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Author Topic: Wanted: Bandsaw Basics  (Read 2376 times)
von Corax
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Prof. Darwin Prætorius von Corax


« on: November 18, 2011, 10:15:33 pm »

I have just acquired a small bandsaw, and now I need to learn how to use it.

I realize I could simply Google this and find a plethora of tutorials; trouble is I'm not currently equipped to judge which would be worth following and which would be worth avoiding. To that end, I ask the experienced bandsawyers among you to recommend one or more comprehensive, easy-to-follow tutorials to familiarize me with the basic techniques and capabilities of my new toy. Books are acceptable, although for the sake of expediency I would prefer something online, and I would prefer at least some printable text rather than video-only, as I cannot at present put a computer in my shop.

For reference, this is a 9" upright saw for wood and nonferrous metals. I have broad-but-extremely-shallow experience with power tools, I possess slightly above-average risk-assessment skills, and I have both read and understood the machine's manual.

With gratitude,

Prof. Darwin Prætorius von Corax, Chief Artificer
The Leverkusen Institute of Paleocybernetics
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« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2011, 01:14:57 am »

KEEP ONE HAND FIRMLY IN YOUR POCKET! that way you will only be using the other, less chance of loosing fingers, the rest is gravy!

start with straight cuts (use a poky stick when you get close to the end of the cut), then try gentle radii's, before moving onto more complicated stuff.

Basically I suppose what I'm saying is learn to crawl before attempting to run a marathon!
(Oh yeah, you sound sensible, so I won't offer you an Ostrich egg to suck!!)
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« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2011, 01:30:24 am »


In terms of use they are reasonably self-explainatory, at least as far as the basics go, however there are a couple of important safety points :

-Always be very aware of where your hands are in relation to the blade.
-Never push directly towards the blade, be very aware of where your fingers would end up if you or the work were to slip.
-If you need to work with something small or anything else that means you need to get your hands closer to the blade than you feel comfortable with use a push-stick to manipulate the work.
-Never force a cut, if  you need to apply anything more than gentle pressure something is wrong
-Make sure that all the blade guides, blade tension etc are properly set up and that the fence is parallel to the blade.
-Always work in a comfortable and stable position, if you feel unsure or unsafe stop and think about what you're doing.
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KABAR2
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« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2011, 01:32:29 am »

I read band saw and keep seeing the robot in Bicentennial man cutting his finger off with one......

I use two hands you have better control,and keep them to the outside of your work less chance of cutting a finger that way...
 are you cutting wood? plastic? metal? you will need different
blades for wood and metal, What you should do is get some scrap material (wood) draw out a design on it
and practice cutting out the design see how close you can keep it to the line, and it's all in the wrists......
don't be afraid to pull back if you fell like your are headed wrong just slow down and try again.
You'll get the hang of it.......
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« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2011, 02:36:56 am »

All of the above, except also practise.  A lot.  And when you start thinking it's time to change the blade, that's a sign you should've done it some time ago.
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von Corax
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Prof. Darwin Prætorius von Corax


« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2011, 04:06:41 am »

Thank you so far, gentlemen. As I said, though, I'm actually fairly good at spotting safety hazards before they bite, and most of your safety-related advice is already in the manual. (I told you I'd already both read and understood it, but did you believe me? Tongue )

What I'm really looking for is tutorials, along the lines of
  • This is Technique A
  • This is Technique B
  • This is Technique C
  • Make Project X to practice A, B and C
  • This is Technique D
  • Make Project Y to practice D, along with the other Techniques
  • And so on

I was hoping I could enlist all y'all experienced folk's aid in weeding out the good, worthwhile tuts from the worthless and dangerous ones, and that (ideally) someone could recommend two or three tutorials that they've already seen and thought, "That would be good for a beginner."

Thanks again,

Prof. D. P. von Corax
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KABAR2
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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2011, 06:31:29 pm »

To do a tutorial I would have to take lots of photo's for that would be the best way
to get across the how and the whys...... I wish I had the time to do so.....

I did a quick search on the web and there are some tutorials already out there on youtube...

here is a link to what I found hope this helps....

http://www.bing.com/search?q=band+saw+basics+%2F+use+tutorial&src=ie9tr
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von Corax
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Prof. Darwin Prætorius von Corax


« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2011, 02:24:57 pm »

Not a problem, Kabar. I'm really not asking anyone to make a tutorial for me; I was just hoping someone could recommend a tutorial that they considered to be of good quality.

Hmm... Perhaps if I phrase the question this way: Can anyone suggest a good first/second/third project for someone with no prior experience with a wood band saw, which will familiarize me with the capabilities of my new toy?

