Useful Tips

The principle of the band saw and how to do it yourself


When it comes to long straight cuts, a table saw is the best in the business. Install the fence, turn it on, and it will cut pieces of the same width forever. With a band saw (or most other saws), you'll look at using some type of jig for long, straight cuts. Although even with a jig, you can end up with a slight swing in the cut, as the blade can be a little flexible.

Cutting depth

In some cases, you do not want to clean the board. Maybe you cut dad, groove, tongue, etc. In these cases, a height-adjustable table saw blade can be very convenient. You do not do these cuts on a band saw, although you can always use a router.

Some table saws also allow you to tilt the blade, which allows you to make long straight oblique cuts. You can make bevels on a band saw, but you will have to tilt the workpiece instead of the saw blade.

If you work not only with wood, the band saw will be your friend. You can cut metal, wood, plastic and even meat, just by installing the appropriate blade. A table saw is simply not going to offer the same versatility.

Kerf is the amount of material removed by the saw blade. Since the band saw blades are thinner, they will have less cut than a table saw. Whether it is for or against, it's up to you, but you're done.

In almost all cases, a band saw will be much quieter than a table saw.


Some people feel safer around a band saw. Maybe because it is quieter, or it doesn't look so sinister. I'm not sure what the reason is, it’s just that. Don’t be fooled, the band saw lifts your finger just like a table saw.

In the end, it depends on what types of cuts you will make the most, what materials you will use, and your personal preferences. I say get both!

An important consideration for any style of store is how much space you have. With a table saw, you need to allocate a huge amount of space right in the center of the workspace so that you have enough space for feeding and unloading. This forces the guys to build the rest of their store around a table saw, and then they tend to design everything with a table saw. Take a look at Norm Abram's store for an example of this.

A band saw provides much more flexibility for your workspace, and you can even get locking rollers if you sometimes have to roll it, and I would not recommend doing this with a table saw.

Buy a small or portable 10-inch table saw like the Bosch 4100.

A table saw will make a much cleaner cut than a band saw, and overall be accurate. Band saws are sloppy and do not handle large boards well.

In addition, the table saw is much easier to replace the blade, and you can turn off the blade. Typically, you will have four blades: a cross cutting blade, a cutting blade, a thin saw blade and a dado set. You can't even cut dadoes on a band saw. The fact that you can turn on and off 4 different types of blades suggests that the table saw is a universal option.

If you are engaged in woodworking at home (as opposed to carpentry), you will also need a circular and cross-cut saw with a long horse.

You also need a drilling machine.

I face the same dilemma as you. I have a band saw, and sometimes I think about adding a table saw to my store. The band saw is universal, but it is also fussy about how it is set up. You will often find that your cuts are compromised by numerous factors, such as a poor blade or poor installation. I tore the rod through a band saw and found that my cut was bent, crowned or tilted because the blade roamed during the cut. Even with a properly configured band saw, it will not be as accurate as a table saw for making straight parallel cuts. Honestly, most of my problems with the band saw are not really related to the saw, but to accessories, such as the fence and angle meter, which are out of the field.

At the same time, however, I am very concerned about security. A band saw is generally much safer than a table saw, and harder to accidentally chop off. I can’t tell you how many people I met, who told me that they know someone who lost numbers in a table saw accident. If you decide to get it, I would highly recommend SawStop. Unfortunately, the cheapest model will cost you about $ 1,500.

If you have a band saw, make sure you have a good brand and use a quality blade. This will make a big difference.

They are really different tools. You can do things with a band saw that you just can't with a table saw, and vice versa. If you need to cut bends, or cut a workpiece thicker than 3.5 inches, or perform similar tasks, a band saw wins if you need to cut pieces to precisely repeatable sizes, or cut wide pieces, or make dado (extended non-passable cuts) or bay table saw wins.

If you look at woodworking magazines, you will see much more operations using a table saw than a band saw.

On the other hand, table saws really need to be treated with great respect. A band saw can tear your finger off, but it is unlikely to tear your finger away from the possibility of attaching or tighten the remaining hand (I am also a big SawStop fan, dear, but, in my opinion, it’s worth the cost, and they are quality saws too.) And the band saw has practically no danger rollback.

