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.