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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.


There are three levels of Training available:

  • User Training = 1-4 members
    • Run 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)
  • Advanced User training
    • Additional training on how to change a blade
  • Trainer Training
    • Initial session to run through what's in the standard training and how it's done (~30 minutes)
    • Attend a training session as an observer, this could be as the persons actual user training, as long as they have previous experience
    • Run a training session with another bandsaw trainer observing


General Workshop Safety

  • Do not be alone in MakeSpace
  • If you are alone in the metal/woodworking workshop make sure someone in the main space knows you're there
  • Check before entering the workshop that it is safe
  • Ensure you have appropriate Individual Protection Equipment
  • Awareness of telephone in main space (test)
  • No loose clothing, tie back long hair, no ties
  • No gloves
  • Ensure your work area is clear
  • 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 and clean with, the guard wound down

If there are issues with the Bandsaw please unplug and attach large notice saying out of order, contact an 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!
  • Be aware of the large CNC behind the bandsaw, particularly if you're cutting long material

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 carcinogenic. 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
    • Blade guide/guard in position
    • Table perpendicular to blade (unless deliberately set otherwise)
  • Stance - legs apart, stable, not leaning in

Three cuts to be demonstrated and performed:

  • Straight cut using the fence
    • Ensure the fence is firmly in position and touching the table at the back
    • Check the distance between the fence and the blade
    • Push the work through without pushing directly towards the blade
    • If the cut is thin then use a push stick
  • Angled cut
    • Ensure the angle is correct
    • Ensure the knob is tight and the guide cannot rotate
    • Push directly towards the guide with both hands on the right of the saw blade
  • Freehand cutting
    • Workpiece must be sufficiently large that fingers are not close to the blade
    • Work should be pushed through slowly

In all cases:

  • Ensure the workpiece is away from the blade when starting the machine
  • Ensure the workpiece is flat on the bed
  • Speed of cutting
    • let the blade do the work; don't force it
    • Don't let the blade heat up
  • If cutting thin things use a sacrificial support beneath them
  • Use a pusher and other supports if needed (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

  • Wind down the blade guard/guide to it's lowest setting
  • Vacuum all dust, including the floor
  • Switch off at the wall

Safety again

Check everyone knows the policy on:

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


  • Blade changing (overview)
    • Switch off and unplug at the wall
    • Open the top and bottom covers for the saw
    • Rotate the blade tensioning knob on the top of the saw anti-clockwise until the blade is loose enough to be removed
    • Remove the ruler/retaining strip from the front of the bed by unscrewing the screws from below
    • Remove the saw blade
    • Put in the new blade - with teeth facing towards you
    • Ensure the blade sits between all of the roller guides
    • Turn the blade tensioning knob in the top of the saw clockwise until the blade is tight
    • With the blade guard/guide raised to 15cm the blade should deflect no more than 7mm at it's centre
    • Rotate one of the wheels by hand to ensure smooth running of the blade
    • Check the blade runs centrally on the wheels, if it does not then adjust the allen bolt on the back to angel the top wheel
      • Clockwise (as you look at it) causes the blade to move towards the back of the saw
      • Anit-clockwise causes the blade to move towards the front of the saw
    • Replace the ruler/retaining strip on the front of the bed and ensure the screws are tight
    • Check again that the blade runs between all of the guide rollers
    • Close the top and bottom cover
    • Plug in the saw and run it to ensure it runs smoothly
  • Roller adjustment
    • Undo the black retaining screws
    • slide the rollers so that they alomst touch the blade
    • Tighten up the black retaining screws

Creating a Meetup for training

  • Log in to Meetup here [1]
  • Click 'Schedule'
  • Set the tilte as: Bandsaw Training (Fully inducted Makespace Members Only)
  • Enter the date and time, usually an hour's duration but often takes less
  • Pick the secure workshop as the place
  • Enter the description as:

Fully inducted Makespace members only (I'll be checking your tag!)

This is training on the use of the bandsaw in the secure workshop.

Please cancel if you can't make it so that someone else can have your space - it's REALLY annoying to have to train empty seats for these things. Don't do that to us - please cancel if you can't make it.

  • Select 6 as the number of spots, that's 5 trainees and the instructor
  • Finally click 'Publish' to create the meetup