Some of the things for which table saws are used can be done with a circular saw with the appropriate tool. Circular saws are more likely to split the blade, even with a good blade, although again the right tool can help with this. And, of course, most tasks can be done with tools without power. So the real answer is that the best tool depends on what exactly you want to do with it. Having said that, I think that a table saw is the heart of a universal sawmill with a power tool.

A table saw is one of the popular woodworking tools. You need to have this in your collection of tools. These saws are available in a wide range and come in different types. When working with a table saw, it is recommended to use safety glasses to ensure safety. It has a round blade that makes woodworking easy. These tools are very durable and highly accurate.

The band saw is also one of the great tools and is good for metalworking, logging and woodworking. It also has a sharp-edged blade that allows irregular shapes to be cut. If you do not want to perform smooth finishing work, you can choose a band saw, otherwise a table saw would be the best choice.

Description of Band Saws

Two rotatable wheels supporting the belt are placed on the bed. They are driven by a drive coming from an electric motor. Cutting tape it is fixed by two rollers and an emphasis near to a desktop, its adjustment is provided. The size of the teeth on the saw blade determine the size of the unit and the type of operation, as in hand saws. Teeth are sharpened in the shape of a universal profile.

To close the strip of the cutting blade into the ring, use soldering copper solder, so fasten the ends together and connect the gap at the time of repair. In the factory, the soldering is carried out by electric welding, small workshops use a torch or special tongs.

Varieties of aggregates

They are available in three types:

  • gear units
  • toothless friction machines,
  • electric spark saws.

From a hacksaw blade, a strip of a gear saw differs in size in length and is made in the form of a ring, but they do not differ in appearance when open. Toothed strips are used for installation in tape machines for metal or wood, they are used in meat and fish production for cutting carcasses, in industry foam concrete, mineral insulation, polystyrene and other building materials are cut with their help.

The principle of tape toothless friction is applied according to the same principle as the circular friction saws. The teeth are also located on the working blade, but their shape does not contribute to cutting, but to the heating of the treated layer. Heat generation in this case increases the productivity of the unit. The cutting blade in friction saws is made with a thickness of 0.6-1.7 mm, with a width of 6 to 26 mm.

The electric spark action of the saw is used when cutting workpieces with a thickness of 150-400 mm, which can not be processed with circular saws due to the diseased pitch and diameter, causing a strong beating.

Types of material for paintings

For cutting wood, strips of steel with a high carbon content, blades with brazed teeth of carbide material and bimetallic strips are most often used. The bimetallic option provides a flexible canvas and hard teeth, for which two types of metal are used. The base of the strip is made of a springy material, with it using an electron-beam type of welding, an instrument quick-cutting wire is welded, from which a gear profile is subsequently milled.

They produce blades that are universal in application and special saws used for specific steels. The area of ​​use is selected taking into account the parameters of the teeth:

  • fineness,
  • hardness,
  • geometry,
  • wiring.

For cutting large workpieces, strips with large teeth are used, in particular, blades with oversized elements are used to process sheet metal of significant sizes. To avoid runout of the web and resonance phenomena, teeth of different sizes are fixed on the same strip (variable pitch).

Hardness of cutting elements Depends on this indicator of steel. Most often, in the manufacture of teeth, metal with the designation M42 is used (this means the hardness of the edge according to the Vickers category - 950 units). To process tool steel, this indicator is not enough, therefore, it is taken tooth hardness M71 (100 units according to Vickers), work of medium complexity require hardness M51.

The geometric shape is determined by the angle of sharpening and the profile of the cutting element. To cut the profile (channel, corner, tee, I-beam, pipe) in size, it is necessary to form teeth with reinforced backs. This is dictated by the special shape of the profile, when cutting which there is a shock action and vibration, leading to the occurrence of chips and cracks. To process a viscous stainless steel or other materials with similar indicators, the teeth are sharp, a significant gap is left between them.

The layout of the cutting elements is done depending on the size and mass of the processed material. For example, to prevent pinching when cutting solid solid material, bands are used on the saw with alternating narrow and wide wiring.

Types of saws depending on the work with the material

The following categorization is based on processing material:

  • for stone
  • for metal
  • for wood,
  • for synthetics.

Work with solid materials (metal, stone) is carried out by a tool, in which the working saw blade is reinforced with heavy-duty teeth from the corresponding alloys. Wrong choice of saw blade leads to its rupture and damage to the edges on the workpiece. Before buying saws, determine the front of further work.

