Tips for getting the most out of your band saw.
A band saw is an important tool in any woodworker's arsenal. Band saws are ideal for detail work and fine cuts that would be very difficult or even impossible using other types of saws. While band saws are regarded as one of the safest cutting tools, they can still be dangerous if not used properly. Here are some tips that will keep your fingers intact and make your next woodworking project smooth sailing.
Band Saw 'zero clearance insert
The problem with a bandsaw is that blade alignment is not nearly as precise. Blades are of different sizes and also often wander a little. The result is that a typical bandsaw insert has a very generous sized hole around the blade. A new "zero clearance" insert would probably soon have a rather large hole as well. What I do to get the same effect as a zero clearance insert is to take a thin piece of plywood or particle board, cut part-way into it, stop, and clamp the piece in position on the table. This makes for a flat surface that goes right up to the blade.
Setting up a Band Saw
While band saws come in various shapes and sizes, some with two wheels and others with three, they all require careful setting up and adjustment before satisfactory work can be undertaken. It is surprising the number of people who consider a band saw to be a machine for cutting curves only. Of course band saws are unequaled for sawing stock into circles or intricate shapes. However, a correctly set up saw will make straight cuts through thick material with equal ease both safely and efficiently.
Tuning Up a Band Saw
A band saw is a versatile and useful wood working tool. Band saws require proper tuning to perform effectively and safely.
Sharpen the performance of your Band Saw
As with all shop tools there are procedures that if followed will extend the life of both your band saw and the cutting blade. Proper tension, feed pressure, regular cleaning, and lubrication are all required to get the most from this tool. There are certain precautions to be taken in order to protect the blades from premature wearing. For example, when the blades are new, they are too sharp, and any rigorous action on it will cause damage to its teeth.
Using the Band Saw
There are several types of saws used in the workshop. The radial saw is primarily a saw to cut across the grain (cutting). A miter saw is a circular saw used to cut tabs or size lengths of small parts. The jigsaw, with a thin blade is used for cutting curves. We deal here with the band saw.
How to Set-up Your New Band Saw
When you bring home your new (or new to you) band saw there are steps you need to take to set it up properly. First, the table must be level and flat, this can be checked with a level and a straight edge. If you have purchased a used machine and it is not flat you have the option to have the table ground flat, but it could be costly. If purchasing a new machine take a straight edge and check the same way before purchase.
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