Benchtop bandsaw tips and tricks
update: Jul 2017
Benchtop bandsaw is one of the most versatile cutting tool which can let you to create a lot of creative shapes for your handcrafts and woodworking DIY projects. Here are a few best practical tips when using a benchtop bandsaw that will help you to use the tool with its most potent
Portable and floor model benchtop bandsaw
There are two basic sizes of benchtop bandsaw, namely portable bandsaw (9 inch-10 inch) and floor-model bandsaw ( 14 inch above). Before buying either one of them you should understand the main differences between the two.
Read: Types of band saws
Portable benchtop bandsaws are those with small sizes (9 inch or 10 inch model) for limited work space. They offer the portability and flexibility for cutting small pieces of materials on daily use. Those mini bandsaw is intended for light duty performance, even though there are some units can have heavy duty performance. With the portable benchtop bandsaw, sometimes it is normal to have slight vibration during working. Besides, there a little options about the blade choices (1/8-3/8 inch blade) compared to floor model. The greatest part is that they are cost saving, you can grab a functional unit at as little as $100. Understanding their intended use and choosing a suitable model, they can be a powerful tool for any hobbyist.
Full size (floor model) benchtop bandsaw (14 inch) offers a lot of personal customization. They are often for heavy duty cutting. Most of them are heavy weight because they are made of steel and casting iron for most of the parts, they also have a vibration absorb design, great induction motors, quality blades in many size and teeth shapes, tension adjustable. With a full size model, you can cut bigger pieces and especially with you are performing resaw, they are worthy to every cent
Therefore, consider how you are cutting and what type of materials you are using, then picking a portable version or a full size one.
How to cut with benchtop bandsaw
Even with a great bandsaw that leaving kerf after cutting, we mostly need to do sanding the cut afterwards therefore it is a good tip that you need to cut nearly touch the cutting line. Therefore, you will have a bit of extra materials to do sanding later on.
How to cut metals (alu, copper) with benchtop bandsaw
Check on the user manual if your bandsaw is capable of cutting the metals. In case your bandsaw is able to cut the metals, check the blade accordingly if it has sufficient TPI (the more the better) and if the blade is tensed properly.
Blade with high number of TPI will be better when cutting metals.
How to cut irregular shape with a benchtop bandsaw
Cuting irregular shape will require a lot of practice, but if you are a beginners you can overcome this challenge by cutting the relief cuts beforehand. This tip will make the contour into short cut line so that you can manage it easier.
How to clean the dull blade
Whenever you see a slow feed rate compared than usual, it can be a sign that your blade is trapped by resins on the teeth or it is dull. If the blade is dull then you need to change a new one and you might clean the dull one with a proper blade cleaner.
How to increase the blade shelf life when your bandsaw is not in use
When you do not use the saw regularly, it is a great tip that you need to release the blade tension so that it won’t be damaged. There are certain saws that have quick release tension lever which is very useful for you if you just use them occasionally.
How to increase the blade shelf life by changing guide blocks
The blade guide blocks which come along with band saw is often made with steel and they are one of the most common reason that cause overheating or making the blade dull. You can improve this issue by replacing them with Olson Cool Block which is softer and self lubricated so that it help in relieving the problem.
Besides, the Olson Cool Block is also a good practice when you use thinner blade (1/4 inch to 1/8 inch) because at this time, the guide block can be easily to touch the blade and cause a dull. The cool block will prevent and extend the life of your blade.