A Bandsaw in the Pappalardo Laboratory
Selecting and Installing a Blade
Operating a Band Saw
Lubricating the Blade
Cutting Round Stock
The bandsaw is useful for cutting stock to size and roughing out shapes.
It contains a serrated blade that forms one continuous loop. The blade
is stretched over two pulleys, the upper one idle, the lower one driven
by a variable speed electric motor.
There are many different types of blades that can be installed in a band
saw. They vary in tooth size, tooth shape, blade material, etc. If
you're unsure of what type of blade to use for a particular task, the
job selector dial may provide guidance, or refer to a handbook or
manufacturer's documentation. The material to be cut should be at least
three tooth widths in thickness. Therefore, it is often best to cut
thin sheets with a shear rather than with a bandsaw
(see Working with Sheet Metal).
When the proper blade is found, it can be cut to length and welded into a
continous band using an electrical resistance welder built into the band
saw. Upper and lower doors open to expose the pulleys. A tensioner
allows the upper pulley to be raised and lowered. Lowereing the upper
pulley makes it easier to install a new blade. The blade must lay
properly in the upper and lower blade guides. Once the blade is in
place, the tension should be set and locked.
Before starting the bandsaw, you should adjust the blade guide/guard to
the appropriate height. The less blade that's exposed, the safer you
will be. Always set the blade guide just high enough to clear the part
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The appropriate cutting speed varies widely for different jobs. For
instance, mild steel should be cut at much lower speeds than Aluminum
alloys. The Job Selector Dial may help you choose the right motor speed
for your task. To adjust the blade speed the motor must be on. Motor
speed can be varied with the variable speed control while motor rpm is
monitored on the speed indicator dial.
When cutting with a bandsaw, proper technique is important. Do not lean
excessively into the work and keep your hands braced against the
One of the best features of the bandsaw is its ability to cut curved
shapes. Watch for proper position of the hands in this clip.
If you're making a long or deep cut, lubricate the blade with stick wax.
Just push the tube briefly into the running blade. Do not attempt to
apply wax with your fingers.
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The band saw has a tendency to spin round stock and the rough edges of
the stock could cut your hands. To avoid this, secure the stock in a
drill press vise before cutting.
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On to the belt sander.
Return to the machine shop.
Return to the Mechanical Engineering Department.