is your preferred size?

At first, look around your workshop and decide which size of the band saw that will be the best to assist you in your work with wood. The band saw should, at the same time, not too big to be placed in a suitable in your workshop and not too small to cut your wood piece. Normally, the size of a band saw is determined by its wheels’ diameter. Minus 1 inch, you will have the throat width which decides the largest piece that can be placed between the column and the blade. The maximum thickness that can be cut of the wood is determined by a spec called the resaw capacity. Therefore you should look at all of these measurements to choose the most well-sized band saw. For example, to have enough versatility, a band saw should at least has the resaw capacity of 12 inches.

2. How many wheels would you want?

If you look closely at the numerous options of band saws in the market, you will see that there are two basic types – regarding the number of wheels – offered: 3-wheel band saws and 2-wheel band saws.

The 3-wheel band saws, with smaller wheels compared the 2-wheel ones, usually requires the blade to change directions 3 times while functioning while the 2-wheel band saws have bigger wheels and require 2 times of direction change for blade. Therefore your blade’s life-span will be longer if you are to go with a 2-wheel band saw. However, 2-wheel band saws have much smaller throat than the other type. So, if you really need a big throat width, you can choose a 3-wheel band saw. But if the throat width is not your priority and blade lifespan is, then a 2-wheel band saw is the best option for you.

3. Choose motor that is powerful enough for your needs

A good motor with enough strength will help you to cut sharply, even with hard wood. If you are tempted by a band saw with inexpensive price, look at its motor’s horsepower before picking it up. Cheap band saws usually have small horsepower and will struggle when it has to cut hard wood. Unless you will only work with extremely soft wood, do not consider band saws with motors of equal to or under 1 horsepower; or else, your cutting speed and the shape of your cut pieces will suffer.

4. Pick the suitable blade with adequate teeth 

The teeth of a blade are normally counted by 2 methods: TPI, which means counting the teeth per inch, and PPI, which means counting the points per inch. For a normal wood-turner without any special requirements, a band saws having 3 TPI is good enough.

To summarize, this is your small check list to make if you are to buy a band saw:

– Define the size of the band saw

– Choose the number of wheels

– Go with a motor that is strong enough

– Check the density of teeth on the blade