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 accurate cut more accurately 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.
Using the Band Saw
What can it cut?
- Wood, plywood, MDF [warning about dust]
- Perspex/acrylic and other plastics
NO METAL. [Maybe aluminium if we get the right blade - this needs researching]
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
Also consider these other techniques
- 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 minimize the length of exposed blade. It also improves control of the cut because the blade moves less. Material much thinner than about 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)
- add to equipment DB http://makespace-equipment-db.herokuapp.com/
- Training course design
- Notes on here about changing the blade, aligning all 6 rollers, folding blades into thirds.
- Machine fettled
- Pat testing - passed! (thanks Stephen)
- Valuation and spare band specification worked out
Wear eye protection and make sure clothes and hair cannot get caught in the blade. Gloves are not advised 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 so that you cannot easily be pushed into the blade. Guide the workpiece using your fingers only. 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.
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:
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.
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 pusher to get small parts through. (and don't push hard! it could slip)
- we must consider placement carefully - don't want people pushing past while someone is cutting
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. Please clean the saw after use.
Spares and Value
Blades: 1712mm 6.4 to 12.7mm wide. 67.5" 1/4 to 1/2" wide in old money.
Bandsaw value: Metabo 260 Swift. £235 August 2013 new list price (item was acquired from Grant, used, August 2013)