October 13, 2021
If ever you have tried to use a bandsaw, you would quickly see how efficient it is in cutting various materials. You would also feel that it has great potentials that could raise your woodworking activities a notch higher. A bandsaw, of course, is a power tool. It got a long and sharp blade with a toothed metal band that runs continuously between two wheels. A portion of this toothed metal band is exposed, and this exposed portion cuts materials.
You can use the bandsaw in woodworking, lumbering, and even in metalworking. Moreover, you can use it to cut other materials. With its versatility, you can surely expand your woodworking repertoire. But before you decide to get your first bandsaw, it will help if you know the common uses of this power tool.
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10 Common Usages of Bandsaw
The bandsaw is undoubtedly a powerful tool that you can use to complete different woodworking tasks. It is useful and versatile. Yet, many woodworkers often overlook this tool. But once you see its full potential, you will indeed ache to have one in your possession. Below is a rundown of the practical applications of the bandsaw:
1) Woodworking Applications
If you are a tyro woodworker, you may think of woodworking as complicated and challenging. Yet, if you have a bandsaw, you will indeed find woodworking exciting and easy. The stationary bandsaw features a table on which you can set the material for cutting. It also comes with many features that let you engage in different cuts. It can cut curves and circles as if it is a jigsaw.
Yet, when cutting curves using a bandsaw, you get more control of the cutting process because the blades cut downwards while pulling the dust downward. The jigsaw, on the other hand, cuts upward and pulls the dust upward. The bandsaw also allows you to cut those needed curves and circles accurately. You can also cut multiple sheets of stocks simultaneously by stocking them together. The blade of the bandsaw, of course, is longer than that of the jigsaw.
2) Lumber Cuts and Ripping Lumber
The bandsaw is known for ripping lumber. Ripping, of course, is the cutting down of large lumber pieces parallel to the grain. This cutting process is perfect for reducing the sizes of large lumber. With the bandsaw, you can cut down large lumber and produce identical thinner pieces afterward.
The bandsaw comes with a large table on which you can set the material you want to cut. It cuts effortlessly and precisely because its blade has a thin kerf. Moreover, you can cut materials of various and significant thicknesses because you can adjust the upper guide of the bandsaw to increase the cutting capacity of its blade.
If you have any problem cutting large lumber, you can make this cutting process easy with a bandsaw. Since the bandsaw got introduced in the 1800s, it quickly became one of the most useful saws for ripping lumbers.
3) Metal Cutting
The bandsaw comes with a sharp blade. It is, therefore, very effective and accurate in cutting metal pieces. With other saws, you will find cutting metal a challenge. Yet, with the bandsaw equipped with an appropriate blade, you can cut metal with ease.
You can cut various metal types like tubing, sheets, and other types of metal using the bandsaw. Moreover, you can alter the bandsaw blade to create different shapes in the metal.
Re-sawing is basically cutting a larger lumber piece and reducing it to smaller and thinner manageable pieces. This ability of the bandsaw to re-saw is partly the reason why I bought a bandsaw. Suppose you have, for example, a larger lumber piece that is one inch thick. You can split this wood into two one-half-inch thick pieces of wood. You can use a tail re-saw fence when using a bandsaw.
5) Rip Cuts
As mentioned above, you can engage in rip cuts using a bandsaw. It also allows you to cut without cracking your material. With this saw, you can cut any dimensional wood with ease. A rip cut is like re-sawing, wherein you reduce larger wood pieces into thinner pieces. Rip cut allows you to cut along the grain. On the other hand, re-sawing is the process of cutting a plank of wood along its grain to reduce its thickness.
6) Circle Cuts
You will sometimes engage in cutting circles in woodworking. Although the jigsaw is the go-to tool for those who do not have a bandsaw, it will be good to note that the bandsaw can also work like a jigsaw and even better.
7) Relief Cuts
The bandsaw is unique because it can do relief cuts. Yet, the blade may bind when using the bandsaw to make relief cuts, especially if you need to make a cut with a very small radius. So, you need to overcome this problem. You can make a straight cut up to the cutline in the material’s waste part when making relief cuts.
Moreover, you need to look for points wherein the blade may bind and follow the abovementioned cutting via the waste part. Once you’ve figured out the potential binding points, you can then eliminate them. The crucial points usually are those curvatures that have sharp turns.
8) Curve Cuts
Making curve cuts are some of the reasons why I love the bandsaw. I find the bandsaw an excellent tool for making curve cuts. So, if you haven’t tried using the bandsaw to make curve cuts, you should try. Relief cuts are somewhat related to curve cuts. Moreover, if you don’t do relief cuts, you may also not engage in curve cuts.
When making curve cuts, it will help to mark your cutline precisely. You also need to mark your relief cuts. Before you can start with the curve, you need to make a relief cut. The jigsaw, however, might be more versatile in this case because you only need to make a plunge cut to make a curve cut in the middle of a sheet.
Going back to the curve cut, you need to cut the curvature in stages. You also need to stop at each relief cut. With the bandsaw, you can’t do the curvature cut in one go. Instead, you need to stop at the crucial points wherein you need to make relief cuts. In this way, the bandsaw blade will not bind.
9) Making Veneer with a Bandsaw
You can also use the bandsaw to make a veneer. If you need thinner pieces for your veneer, you can use the bandsaw for the bandsaw excels in making very thin cuts. You can use the bandsaw to slice a thick veneer into more delicate pieces. Moreover, you can use these thinner veneers for curved doors and drawer fronts to give your works an excellent look.
Lamination is the bending of many thin wood parts to produce the desired shapes. This process is not known to many people. Hence, they don’t engage in it. The thin laminates that you would use in lamination are best done with a bandsaw.
Lamination is an excellent way to enhance your designs. Once you’ve cut the thin pieces, you need to form them into the desired shape as you glue them. Then, let them dry. Once the glue dries, you will indeed have formed the wood according to the desired shapes and designs.
In the enumerations mentioned above of the different uses of the bandsaw, you will notice that the bandsaw is undoubtedly a very versatile tool. It can indeed raise your woodworking skills and activities a notch higher by allowing you to engage in various types of cutting and woodworking activities with ease using a single tool.
Nevertheless, there is always a learning curve when using a new tool. So, if you are new to operating a bandsaw, you will need to get the hang of its use. Besides, you need to follow the safety protocols when using a powerful tool like a bandsaw to make its use safe.
Liam is a 37-year-old woodworker and interior designer who loves to make every furniture project an art piece. He is very experienced in furniture design and woodworking project planning.