We are talking about one of the most popular machine tools. Let’s try to understand more in depth what it is for, how it is used and for which applications.
The band saw is a stationary machine whose dimensions can vary depending on the model and intended use, and is one of the most popular power tools as it is used for different applications. Before buying a good band saw , therefore, it is advisable to read up as much as possible, not only for a mere economic question but above all to make sure you choose the right model to meet your needs.
From DIY to professional use
The band saw is used for cutting different types of materials: wood, metal, plastics, materials such as carbon and graphite, glass, crystal, stone, bricks and even leather, bones and meat.
Consequently, its fields of application are many and varied; the band saw is in fact present not only in sawmills and carpentry and carpentry workshops, but also in mechanical workshops, tanneries, processing and transformation industries of raw materials and even in butchers.
Its primary purpose, in fact, is not so much the cutting of a certain type of material, since in this respect, as we have specified previously, it offers a high versatility of use, but rather that of being able to work on pieces of high thickness and length. In fact, unlike the other saw models, which have a limited range in terms of thickness and cutting length, the band saw does not suffer from this type of limitations.
In joinery and carpentry workshops, as well as for professional use in general, large band saws are used in order to allow the machining of equally large pieces. It remains obvious, however, that the importance of dimensions in determining the application of the band saw is valid up to a certain point; for reasons of convenience, in fact, often and willingly in the workshops there are both a large band saw and a compact bench model, in order to simplify and speed up the work according to the pieces to be cut.
Compact band saws on the other hand, therefore all bench models and even micro models, apart from specific applications in certain professional fields, are widely used at a hobby level, both artisanal and amateur.
This quick excursus on the applications of the band saw, therefore, has a purely indicative value and serves to establish in principle the possibilities of use; it does not detract from the fact that it is possible to adapt a tool of this type for a specific use regardless of its size, especially taking into account that the degree of versatility offered by this stationary machine is largely dependent on the type of blade it mounts.
How it is made and how to use the band saw
The band saw consists of a castle structure that supports two flywheels. In the lower part, which also acts as a base for the machine, is the engine to which one of the flywheels is connected. The upper part contains the other flywheel and the system that allows you to adjust its height, so as to make it easier to replace the blade and put it under tension.
The lower and upper part are connected to each other by a lateral column, where there is a sliding guide for the blade; the latter, therefore, on one side slides in a closed structure and on the other in an exposed compartment, where it is partly covered by a telescopic casing which can be adjusted in height and which ends with blade guides which have the function to keep the blade straight during sliding, in order to avoid lateral skidding. Others are placed above and below the cutting area to prevent the blade from wobbling and slipping off the flywheels during cutting.
Once the blade has been mounted and suitably tensioned, the band saw is ready to work. To use it, just adjust the height of the casing according to the size of the piece to be cut, adjust the blade guides that are used to keep the belt straight and then set the side guides on the work surface, again according to the piece to be worked.
Band saw blades and their characteristics
Another essential component of the bandsaw is its blade, because, as mentioned above, this is decisive for the type of material that the saw is able to cut. The blade is made in the shape of a ribbon, and is welded together at the ends so as to form a closed circle; the circumference of this circle is variable, but always within the standards of the different saws and their dimensions.
They are usually made of steel, but depending on the alloy used they are more or less suitable for cutting certain types of material than others. Band saw blades for wood, just to give an example, work at high speeds so they are particularly subject to vibrations that could cause deformations and breakages, consequently they are made with harmonic steel alloys, which have the advantage of having a high elasticity . Those used for cutting metal, on the other hand, are characterized by greater hardness and wear resistance.
Another determining factor for a band saw is the number and profile of the teeth. The relative parameter used to visually identify the type of teeth, in fact, is a number followed by the acronym TPI which indicates the English phrase Teeth Per Inch , which means precisely teeth per inch.
The smaller the number of teeth per inch, the greater the spacing between them; Band saw blades with a low TPI number are usually used for wood and other equally “soft” materials, while for cutting harder materials, such as metal, blades with a high number of teeth per inch are used.