What is a Band Saw used for really?
Keep reading, you are in the right place to find out more.
In this ToolsGaloreHQ.com guide, I will show you:
- What makes a band saw so great
- 5 incredible uses of a band saw
- Tips and tricks to use it effectively
- And So Much More
Before we get into the details on the different use cases of a band saw. Please read the table below.
Key things to Know To Understand What Is A Band Saw Used For?
A band saw is one of those incredible tools because it is extremely versatile in the different ways in which it can be utilized.
A look at the internal workings of a band saw will really give you the appreciation of this incredible power tool.
Band saws comprise of two separate wheels in which a belt saw is attached. Hence the name “band saw”.
What makes this tool really efficient and effective is that the belt saw is interchangeable and depending on your specific use case, you can get belts saws from the standard 1/8’’ up to 1/4’’ inch.
These belt saws typically have a number of teeth per inch (TPI) which is to be confirmed with the manufacturers datasheet. But generally what you will find is that most 1/8’’ belt blades have 14 TPI.
Another often slight advantage is that the belt blade is continuous and it always cuts in one direction - this means that you will not experience the typical effects of vibration which could lead to cuts that are not as smooth, typical of your scroll saw.
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Safety when using this power tool
Before we get into the various different things that show what is a band saw used for, I though I should touch on some key safety parameters when using a band saw in general.
Safety is always #1.
Always ensure that you have safety goggles on when working on any power tool, especially a band saw. Although band saws are notoriously dust efficient, you can always get the odd splinter that can fly through the air and right into your eyes.
Secondly, wear a good pair of hearing aids, the noise and high pitched sound coming out of a band saw can cause hearing damage as it is higher than the 70 – 75 dB that is normal range for the human ear.
One last thing is please ensure that you have a good and solid pair of closed shoes on when working with any type of saw.
You cannot believe how so many experienced DIYers and weekend warriors alike mis these simple safety mechanisms to their own peril.
If in doubt, always be sure to consult the original equipment manufacturers guidelines on how to safety operate the machine. These user manuals generally are very well written and include pictorial guides that can be extremely helpful in the case of any doubt.
Ensure safety at all times. Now let’s look delve in.
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What Is Band Saw Used For (Actual Use Cases)
Resawing (splitting lumber into 2 pieces)
One of the best ways to use a band saw is to separate a piece of thick into two thinner pieces of equally sized lumber pieces. This is a great way to improve the overall efficiency of using thicker pieces.
The beauty of using a band saw for resawing purposes also lies in the fact that you can produce cuts along the grain line, making for very identical pieces – which is great if you want to create small boxes or wood pieces for panel work.
To setup this up correctly, it is important that your piece of lumber/wood is 90° to the fence. This can be checked very easily using a measuring device such as a protractor.
If the piece is not 90 degrees to the base and the fence, you can easily use a sander to fine tune the sides until you get it just right.
Cutting curves, circles or edges
You can also use your band saw to cut very unique curves and circles through your wood.
What makes the band saw particularly well suited for this application is that because the teeth only face into the material, there is very little dust that accumulates as your work.
This is unlike if you were to use a jigsaw that has an up and down cutting action (which as you can imagine create a lot of dust).
Another reason why a band saw is very good for something like cutting curves is because due to the high density of teeth per inch, you will generally always get a very good finish.
Reducing the time required to apply sanding to finished wood cuts.
Furthermore, you can cut extremely accurate circles using this tool as well which further adds to it’s overall versatility.
Infact in you watch the video below, you will see how this can be achieved without the need to use a pencil as is typical if you were to use something like a jigsaw.
Lastly, because of the incredible ability to raise the upper guide, you can cut a couple of pieces exactly the same by using a simple method of stacking them up on top of each other.
This method alone, will save you so much time, especially if you are a weekend warrior or an occasional DIYer. You don’t have all weekend to be cutting wood.
But also, this is such a help for professionals as well, as client will tend to want similar quality across all products, especially when you are making boutique furniture.
Notching is typically a process of creating a small cut through stock material. It is very common when working with metal works. However every now and then you might also need to create notches in your wood working applications.
Most notches are either v shaped, u shaped or corner notches.
A band saw is very good at creating such cuts. In fact because of the ability to raise the upper guide, the thickness of your wood does not really matter.
Without this tool, people generally create notch cuts with either circular saws or a table saw. This has a problem because saw blades are usually bent at a slight angle. This means that the notch will only look good on one side of the wood, whilst the backend will have indentations from the forward lean.
So in essence table saws or circular saws only really work well for notch cutting if you are not bothered by the backside of the cut.
Were the notch will work in an application that requires the view of both sides of the wood, it is best to use a band saw.
One negative though is that you will still struggle to get a smooth finish on the inner corner. So you might need to use a basic file just to make the 90 degree point clean.
Repurpose scraps of lumber
As a wood worker, you will often find yourself with great pieces of raw lumber that can be repurposed. The band saw can be used for this very task. As I have said above, you can always raise the upper guide to anything up to 14 inches.
This gives you incredible flexibility to cut even the most awkward of wooden pieces.
Create precise woods cuts (combination of resawing and repurposing)
Last but not least, you can use your wooden pieces from your repurposing exercise to create extremely exquisite and elegant pieces via resawing.
As you can see above there are so many different things that you can do with your band saw. In the next section we will touch on a couple of tips that will help you really get the most out of your band saw.
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Top Tips On What Is A Band Saw Used For
Adjusting the upper guide for a wide range of cuts
Good band saws generally provide you with the ability of adjusting the guides to increase the thickness through which you saw can operate. Many of the top manufacturers have a wide range up to 14 inches. Be sure to use this when operating and working your band saw.
Add fence to more precise cuts
Your band saw can be used in conjunction with accessories such as a fence to ensure smooth and repeatable cuts. This can be used with a large array of wooden pieces given the adjustability of the upper guide as stated above.
Final Thoughts On What is a Band Saw Used For
I hop you have learnt quite a bit on the various ways in which you can use your band saw. This guide ultimately only had one purpose to help you answer the question – “What is a Band Saw used for?”. I had a lot of fun creating this article.