When in search of a way to cut curves that are precise in wood, in the majority of cases the best tool to achieve these tasks would be the band saw. A band saw of high quality will assist you with a variety of other tasks over and above just cutting curves. This tool works well in regards to cutting tenons, ripping smaller stock pieces, for smaller rabbets and re-sawing thinner strips from a large piece of wood.
With the variety of options, sizes and types available for the band saws, it may be a confusing when it comes to choosing the right band saw for your needs. Here is some information to assist you in making a more informed choice.
Band Saw Types
Currently there are 2 primary band saw types. These include the floor-standing “cabinet” models and the units which are shorter in regards to mounting on bench tops or dedicated stands. The cabinet models are more preferred for professional use and smaller units typically work best for home-based woodworkers. Cabinet models feature larger motors and additional features. Along with stronger frames that translates into cutting that is more consistent. However, you can achieve the same professional results when using a band saw that is bench-mounted.
The Main Features
2 important considerations, when you choose the right band saw are associated with the throat and the depth-of-cut. The depth-of-cut on the saw is associated with the distance between the upper-blade guides and the table. Band saws in general are marketed mainly with this feature, and are able to advise a prospective buyer about the thickness of the stock is able to be cut when using this band saw. With a few of the saws that feature a 6-inch depth cut, they may come with optional risers which will extend the depth of the band saw from 6 to 12 inches.
This feature allows for the budget friendly saws abilities to cut through thicker stock, especially when re-sawing.
The throat on a band saw is a distance between the vertical-frame section and the blade on the body of a saw. These distances is what will determine the cut’s width which can be achieved with a band saw. Throats on free-standing cabinet models usually exceed the 12 to 14 inch throat found on the bench-top, smaller models.
One of the other important considerations when choosing your band saw has to do with the size of the motor. The majority of the home-level versions incorporate the use of a ¾ to 1 horsepower motor. The professional models use larger motors that come with different speeds. For the woodworkers, variable speeds are not of importance, because the slower speeds are more suitable when cutting hard plastics and metals.
Other Features To Consider
All of the band saws should feature aluminum, steel or cast-iron table which is able to tilt to 45 degrees in regards to angled cuts. Tables are generally around 16 inches for both the length and width along with the miter track. Look out for the models that come with the band wheels that feature tires along with cleaning brushes which assist in keeping the wheels on the band saw clean. Look out for units that come with dust collections ports that are built in so that you connect it to a vacuum.
2 useful options that can be added to a band saw include a miter-gauge and a rip-saw. These additional add-ons are useful when it comes to cross-cutting, re-sawing and ripping.
When you set up a band saw, make sure you have read instructions from the manufacturer very carefully.
Learn how to set it up properly.
There happen to be a number of fine adjustments that need to be made, in order for your band saw to operate efficiently. If you fail to follow the instructions that will include blade tension settings, adjustment of blade guides, side bearings and thrust bearings can decrease performance of your saw as well as make a higher chance of the blades breaking.
The owner’s manual will assist you in the correct set-up of your band saw as well as assisting you in becoming familiar with the correct techniques to use in order to achieve safe cutting with your band saw.