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To get the required training to become an approved operator please contact one of the owners, eg User:Mat-c

The owners will help users make the best use of the saw but the users need to take responsibility for much of their own training.


Training takes place in three main steps:

  • Group Training of 1-4 members, going through the equipment and how to use it (~30 minutes)
  • Individual Training Task, where an individual member is set a task to complete to prove and improve understanding (~10min each)
  • Oversight while working on projects (at user's discretion)


General Workshop Safety

  • Do not be alone in MakeSpace
  • Do not be alone in the metal/woodworking workshop (door open to connect to someone in main space)
  • Awareness of telephone in main space (test)
  • No loose clothing, tie back long hair, no ties
  • No gloves
  • Good stance (NOT LEANING OVER)
  • Make sure people aren't around to nudge you.
  • Find a way to do it SAFELY. Think until you've found a way
  • Turn off when not in immediate use
  • Always leave safe (unplug and attach large notice if out of order, contact owner)

Bandsaw special considerations

  • Check the machine is in good order before starting (see Usage section)
  • Adjust guide to be only just taller than workpiece
  • Fingers clear at all times - assume things WILL go wrong
    NEVER be pushing towards blade
  • MDF (and other carcinogenic woods): compulsory vacuum; good idea to wear a dust mask!

What the bandsaw is and is not good for

Types of material: wood, plywood, plastic, perhaps aluminium Beware of MDF, and hardwoods which may be carcenogenic. Check online or the book in the library if unsure.

  • Thickish/longish cuts
  • Can do vertical and angled cuts, including compound angles (angles in two planes)
    • Also consider chopsaw, scrollsaw, jigsaw, CNC Router
  • Not great for corners, but ok
  • Blade-changing for advanced users/owners only
    • Standard blade not good for thick hardwoods (coarser pitch teeth needed)
    • Standard blade not good for sharp curves (thinner blades can be used)

Usage and techniques

  • Check the machine
    • Securely fastened down
    • blade sharp
    • blade tension
    • rollers free-running, but touching/almost touching blade
    • central support in position
    • Table perpendicular to blade (unless deliberately set otherwise)
  • Types of material (wood, MDF, plywood, plastic, PCBs, perhaps aluminium)
    • Not too thin! (make sure 2-3 teeth touch the piece, or support with backing)
    • Not too thick/hard
  • Stance - legs apart, stable, not leaning in
  • Using main guide
  • Using cross guide
  • Free cutting
  • Speed of cutting
    • let the blade do the work; don't force it
    • Don't let the blade heat up
  • Cutting thin things with a support
  • Use of a pusher and other supports (and don't push too hard!)
  • Consider embedding and other support methods

After use

If you've done something non-standard, make sure you replace standard blade and/or reset the table to level

  • Close down central support
  • Vacuum all dust
  • Switch off at wall

Safety again

Check everyone knows the policy on:

  • Checking machine before starting
  • Loose clothing
  • Gloves
  • Fingers clearance
  • Stance
  • Finding a safe way to do it

Individual practice

  • Main guide
  • Cross guide
  • Free cutting
  • Free cutting with smallish piece stuck/glued to a larger piece


  • Blade changing (overview)
  • Roller adjustment