A band saw is a type of upright electric machine with a flat, horizontal table and a vertical blade that moves up and down to cut wood in a straight line or around curves. Band saw operators are the laborers who run band saws, typically in a manufacturing setting.
Using plans laid out in technical drawings or designs, band saw operators measure wood and make guide marks on its surface to determine the path of the blade. Then, the operator places the wood under the guide, turns on the saw and guides it along the path.
Band saw operators must inspect their finished work to ensure it is the correct size and shape, since accuracy is extremely important in manufacturing work. To prevent injury, operators must use caution around the moving blade of the saw and wear goggles to protect their eyes from wood chips and other particles.
Successful band saw operators possess attentiveness to detail, steady hands, manual dexterity, and the ability to follow instructions and interpret drawings. The ability to perform accurate measurements and basic arithmetic are also necessary.
Typically, employers require band saw operators to have a high school diploma or the equivalent and then provide on-the-job training in how to operate the saw. Employers may also consider applicants without a diploma if they have experience with woodworking.
As of May 2008, sawing machine operators like those who run band saws averaged annual salaries of $27,070, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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