How to Operate a Band Saw


The band saw is one of the safest power tools for woodworking. The flexible thin saw blade is able to cut curves in stock, and it saws thin materials without the danger of kicking like table saws. Wood can be stacked on the cutting table of a band saw to make uniform cuts and curves in multiple pieces. You can also operate a band saw to make accurate rips and crosscuts.

Step 1

Dress to ensure safety when working with power tools. Wear a shirt with short sleeves or long sleeves that fit tightly on the forearms and cuff behind the wrists. Put on a face shield or safety goggles before turning on any power saw.

Step 2

Mark the cut line with a pencil. Stack pieces of stock that are the same size and receiving the same cut.

Step 3

Set the blade guard. Place the stock on the sawing table with the machine off. Loosen the thumb screw on the blade guard, raise it 1/4 inch higher than the stock and tighten it in place.

Step 4

Make a straight cross cut. Turn on the band saw and allow the motor a few seconds to reach full speed. Hold the cutting stock firmly down against the table and gradually feed it into the running saw blade, leaving the marked cut line intact. Push the wood through gently enough to keep from forcing the blade to bend back. Use a push stick anytime your hand would come within three inches of the blade.

Step 5

Cut tight curves by making notch cuts along the marked line. The notched cuts will release waste material and free up the saw blade as you cut along the curve.

Step 6

Use the rip fence to make rip cuts. Set the distance between the fence and the saw blade to cut the measured width of your desired rip. Feed the stock through until it reaches four inches from the blade, then pull it the rest of the way through from the other side to complete the cut.

Tips and Warnings

  • Always shut off the band saw as soon as you finish a cut. Never hold stock against the saw blade suspended in your hands. Always place cutting stock flat against the saw table.

Things You'll Need

  • Safety goggles or face shield
  • Pencil
Keywords: band, saw, power, tools, blade, saws

About this Author

Jonra Springs began writing in 1989. He writes fiction for children and adults and draws on experiences in education, insurance, construction, aviation mechanics and entertainment to create content for Demand Media websites. Jonra studied liberal arts and computer science at the College of Charleston and Trident Technical College.

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