Woodworking is a great hobby to master for one’s pleasure as well as being handy around the house. Now that we are all stuck at home and waiting for the quarantine to end, it is an excellent time to hone your woodworking skills. Brushing up on these skills requires good knowledge of what each tool does, and hence this article on the various band saw uses that might be a useful resource for you.
A band saw is a great tool to do some decorative work on your furniture and cabinets, so if you are an amateur, this is the equipment you might want to master.
While trying to describe a band saw, the image of a pair of wheels comes to mind. A slender rotating blade is held on to place by either two or three wheels, along with a table for support and motor for power in a band saw. One can even build themselves a band saw from scratch if they acquire necessary equipment such as the motor, wheels, and other small parts.
Types of band saws
Band saws come in many different sizes, such as large floor models to portable benchtop ones.
Portable band saws can be made to stand upright or placed on top of a workbench for support. Since they are lightweight and can be carried easily, they are not built for heavy-duty work. The user will also notice that there is a bit of vibration, and not a lot of blade options are available.
We would not recommend cutting thick hardwood as these are 9-10 inch saws designed for light woodwork. Of course, they provide more value for money if you are an amateur or just starting with these tools. Some portable band saw uses are shaping billets or bar stocks, cutting steel, cutting more massive timbers into smaller ones, creating notches, making truss circles, decorative cutting, and even in the butchering industry to cut flesh and bones!
Floor model band saws are 14-inch saws that are used for heavy construction. They come with a wide range of blade choices that otherwise were not available for the portable models. As you can already guess, their cutting capacities are much larger than traditional benchtop saws and much larger tables.
Some floor model band saw uses are heavy work that has vibration dampening cast iron parts, blade guides, induction motors, systems for tracking and tensioning, etc. Getting a floor model saw is highly recommended if you are a professional or a highly skilled woodworker.
Band saw uses
A band saw is quite a versatile tool, especially if you want to cut some simple curves with it. If you wish to turn logs into lumber, do some fun wood-crafting cutting up some decorative moldings etc. for furniture and cabinets, the band saw can be your best friend.
It can easily cut curves even in thick lumber. Some uses for the tool are crosscutting short pieces, ripping lumber, or creating cabriole legs. However, the most popular use of the band saw is in cutting irregular, not-so-straight shapes.
Not only does this type of saw cut through wood, but it is also famous for cutting through other materials such as metal. This is since the band saw makes some of the smoothest cuts ever. If you are a beginner, the following band saw uses or techniques can be helpful to you.
Trying out this kind of cut is a must because it is unique to the band saw. First, cut into the line along with the transition points and the curves. The waste wood is going to fall away as you do the relief cut.
Relief cuts are slightly curved, so they require a bit of precision and practice. You need to be a bit careful because while doing relief cuts, the blade tends to bind. To solve this problem, make a cut in a straight line and go back again. In any place where the blade is binding, you can try this technique to get smoother relief cuts.
Resawing into small pieces
Resawing means cutting up more massive timber into small pieces. You can cut any broadsheet to make it thinner as well. A band saw is excellent at resawing because it can cut shorter surfaces. You will be surprised to find that even a large log can be split into smaller pieces with relative ease.
A band saw is not just limited to wood. As we have mentioned before, it can cut through more muscular surfaces such as metal or bone. If you have decided to cut metal, be prepared to have rougher cuts than wood. If you use the right blade, it gives a pretty good finish overall.
Cutting perfect circles is one of the many influential bands saw uses. If you mark a circle on the piece of wood, you can easily cut a perfectly circular piece from it. Find the central point of the circle and make a hole there. At the starting point of your cut, draw a long tangent with the saw.
Use something simple to hold the wood piece down easily where you have carved the hole, such as a nail. This will allow the band saw to rotate around the pin easily. The best circular cuts can be made using smaller blades.
Lamination allows you to make any shape you desire as it bends together many thin pieces of wood. Most are unaware of the fact that laminating is widespread use of this type of saw.
After cutting a few thin slices with the saw, hold them in the shape you like and then attach them with glue. When the glue has dried, the wood piece will be exactly in the form that you have designed.
Band saws make it very easy to create veneers. With a band saw, you can cut up small pieces out of any large piece of wood. After sawing them, they can be used for various purposes, such as making curved doors or making a small chest of drawers. In this way, any idle piece of wood or cardboard can be made into great pieces of furniture of your choice.
Due to its small and easily manageable size, curves of any size can be cut from blocks of wood with band saws. For this, you have to mark the exact places that you want to cut, similar to how you would mark for relief cuts. Proceed to cut the small pieces that you have marked like a relief cut, then follow along those lines to get a perfect curve.
Before getting into all these different cuts, do make sure that your band saw’s blade is tensioned correctly, and the guides are well adjusted. It is also essential to take other precautions such as always wearing safety glasses, marking the practice cuts on some scrap wood before working on the actual piece, and making sure that the blade guides are adjusted too.
We must remember that proficiency in any tool comes with more and more practice. You will become an expert of these band saw uses in no time.