Everything You Need To Know About Band Saws

Everything You Need To Know About Band Saws

Saws have been used for centuries and have evolved significantly. Any material with sharp edges, like shark teeth, bones, seashells was the earliest forms of the saw. The early dynastic period in Egypt saw the invention of the first saw. This saw did not have a frame and had a copper structure. There were numerous uses for saws back in the day.

You will be astonished to find out that some countries in the world even used to carry out death penalties by using saws. Egyptian history has seen numerous models of saws. We know that because of multiple illustrations found on the walls of Egyptian tombs.

There were countless methods involved in the production of saws, and the making of a single saw required the hard work of multiple men. Numerous countries claim to be the pioneers of the first saw ever invented, but there is no proof to be sure which country should get the credit.

Ancient Saw

In the early days, when there was no gas, electricity, and machines, the production of saws was done only by hands. It took countless hours of dedication to complete a single saw. As soon as people began to gain knowledge about iron, they started to use it for making saws instead of copper.

Some people learned to prolong the life and sharpness of the blade by dipping the metal having a moderate amount of carbon in hot water. They left it inside the water for twenty to thirty minutes. After that, they took it out and left it in a cool, dry place to harden the iron.

European saw producers had unique ways of forging saws, which were later on adopted by several other countries as well. Almost ten men were required to hammer on heated steel sheets to forge out the perfect blade for saws.

Hammering made sure that the saw's blade was flat and there weren't any irregularities present on it whatsoever. They sharpened the saw's teeth with the use of triangular metal files; this made the saws sharper and smoother.

The 18th and 19th century saw steady progress in the evolution of saws, and by the end of the 19th century, the process of producing saw was completely mechanized. It greatly helped in speeding up the production process as the demand for saws was increasing day by day.

Not only mechanization helped in increasing the rate of saws produced, and it even made sure that there were no faults found in the final product. 

There was little to no human intervention during the mechanization process of saws. However, there are still some people to this day who make saws using their bare hands, but there are remarkably few. The saw industry took the world by storm, and it is evident that it has made and will continue to make great strides in the saw's evolution.      

History Of Band Saws

1809 was the year when the idea of the first ever band saw came to a person's mind. William Newberry was the person who was famous as he got the patent of creating the first band saw by the British Government. However, the blades present in the saw made it impractical.

Old Band Saw

The reason why these blades were impractical was that they were not able to withstand the pressures of regular flexing.  But things changed in the year 1860, as a Frenchman named A. Perin was responsible for introducing a much more viable blade that aided in making band saws practical and efficient.

It profoundly increased the band saw's popularity all over Europe, especially England. America also started to produce band saws by the late 1860s.

Numerous people were responsible for creating band saws in their respective countries.  Even though band saws were fully functional, but there were still some minor problems regarding the blade as it would flex over the wheels on occasions, and ultimately put a halt to the welding process. 

Almost 40 years later, a woman from France named Anne Paulin Crepin came up with a way to eliminate this problem. She used tempering techniques and steel alloys to form the first ever band saw blade. This blade was designed explicitly for band saws, unlike the others.

Anne Paulin Crepin was the one who sold the rights of this creation to A. Perin, who revolutionized the blade in 1860 as we mentioned previously.

What Are Band Saws?

Band saws are the most versatile tools you could find in the market. Even though they are not the first tool, someone thinks of whenever they go to a tool shop. Band saws are extremely helpful for decorative molding structures, refurbishing furniture, and come in handy for making fun craftwork.

So basically, band saws consist of two or three wheels with a rotating blade that is extremely thin. There is a table present to support all of the work and an engine motor to run the wheels and rotating blades. Band saws are helpful for people burdened with the task of cutting irregular shapes.

With the addition of an appropriate saw blade, you can do wonders with your band saws. Not only will you be easily able to cut wood, but you would also be able to cut through metal with relative ease. Another frequent use of band saws is making thinner slabs of lumber and re-sawing among many other things.

There are varieties of sizes in which band saws are available. From small bench tops to humongous floor models, there is a good range for you to choose. Ordinary people who do not do a lot of heavy-duty work prefer to buy bench top band saws as they are portable you can quickly place them on top of a table or a bench. 

You can either bolt the bench top band saws on the table or put them on a flat platform without worrying about it falling. Benchtop band saws are incredibly economical, but they do not have the re-sawing abilities that the massive floor models have. If you are a person who has insufficient space, then bench top band saws would be the perfect option for you.

