How to Use the Band Saw

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Band saws work with a variety of different woods to create different cuts and thickness. Carve wood for building projects with help from a professional remodeler in this free video.

Part of the Video Series: Home Remodeling Tools
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Chris Palmer. In this segment, we're going to talk about how to use a band saw. Just like the name implies, the band saw functions by a big band or blade being powered by two big wheels, one on top of another. A 16 inch band saw has a 16 inch wheel, a 14 inch band saw, a 14 inch wheel, and so on. The blade cuts in a downward direction, which pulls your work into the table, and that helps keep your work in place. It's a good feature of the band saw. You want to set your safety guards as low as you can, and still be able to fit your workpiece through. So, if I was resawing this piece of pine, I would bring my guard all the way down to there. That also, here are my blade guides. So, the closer that is to my work, the less deflection I get in my blade, and therefore a straighter cut as well. I pick the thickness I want and set my fence to that thickness, lock it in place. You can see the fence rides on this, on this bar here in front. I stand back so my body is square to the blade, keep one hand pushing the workpiece against the fence and with this hand, push the work through the blade, go at a rate that the blade is cutting efficiently but it's not deflecting. You'll get the feel of it. Try not to force the work into the blade. Let the blade do the work. When you're almost through, what you want to do is pull the work past the blade while still keeping it pressed against the fence. Don't get any closer than, say, four inches to the blade itself. Keep your fingers well away from this cutting surface. My name is Chris Palmer. That's how you use a band saw.

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