Using a bandsaw is pretty simple, but with the right guidance, the chances of achieving better results increase drastically. Irrespective of the fact that you are cutting curves or lumbers from logs, the following tips and tricks can help you drastically.
Cut around the outside edges of the line
Allowing extra materials to smoothen the edges is recommended as most cuts using a bandsaw leaves behind saw marks. It can be done by cutting the outer edges on the line while minimizing the number of materials that are required to be removed.
Make sure to follow the edge of the lines accurately, and with practice, it is possible. Hence, to make sure you do minimal damage, it’s a good idea to start far away so that you leave slight wood in between the line and the saw kerf.
Cut the Nonferrous Metals
Having a blade that has several fine teeth can work pretty well when cutting thin-walled aluminum, copper and brass materials. However, you should ensure that the teeth are hardened while cutting these metals.
Offer Enough Space & Clearance
One of the easiest ways of eliminating unwanted delays caused due to offcuts that tend to jam the area near the blade inside the saw’s throat plate. This can be done by cutting the kerf in the form of a thin cardboard from any cereal box and taping that to the table.
Perform Relief Cuts
It’s easy to cut a contoured profile when you cut along the curves on the lines and the transition points. Thus, the moment you saw the profile, the waste will fall away every time you are reaching any of the relief cuts.
It will eventually free the blade and let it continue smoothly while efficiently reducing the contour to a sequence of short yet manageable cuts.
Setup Blade Using a piece of Paper
A piece of paper can be used as a spacer for properly setting up the saw that has been installed with a metal blade guide and thrust bearings. It is important to position the metal components in a manner that minimizes the friction and prevents it from overheating. Follow this by removing the blade guard for making the adjustments simpler.
Here it is important to start the setup of blade guide assembly at a distance of 0.25 inches above the height of the material you are about to cut. It needs to be followed by folding the bill in 4 thicknesses and use that for positioning the thrust bearings behind the blade.
Next, you need to bring the guide assembly ahead till the guide’s front having round bearings to rest behind the bottoms of the gullets. Lastly, take the unfolded bill and set up the guides on either side of the blade. The process needs to be repeated for positioning the lower guides as well as the thrust bearings.
Replace the Dull Blade
In case you find a dull blade, make sure you remove that immediately. The moment you see a slow feed rate, substantial difficulty to follow a line or burning symptoms, it is a dull blade that needs to be removed. Constant use won’t be good, and the only solution would be replacing the dull blade.
Ease the Tension
To extend the life of these blades, you need to release the tension every time the saw is idle and not used for 3 or more days. Some saws come with quick-release mechanism facilitating this mechanism.
However, you can also rotate the tensioning knob twice or thrice to complete the turns for doing this trick.
If the tension is kept on, it could lead to a metal fatigue making the blade break much before its actual age.
Upgrading the Blade
Replacing the blade of the band saw is a simple yet highly effective way of improving the performance of the saw. It is always recommended to use blades having hardened teeth that facilitate cutting easier. Although these blades cost twice as much as the economy blades, they are worth the extra money when you see their results.
The other two things to consider include the width and teeth per inch. While wider blades are pretty useful for thicker woods or straight cuts, the lower TPI blades are quite effective when cutting thicker stocks. Having a higher TPI blade helps to cut slowly but leaves a smooth surface.
Go for Cool Blocks
It is best to avoid the steel guide blocks that were so common in the older variants of the saw blades. They eventually led to overheating and tended to become dull over a short period. Having the Olson cool Blocks are a better option as they come with self-lubricating features that do not cause any overheating.
Most importantly, whenever they come in contact with the blade, they remain soft in comparison to steel versions. Hence, the teeth remain protected for a considerable period.
Use the Wrist Perfectly
The best way to make the most out of your blade is using the wrist at 360 degrees. When you use any of the hands, make sure you are holding the blade using the palm facing out and the teeth facing away from your body. You should also be wearing the protective gloves as the teeth are considerably sharp.
Here you could stabilize the blades with a single foot while placing a block of wood beneath the blade for protecting the teeth from the hard floor.
Next, you should press it down using your hand for compressing the blade in an oval shape. You need to follow this by slowly rotating the wrist to make sure the palm faces in and the blade starts to coil. The grip of the blade needs to be firm when performing this step to ensure the saw doesn’t slip.
You need to continue rotating the wrist while coiling the blade till the palm faces out. Lastly, use the free hand for capturing the coiled blade.
To enhance the overall results and to easily carry out the process of using a bandsaw you should start with a shallow angle. Most importantly, if you round the blade for improving the performance, you will be able to cut tighter curves while reducing the vibration and increasing the life of the blade.
Among other things, try installing a bigger table and set up the guides pretty close to the wood.