Episode No. 10 Band saws

March 28, 2006

After much delay and what amounts to a blown deadline promised to you the listener here is this week’s episode. As the name implies, this is all about the bandsaw. One of the more popular and versatile power tools in the shop. Regardless of whether you have a benchtop model or a floor model, there are all sorts of uses for the bandsaw and probably just as many blades. One of the great advantages to the bandsaw is that you’re not restricted to one cutting direction.

With the right size blade you can make tight radius cuts or long flowing curves. Not to mention the fact that the material your cutting can vary just as much as the direction of cut. This type of saw is used not only in woodworking, but metal shops, plastics and even butchershops (you might want to clean the blade before and after though, just in case). Bandsaws are great tools for rough dimensioning lumber.

Their very thin kerf blades can make quick work of cuts and waste very little material in the process. Depending on the type of projects you’ll be making, some woodworkers find this is the only saw they need in their shop. As a general rule in my shop the most commonly used blade is a 3/8″ or 1/2″ wide blade with 3TPI(teeth per inch). It was recommended to me and I’ve found it to be true that it takes care of almost all my basic cutting needs. I can rip, resaw and even make decent curves in thin material. For resawing boards to achieve a book-matched effect great on door panels go for the widest blade your saw can use. The cut will be straighter and true. For curves with tight radius cuts the narrower the better. A 1/4″ blade can cut a radius of about 3/8″ whereas a 1/2″ blade a radius of about 2 1/2″ minimum. Never change a blade with the saw plugged in and before cutting check both the tension and tracking of a blade to ensure the quality of the cut.

Thanks to so many of you listeners for your comments, questions and suggestions it’s really great to hear from you. Send any of them to mattsbasementworkshop@gmail.com. Also you may notice a links section in the right hand column of the page. I’m going to be updating those with links I think you may find helpful. Thanks to 3 Feet Up for their song ‘No Right’ check them out and other great artist at music.podshow.com. There will be another delay between this and the next show as I’m taking a week off to hopefully put together some things to improve the webpage and a few other things. So please check back soon and I promise you won’t be sorry. Straight Grains and Sharp Blades. Matt

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