Using Benchtop Band Saw

You should always consider your workload and objects you are planning to cut before buying a band saw, as the size of the table present in the product also plays a significant impact on your work. The bigger the table is, the easier it would be for you to hold the objects through the saw.

If you happen to saw through large stock on a table, the chances are that your saw might stop working. Not only that but the chances of sustaining an injury increase significantly as well.

You should always make sure that you adjust your band saw’s attachments with complete precision. A significant feature that signifies the superior quality of a band saw is its roller bearing guides or accessories.

There are rubber covered wheels on which the blades of the band saw ride. Make sure that you match the width of the saw blade to add the right amount of tension to it.

You even have the option of adjusting the blade guide according to the thickness of the object you are about to work. Some band saws have wheels, while others have a stick resembling a car's gear to adjust the blades.

How To Use A Band Saw?

Even though band saws have gained a lot of popularity throughout the years, they aren't nearly as popular as they should be. It is why a lot of beginners face difficulty in operating and using a band saw. Following the steps we have given down below will make sure that you become a band saw professional in no time.

Let us begin with the obvious by saying that before you do anything, make sure that you clean the band saw thoroughly especially the blade. It will make all the difference in the world when it comes to cutting with pinpoint precision.

There are a large number of people who keep on using the same blade on their band saws. Using the same saw blade can lead to rougher cuts and undesirable finishing. Make sure that you change the saw blade on a regular basis and always choose the saw blade according to the task you are doing.

Always remember, there are a wide variety of saw blades that you can use on band saws, and a single saw blade would not be able to fulfill different tasks.

Raise the blade tension whenever you are using your band saw to make sure that you have gripped the blade correctly. However, once you complete your task, remember to lower the blade tension. Following this can significantly improve the quality of the saw blade, and the band saw making it last for a longer time than expected.

Keep the blade guides relatively close together to make sure that you are guaranteed to have a good cut. In case you are wondering what a blade guide is, it is a small holder that assists in keeping the blade in its place.

Using A Band Saw

Whenever you are cutting wood, be sure that you place the blade guard in proximity. Having an exposed blade close to you is dangerous and can cause irreparable damage.

An excellent way to ensure your band saws longevity is always to unplug it when you are not using it. It will not only save you loads of money on electricity, but it will also keep the engine of your band saw relatively fresh.

Finally, after you have completed using the band saw, do not forget to clean it. A lot of sawdust tends to stick to band saws after and during cutting. So make sure that your saw does not have any sawdust stuck to it as it can potentially slow down the blade and engine of your band saw.

Additional Tips

Make sure to install a big table. A significant surface area will ensure your safety and provide substantial ease in cutting the stock. Drilling holes can be challenging on smaller tables; therefore a twenty-four-inch table would be the ideal size for anyone.

In case you are planning to make a contoured cut, make sure that you begin at a shallow angle. It will help you in making significantly smoother cuts.

So, whenever you decide to cut using steel guide blocks - always remember to replace the components with more cooling blocks as soon as the process if over.  Steel blocks tend to overheat and manage to damage your saw significantly.

What Are Band Saws Used For These Days?

Even though we have mentioned a few things that band saws are good for, there are numerous other things that a band saw can come in handy. We have highlighted some of these things down below.

Metal Cutting

Band saws had significantly evolved from the time when they were unable to function faultlessly. You have the option of cutting through metals with the help of band saws.

People always faced the problem of cutting metal at awkward angles; band saws have eliminated this problem. However, you will require a unique blade on your band saw for cutting metal as the dull blade won't do the job.

Woodworking

We all know how useful band saws are with woodworking. Band saws are incredibly sophisticated from many other forms of saws as they can cut with much more versatility than any other type of saw. You can trim, cut down, design and do numerous other things on wood with the help of band saws.

Industrial Sawmills

Industrial sawmills all over the world have greatly benefitted from band saws. Large floor band saws models are usually found in industrial mills as they can do heavy duty work that benchtop band saws can't.

Industrial Sawmill

Resaw

You can easily saw smaller sections of wood with the use of band saws. You will require the use of a full blade when you are planning to resaw. The width of the edge is usually eight inches, and it can efficiently cut through thick pieces of wood.