Incidentally, I've asked my local county library branch to order in a copy of Popular Mechanics' Band Saw Fundamentals by Rick Peters. Is anyone familiar enough with this book to recommend for/against?

Once again, I (and my fingertips) thank you.

Kind regards,

Prof. Darwin Prætorius von Corax
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von Corax
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Prof. Darwin Prætorius von Corax


« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2011, 05:32:46 am »

Anyone?





...Bueller?
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Athanor
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« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2011, 06:53:54 pm »

KEEP ONE HAND FIRMLY IN YOUR POCKET! that way you will only be using the other, less chance of loosing fingers, the rest is gravy!

IHOPE you're joking??

If not, I'd say that's the worst possible advice for using a bandsaw that I can imagine. If you only use one hand, you're NOT in firm control of the material and an accident is almost inevitable.

The only advice I would add to what has already been said is;
1) Lots of light; a dedicated Anglepoise or similar lamp is ideal.
2) Keep the upper blade guide as close as possible to the material, just so long as you can still see what you're doing.


Athanor.
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« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2012, 07:31:52 pm »

KEEP ONE HAND FIRMLY IN YOUR POCKET! that way you will only be using the other, less chance of loosing fingers, the rest is gravy!


IHOPE you're joking??

If not, I'd say that's the worst possible advice for using a bandsaw that I can imagine. If you only use one hand, you're NOT in firm control of the material and an accident is almost inevitable.

The only advice I would add to what has already been said is;
1) Lots of light; a dedicated Anglepoise or similar lamp is ideal.
2) Keep the upper blade guide as close as possible to the material, just so long as you can still see what you're doing.


Athanor.

i compleately agree,
plan your work first if curring curves use relif cuts at ~90 degree angels to the curve and cut these first dont twist the blade.
let the saw do the work, dont try to go too fast but not too slow so you burn the wood, use the proper tpi (teeth per inch) blade for the matereal more for mettal less for wood but the blade it came with is probably for wood. alwase use saftey glasses, a good project would be cut a push stick, http://www.woodworkersworkshop.com/graphics18/ptg-online-push-stick.jpg similar to this but feel free to modify the handle to be more comfortable, ~3/4 inch MDF (medium density fiber board) is a good soft easy working starter material, that will last a while i still have mine from woods class from freshman year of high school (im 19 now). the band saw is my favorite tool but it can be dangerous if you get too cocky, keep your hands at least 4 inches away from the blade at all times, 6" is better, keep the blade guard close to the work to prevent excess twisting in the blade.
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« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2012, 10:58:03 pm »

The one bit of advice I can offer is to put a metal cutting blade on the saw and use it to cut everything. It will have no trouble cutting wood, and you won't have to go through the considerable hassle of changing blades if you want to cut metal.
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Peacemaker
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« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2012, 08:44:14 pm »

I learned really fast in woodshop class back in highschool that you shouldn't use thick wood on the bandsaw. I was pushing wood through it that was about 5inches thick. The next thing I knew, the saw blade picked the wood up and started slamming it on the table back and forth so out of instinct I grab it to calm it down because I didn't want people around me to start looking over and in doing so I came very very close to cutting my hand or God forbid losing a finger. I should of hit the kill switch, so just be careful when picking thickness of wood to use.

I use to do detailed work on a scroll saw and cut the outside rim with the bandsaw. Great tool for cutting metal also if you have the right blade.

Now if you are looking for a 12 step program. Sadly there isn't one because they are pretty self explanatory.

If it's bandsaw safty and technique you are after then click on the spoiler below.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

« Last Edit: February 07, 2012, 08:58:14 pm by Peacemaker » Logged
Professor J. Cogsworthy
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« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2012, 05:46:10 pm »

while cutting you may find that the blade tends to..... wander.

This is referred to as drift.

Sometimes it is caused by trying to cut your material too quickly....
sometimes by the blade not being tight enough...

Sometimes it just happenes..... Each band saw will drift a little different
than the next one....

The easiest wayy to compensate for blade drift that is the last type it is
best to change the way you look at the problem...

Instead of trying to force the blade to follow the line make the line follow the blade
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« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2012, 09:08:17 am »

Often drift is due to the wheels not being perfectly aligned. On my Delta 14 inch I needed to fiddle a bit. For thick cuts like resawing thick stock go slow and then slow down. The saw will only cut as fast as it is able. Forcing it will screw up your cut and may cause a blade to snap. As will said you can use a metal blade for all your cuts. I don't. My thin stock is cut on a beverly shear and thicker metal on a dedicated for real metal cutting bandsaw. Steel requires slower speeds than wood.
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