You may be kinda new to the woodworking game, and you may need some helpful tips and info on what some things are, right? Well, if that’s true and you’re starting to get serious about this hobby, or profession, then you’re going to need to know what the heck a bandsaw is, and what it can do.
Honestly, it’s one of the most important tools in a woodworker’s arsenal. A general overly simplified explanation of what the band saw can do, is cut things. It just straight cuts through things using its awesomely powerful saw blade.
Now, the nuances and interesting in-depth details are down below, but if you were just looking for the simplified version, then there you go. If you do decide to take a look then you are going to find that there is a lot more to the band saw, then just cutting through random objects.
So, for your convenience, here is an in depth look on what a bandsaw is, and what they are used for.
What a Band Saw Actually Is
A band saw is an incredibly powerful tool, and one of the most popular to boot. It has these metal blades which have teeth, you can think of it like a pizza cutter and a steak crossover. Its round with metal teeth surrounding the edge in order to cut through dozens of different things, which we will get into in just a moment.
It is an incredibly important tool, but be warned, it is also incredibly dangerous. It will cut off your fingers faster than a hot knife through butter. There is no if ands or buts about it, it will seriously hurt you if you don’t use it properly. So, make sure you know what you are doing before you turn on the metal machine with teeth.
Moving on, the band saw comes with its own little table attachment, and a rotating motor attached to the actual saw blade, this thing will start spinning ridiculously fast, and whatever you feed it, is going to get cut right in half.
Just a little note that I have to put in, if you are using a band saw, not only can it cut your limbs off, but it can also poke your eye out, blind you, or irritate your eye at the very least. When you’re sawing through things really quick like a band saw does, then things are going to start flying up and into your face. So, make sure your careful and get the proper eye equipment, goggles, glasses even work if you’re not too reckless.
Now, I said a few minutes ago that a band saw’s basic and overly simplified purpose is to merely cut things. That is one hundred percent true, its basic function is to cut through whatever you feed it.
Saying that aloud, don’t be reckless, you can put proper things into a band saw, like wood, metal, meat, etc. But do not put anything that could potentially harm you, a kind of exaggerated example would be to put a live bomb in a band saw, don’t put something that could hurt the machine or yourself. Keep to the basics if you can for your own safety, please.
Anyways, moving on from the doom and gloom, a band saw is used for cutting, but it is used for refined cutting. You can use it to cut things a little easier than normal, or maybe you’re a woodworker like I suggested above, then you can use that band saw to cut the wood with a curve, or maybe you work in a deli or a butchery, you can cut through tough meat quickly and efficiently with the band saw.
So, essentially, a band saw is a time saver and it’s used for more refined wood cutting, so you can make any kind of fancy carving, or table for the dining room, for example. It’s a really great upgrade for any kind of wood cutter, butcher, metal worker, etc.
What Fields its used In
Now, like I said, it’s really used mainly for meat, wood, and metal, and with those three materials, there are tons of professions to work with them. Wood cutters, carvers, workers, etc. Butchers, deli’s, other meat related professions. Metal workers, engineers, etc.
Now, I’ll be getting into this a little more in depth in a few moments, but there are different band saws to use for different jobs. For example, the classic villain band saw (timber cutting band saws) was always used to tie up helpless heroes and saw them in half in a terrible attempt to continue their evil schemes, but they were always foiled by the other protagonists.
So, every profession has their own, nice type of band saw. It’s kind of like using the right culinary utensil, you don’t use a fork for soup, and you don’t use a butter knife for salad. You need the right tool, the bandsaw, for the right job. Again, I’ll get into the specific type of bandsaws each profession uses in just a few moments.
Some jobs require a band saw, woodworking doesn’t necessarily need a band saw, but metal working, you’ve gotta get one, otherwise you’re not gonna have fun. It’s always a plus to have one though, just to let you know. So, that’s the fields that use band saws, and we’ve established the fact that professions use different kinds of band saws, not to say that different profession don’t use the same kind of band saw in different fields.
How To Use a Band Saw
I’m gonna be completely honest with you, I have no idea if you know how to use a band saw or not. You could be the leading expert on it, the best in the entire world. If you are the best, or you have some decent experience at least, then you can move right on by, you can skip this small section if you like. If you happen to be like the majority of the world, and you have only a small idea of how to use a band saw, or maybe you have no idea at all on how to use one, then you should probably read this section.