Types Of Band Saws

Here are most popular types of this product:

Meat Cutting Saws

You will be surprised to find out that there is meat cutting band saws as well. The blades present in blade cutting saws use stainless steel; this makes it significantly easier to clean out meat residue later on. The saw blades on the meat cutting saws even have teeth with sharp tips.

Portable Saws

Workers who are continually traveling carry around numerous tools with them. Carrying large band saws can be extremely difficult for them as they are heavy and also take up too much space. Therefore, portable saws are the best option for them. You can easily disassemble these saws and put them back together whenever you plan on using them.

Portable saws are the perfect option for anyone who is always on the go and does not have to do too much heavy-duty work. You can also cut concrete material with the help of portable band saws. 

To ensure that the portable band saw performs at peak efficiency, you should make a habit of carrying a few extra blades with you as you never know when they might become dull.

Horizontal Saws

Horizontal saws are perfect for holding an object down when the blade rolls over it. The flat platform of the horizontal band saw ensures that there is sufficient space to lay your stock down. Some horizontal saws have extra clamps present on them to hold the object even tighter.

The blade is usually on top of the saw; you have to lower it down and move it accordingly. Because most horizontal saws are extremely heavy, some of them even have wheels present on the bottom making them easily portable inside a workplace.  

Vertical Saws

Vertical saws are extraordinarily rigid, and their toughly welded frame makes sure that it stands firmly. Vertical saws are considered to be the most accurate among all of the band saws. The reason behind the vertical saw's accuracy is the powerful motor supporting it.

Because of the height and width of the vertical saw, the size of the motor present inside it is relatively big. It means that it has more durability than other motors, and can perform at a highly optimum level.

Vertical Band Saw

Vertical saws give you the distinct options of cutting manually and automatically. Most vertical band saws have a blade already attached to them unlike other saws, but this does not mean that you cannot replace them.

Another impressive feature of the vertical saw is the air blower, which comes in handy in cooling the blade and removing remnants of the sawdust.

Bandsaw Safety And Maintenance

Let's take a look on how you should keep yourself and bandsaw safe and long lasting:

Safety

Any power tool with a sharp blade can cause serious harm if you do not take proper precautionary measures. Therefore, it is quintessential to know some valuable tips regarding band saw safety.

First and foremost, go through the instruction manual and thoroughly read it before you start using your band saw.

Acquire the help of a professional instructor to learn the ins and outs of a band saw. Once you are entirely comfortable and confident in your abilities, you can go ahead and start operating it with the instructor's permission.

You should always inspect your band saw for foreign objects to ensure that it runs safely. Check for knots, warps, and other defects to ensure optimum safety. Read the band saw guidebook about safety guards and always check whether the safety guards are in place or not.

Keep your eyes protected at all times while you are using a band saw. You can buy protective glasses that are perfect for these purposes. Wearing other protective equipment, such as gloves and headgear is also advisable.

People tend to push the wood too hard into the blade which can cause severe injury, and also render the wood useless. Make sure that you maintain a firm stance and slowly ease the wooden piece into the saw blade. Instead of keeping your hands in front of the saw blade, place them on the side. It will significantly reduce the risk of injury.

In case your blade breaks during work, immediately unplug the saw and show it to a professional.

Maintenance

Maintaining band saws is necessary to make sure that they last for a long time while maintaining their functionality. Following are some steps you can take to make sure that your band saw is in tip-top shape.

In addition to saw dust, band saws also tend to accumulate debris over time. Therefore make sure that you thoroughly clean it out on a regular basis. Apply some wax on your band saw table after every three to four weeks to make sure that the wood can slide correctly into the blade.

Repairing Band Saw Motor

Clean the saw before and after using it. There are several sprays available on the market that can remove rust from the saw while maintaining its sharpness. Make sure that you regularly lubricate the band saws to ensure that the blade can run smoothly without any constriction. 

Conclusion

We have discussed in great detail about band saws and their different types in this comprehensive article. You can read all about uses of band saws and some essential tips that will help you operate your band saw with excellent efficiency.

Not only this, but you can also find out about the saw history and some necessary maintenance tips that will ensure the longevity of your band saw.

That was a comprehensive blueprint for anyone looking to gain knowledge about band saws. Down below we have provided you with the ultimate buying guide that will help you choose the band saw that would most suit your needs.

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