Bandsaw Introduction

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This is the content required for an introduction to our bandsaws - reading this does NOT replace the mandatory session with a tutor! It will make it a lot quicker though ;-)

Let's begin! First off, make sure you have read the machine's manual (see respective "InfoBox" on the machine page).


Personal protection: Protection - goggles.svg Protection - hearing.svg

(Breathing protection may be required depending on the material)

Dangers Precautions
Danger - draw-in.svg
entanglement/draw-in hazard
  • do not wear loose clothing or jewellery and keep long hair under a hairnet or in a tight bun
  • gloves: make an informed decision (as with the table saw)
    • some sources say you should wear them to protect yourself against splinters which could surprise you and make your hand flinch in a dangerous position
    • others prohibit the use of gloves as your entire hand could be dragged into the blade if one gets caught
sharp, quickly moving blade that is only held in place by its own tension
  • always unplug the saw and wait for the blade to stop before opening the case of the machine
  • keep all body parts at least a hand's width away from the blade whenever the saw is running
    • use push sticks whenever your hands would otherwise come too close to the blade
  • never use without installed safeguard
the blade can bind with the workpiece: there is no splitter as on the table saw
  • make sure that the teeth are pointing downwards and your workpiece is solidly supported by the table
  • if you want to cut off thin parts that can bend, make sure the thicker part is on the fence's side of the blade
  • when working with an angled table and a parallel fence, place the fence on the lower side
the sawblade can snap when you pull the workpiece back [1] or the blade is overtightened or dull
  • check the blade for cracks, bends or foreign particles before starting
  • lower the top blade guide (obere Sägeblattführung) as close as possible down to the workpiece (about 5 mm) so a snapped blade does not have a lot of space to cause damage in
  • carefully tension the blade before every use and release it afterwards
  • immediately report and remove a dull blade
woodworking: a lot of sawdust is generated and can accumulate in the user's lungs or the machine case use the dust extractor - special caution (breathing protection) when working with toxic woods (e.g. Eiche, Esche, Eibe, Buche, Buchsbaum) or any other dangerous materials!
small splinters can fly towards the operator wear goggles
round workpieces can be turned around by the blade use a stabilizing jig/wedge when sawing round workpieces

Suggested Reading

Besides these safety notes, you should know about the different types of bandsaw blades in order to pick the proper one for your project.

Other useful links:


The tutor will show you these steps in detail (the order 1-2-3 is important):

  • 1) adjusting the blade tension:
    • turn the tensioning screw until the indicator points to the width of the blade
      • the scale on the saw is usually not very reliable though, so you may want to refine it using the "flutter method"
    • wider blades need more tension
    • release the tension after you're done using the saw to increase blade lifespan
the teeth should extend over the edge of flat wheels
  • 2) check proper tracking on the guide wheels (adjust the top wheel's tilt angle, if necessary)
    • the blade should not wander left or right when you turn the wheels by hand
    • the teeth should not be in contact with the wheels (otherwise, they can be bent)
      • flat wheels: blade should run with the teeth extending over the edge
      • crowned ("rounded") wheels: blade should run central on crowned wheels ("back" on the high point, teeth free)
blade guide positions
  • 3) adjusting the blade guides: [2]
    • guide blocks (or bearings in some machines) should lightly touch the back of the blade but not the teeth (you can use the same paper trick as for calibrating a 3D printer or CNC router)
    • leave a small gap (0.5-1 mm, about the thickness of a credit card) to the thrust bearing behind the blade
    • the distance from the teeth's base to the guide blocks needs to be larger than the gap from the blade's back to the thrust bearing (> 1 mm)
    • repeat this with the lower guide
    • bring the top guide down to just about 5 mm above your workpiece
  • folding a blade for storage

Waiting List

This introduction takes longer than many others and usually can't be done spontaneously during regular opening times. If you would like to receive it, please add yourself to >> this list << and we will find a good time once a few members are on it!