If you want to learn how to use a band saw safely, then you should read this for a basic understanding on it, then, and I can’t stress this enough, you should, no, need to go and actually study. Go ask a professional, in real life, how to use one, read up on it more than a two hundred worded explanation of the absolute basics. Know your stuff and you won’t only be safe, you’re going to have a really easy, if not fun time, with your band saw.
Now, I have to assume that you’re your prep is all ready, for time’s sake, you’ve got the blade at the right height, got the speed set, gave the blade proper tension, and actually chose the right blade for the job.
Real quick, make sure there aren’t any kids, or pets even, in the room when you’re about to turn the band saw on. If you have to have them in there, then make sure you know where they are at all times, and make sure they stay a proper distance away. It would not be fun if they suddenly got curious and wanted to know what the spinning thing felt like.
So, first thing your gonna want to do is mark whatever you cut, you need to make a little line on whatever your cutting, unless its meat, in order to cut it correctly. So, for example, you want to cut a curve into a piece of wood, then draw that curve so that you can follow it.
Next, simply turn the band saw on. It doesn’t need any kind of warm up or prep, just switch it on and get your material ready.
Now, here is the dangerous part, you’re gonna be pushing the darn thing into the saw now. Carefully, and I mean carefully, keeping your hands away from the blade at all times, slowly start pushing your material into the blade, following any kind of mark that you may have drawn.
It’s as simple as that, but you have to make sure that you listen to these next few tid bits, and the ones before.
Do not rush, if you go fast, then you’re not gonna have a hand. Do not force it, do not try to force any material into the band saw that it won’t cut, some materials may just not cut, maybe the band saw is broken and can’t cut properly, in any case, do not force it, if you do, you won’t have a hand anymore. Minimal pressure is king here, ok? Simple consistent minimal pressure. Smooth, slow, and steady.
After you’re done, you need to put it back into the original settings, it can be a pain the next time you use it. So, put it back in the original height, speed, tension, etc. Make sure you clean up your station as well, and the band saw itself, don’t want any leftover stuff messing things up.
Now, finally, just the last thing, if anything at all goes wrong, then immediately turn the band saw off. Anything at all happens, you shut it off, and make sure there are no problems. Also, make sure you don’t forget to turn it off after your done with your cutting, you’d be surprised how many times people actually forget to.
Conclusion and Recap
So, we gave you a general overview on what bandsaws are, what they are used for, and how to use them. We also gave you an overview of how to be safe with a bandsaw. So, let’s do a small recap to really get it all stuck in your noggin.
First up, what is a band saw? Well, a band saw is a very useful machine that is used to cut through multiple materials using a spinning saw blade. Pretty simple, like I said at the beginning. Now, that is what the band saw does, but there is more to it than that.
It is a powerful tool, and because of that it is extremely dangerous. You need to be extremely careful with this machine as any kind of mistake can potentially cost you one of your fingers. We’ll recap on its dangerous specifically, in just a second.
Moving on, we have what uses the band saw is used for. Like I said, it is used to cut through materials for different purposes. now, the material that you are cutting is usually connected to what profession that you’re working in. The main three materials that are cut, is meat, wood, and metal.
So, metal workers, butchers, and carpenters, for example would all be professions that a band saw would be used. All very fascinating, and it is amazing that a simple tool can have such versatility.
Moving on, the thing that we have been stressing the most in this entire article is safety. This machine, the band saw, is an amazing machine, it can help you do so many things, but it is incredibly dangerous. It is meant to cut things, and guess what, we humans, are in the category of things. A band saw can cut you in half, it can cut off limbs, it is not pretty when you lose fingers.
So, make sure that you keep your hands away from the bandsaws, especially when it turned on. Make sure that you turn it off when you are done with it, unplug it afterward even. Make sure that children and pets are kept clear of it at all times, and again especially when it turned on. Make sure that you don’t force anything into the bandsaw, it will not end well if you do. So, stay safe, make amazing things with your very amazing machine, and make sure you know what you’re doing.