How to Use a Band Saw

There are two types of band saws available in the market - one is the horizontal band saw and the other is vertical band saw. Band saws have become fairly common in any woodworking facility and require no special skills to use. However, considering the nature of work involved, it is important that you familiarize yourself with the equipment and follow a few simple steps when using a band saw. Here are some simple instructions on how to safely use vertical band saws.

Step 1: Safety

Before handling any sort of power tool it is important to wear safety goggles, gloves and any other relevant safety gear. Try to minimize loose clothing as it could potentially get caught in the saw blades.

Step 2: Know your Machine

Most band saw machines come with variable speeds but if yours is only one speed that is not a cause of concern. Your power switch and speed indicators are usually located on the left side of the machine if you are standing in front of the machine. The transmission shift lever and the variable speed control will be located at the back of the machine. The tilt table at the front allows you to move the object you are cutting with ease. The air blower at the top of the blade makes sure any particles are blown away from you and not towards you.

Step 3: Measurements

Mark your measurements on the object you need to cut. Make sure that the sizes that you are trying to cut are able to fit through the machine. This is more important for any contour sawing as opposed to straight line cutting. When cutting straight lines, make sure the width of the object does not increase the distance between the blade and the column of the machine. If you are cutting a contour, make sure the object can pass through the gap between the column and blade in all directions. If that is not the case, simple cutoff any excess object that you can before using the machine.

Step 4: Set Speed

Depending on what type of material you are cutting, the speed of the saw will vary accordingly. The general rule of thumb is to use fast speed for softer materials and relatively slower speed for harder materials. Once you switch on the machine, wait a few seconds as it powers up and settles at its working speed.

Step5: Feeding

Once you have marked the object and set the speed, you are ready to feed the object through the machine. Depending on what type of machine you are using, the object can be fed manually or using the powered feeder. Before feeding the object and even before turning the machine on, check which side the teeth of the blade are facing. This is the side you will be feeding the object from.

If you are manually feeding the object make sure you keep your hands out of the way of the blade and if you are using the powered feeder, make sure you are not in a position to get caught in any of the moving part of the machine. Firmly grab the object, align the cutting line with the blade, clear your hands from the path of the blade and push the object into the line of the band saw blades. Once you have cut through the object, remove the articles from the machine and turn the machine off.