The bandsaw is a power tool which uses a continuous band of metal with teeth along one edge to cut various workpieces. The band rides on two wheels rotating above and below the workpiece. The bandsaw provides a fast cut with more accuracy than a jigsaw, and has a much narrower kerf than the chopsaw. It cuts faster (and deeper pieces) than the scrollsaw, but is less able to cut curves. It is capable of causing severe injury so it must only be used by those trained to operate it safely. The 'owners' are responsible for training new users and ensuring that it is maintained in a safe condition.
- General workshop training course
- Bandsaw Training course
- Bandsaw Guidance Sheet
- Maintenance log form
Using the Band Saw
What can it cut?
- Wood, plywood, MDF [only with the vacuum extractor - MDF dust is a hazard]
- Perspex/acrylic and other plastics
What is it good for?
- Cutting thicker pieces in a straight vertical line (or shallow curve)
- Partial cuts through a piece, or cutting notches from a workpiece
- Cutting thin slices from the end of a piece of wood or plastic
- Resawing sections from thick, wide stock, and cutting veneers
- Scroll saw (slower, less throat height, better for curves)
- Jigsaw (if the piece is large)
- Chop saw (better for quick + accurate 90 degree cuts, repetitive work, metal)
Check that the machine is in good condition. Position the safety shield with the blade guide just above the workpiece to minimise the length of exposed blade. It also improves control of the cut because the blade guides are closer to the workpiece. Material much thinner than about 2-3 teeth on the blade should be cut with another tool. Please do not try to cut a radius smaller than about 12 times the width of the blade.
(More notes about supporting the piece, cutting lengthways and cross cut)
- Operator safety notice*Notes on here about changing the blade, aligning all 6 rollers, folding blades into thirds.
- Machine working
- Pat testing - passed! (thanks Stephen)
- Valuation and spare band specification worked out
- add to equipment DB http://makespace-equipment-db.herokuapp.com/
- Risk assessment
- Training course outline
Wear eye protection and make sure clothes and hair cannot get caught in the blade. Gloves are not to be worn because they could get caught in the blade and pull your hand into it. Stand in a well balanced position facing the blade. Place the heel of your hands on the table edge so that you cannot easily be pushed into the blade. Guide the workpiece using your fingers if safe to do so, or one of the supplied push sticks if fingers would otherwise be close to the blade. Never cross your arms while using the saw and keep your hands on either side of the blade. Very small items could potentially get trapped between the blade and the table so they are best cut with another tool such as a hacksaw. Leave a gap between piece to cut and blade when you start the machine again and do not forget to keep hold of the piece to cut. Ask for help if you are cutting large pieces, do not try to handle large pieces on your own.
The Owners are those who have volunteered to be in charge of the equipment, organising maintenance, training others to use it, and generally being a point of contact. The current Owners of the BandSaw are:
- Graeme D.
- Chris C.
- Michael D.
THE SAW CAN CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY. ONLY APPROVED OPERATORS ARE PERMITTED TO USE IT.
To get the required training to become an approved operator please contact one of the owners.
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.
Manual: File:Startrite 403 Manual.pdf
There is a video at http://techtv.mit.edu/collections/ehs-videos/videos/130-machine-shop-2 that is well worth watching. The part about band saws starts near the middle but the whole thing is worth watching, as are the other videos in the series.
Notes from the video:
- don't cut thin stock! (should have 3 teeth in contact) (this applies to tubes too)
- set throat depth just high enough. (too high = more blade and more potential for contact)
- speed: let the machine do the work
- stance: legs apart, close to the machine. don't be pushing hard!
- no loose clothing, no ties, no lanyards
- assume random things can happen - someone might bump into you! So keep arms and fingers VERY clear of machine
- turn the machine off immediately if not cutting - don't leave a hand on the bed while reaching down/sideways/etc
- hands clear, move part with fingers with hands and body stabilised.
- use a push stick to get small parts through. (and don't push hard! it could slip)
- Always leave the saw in a safe configuration. In case of damage: unplug, leave a large clear notice on the machine, report to an owner.
- Check machine interlocks, switches, novolt.
- Check workshop emergency off switch
- Floor tape
- Check Log
- Check machine clean including floor
Please clean the saw after use.
Spares, Value, other Admin
Blades: 3531 mm - Our standard fitted blade is a 12.7mm wide, 6-10 TPI Vari-pitch, M42 Cobalt blade
Bandsaw value: Startrite 403. £1500 inc. VAT Feb 2020 new list price