OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Bandsaw Training

The bandsaw is an indispensable tool in the woodshop. It is often used to make curved cuts, but can be used to re-size large pieces of lumber before using the jointer or planer. The blade of the band saw is a thin loop of steel carried on two wheels, one above and one below the table. The blade is held in  position by blade guides above and below the table. Because of the shape of the teeth, the band saw is a very efficient and safe way to break down large stock.

The two smaller bandsaws in OCW and KBW are very similar; however, the large, and much more powerful, 42” saw in OCW requires special training before use. Be sure to mention which machines you intend to use during your hands on training.

bandsaw parts

bandsaw wheel

  1. Before use, confirm that the blade is on the wheels and that it is properly tensioned.
  2. Adjust the upper guide (the one above the table) to about ¼” above the stock before turning on the saw.
  3. Never pull stock in the reverse direction. This will likely result in the blade coming off the wheels. If a situation develops where the blade is binding or burning, stop, turn off the power and wait until the blade stops moving, then carefully remove the work.
  4. If the blade breaks under use, stop the motor immediately and wait until the wheels stop moving, then remove the stock and replace the blade.
  5. Never make adjustments to the blade guide while the blade is moving.
  6. Maintain a 4” margin of safety between your fingers and the moving saw blade.
  7. Keep both upper and lower doors closed while using the saw.
  8. Never try to saw round stock (small logs or dowels) unless they are securely fastened in a V-block or special log jig (sled).
  9. For long curved cuts, plan a series of relief cuts perpendicular to the curve. The relief cuts help to minimize the need to back-out of curved cuts.
  10. Never stand to the right of the saw while it is running.
  11. If you hear funny noises (such as squeals), stop the saw and inspect blade and wheels.

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