The device and assembly of the tape machine

The unit for sawing various materials can be made independently; in the workshops, band saws work perfectly. You can assemble a saw with your own hands at the lowest cost and provide for all the details of the work.

Joinery units for sawing tape-type wood have a work table at the base, work and additional elements are located on it, a cutting blade supported by two wheels is fed in a circular motion. Adequate space is required for the device and the installation of full-fledged equipment, since the equipment along with the supply line is large.

You can make a portable desktop unit for manual sawing with your own hands, but in a small space of the workshop you can not dissolve the logs on the boards.

Frame device

For the bed, solid wood is chosen to avoid vibration. The surface of the desktop can be made of thick plywood, and the side ribs be edged with slats or metal. The support bar is made in the form of a beam. Preliminary, a schematic drawing is made, the dimensions of the details on which depend on the horizontal dimensions and the height of the workshop. Indicated in advance the height of the frame, the diameter of the pulleys and the length of the rods. An accurate detail drawing can be made, which is more convenient for assembly.

The height of the table for work is provided in a comfortable size, while a place is provided for accommodating the drive and lower pulley, waste chips and the engine itself. The shape of the table can be any, but often the bed is made in the form of a curbstone with closed sides, at the same time serving to accumulate chips. Easy opening for easy cleaning.

The countertop is located directly on the frame. Sometimes the height of the lower bed is not enough, in this case, make a strong extension to raise the surface of the desktop to the desired height.

Mounting the boom and pulleys

The support rod is made of a bar profile with a cross section of at least 8 × 8 centimeters. To it, from the side taken as a conditionally rear surface, two supports are attached on which pulleys (wheels) will be located. The supports are made of strong material, glued plywood with a solid skeleton is allowed. The distance between the wheels is chosen so that the sawn log passes with a margin on the sides.

Pulley diameter chosen arbitrarily, an increase in the indicator leads to better work. There is an unwritten rule for selection, according to which the ratio of the cutting blade to the diameter of the pulley is 1/1000. For example, for a 4 mm wide belt, the wheel diameter should be 400 mm.

The diameter of the wheel for tensioning the belt drive is selected depending on the length of the cutting tape, the diameter of the main pulleys and the engine speed.

The edge of the pulleys for the fabric is made slightly convex, about 5-10˚, which contributes to the self-centering of the tape, which is why it does not go to the side and does not fall. A shallow groove is provided on the drive pulley to locate the belt there. Usually for pulley tightening use bicycle cameras, the rubber of which prevents the ribbon from jumping off.

The upper pulley is mounted on a horizontally moving block to select a belt tension. To do this, you need a lifting mechanism, a simple version of which is a beam connected by a spring to the lever and located under the block. The lever is attached with several bolts at different levels, and the spring provides the required pressure.

The lower pulley is composed of two wheels (master and driven) located on the axle. It is important to balance the lower and upper pulleys in the plane, minimizing the appearance of "eights". The upper pulley is conveniently mounted with self-aligning bearings, firmly fixed to the wheels. After completion of the assembly of the indicated stage, a test run of the unit is performed for a short time.

Installation of guides for cloths

In order for the saw to cut the material evenly and the tape would not be pushed, guides are installed on the narrow beam along the blunt saw end. A common version of the device is three bearings located on a beam, one of which lies on the flat side of the sheet, the other two support it from the sides. Sometimes on the sides instead of bearings, limiters are made of wood.

The guides are aligned at the reference point, so that there is no vertical deviation at the opposite end, for convenience, the position of the beam is noted with the canvas laid out stretch.

The process of soldering the cutting tape

Soldering in the workshop is as follows:

  • places at the junction of the blade are ground at both ends, a brass strip is placed between the surfaces,
  • for the manufacture of strips cut a piece of brass (0.3-0.4 mm) across the width of the saw blade, moisten and sprinkle powder on both sides with borax powder,
  • mite sponges are heated in an accessible way (gas burner or hearth) to a bright red color, applied to the adhesion site and pressed,
  • the strip is heated by hot sponges, the brass melts and spreads, and the drill works in the form of a flux, which prevents the oxidation of the solder when heated,
  • клещи не снимают до полного остывания соединения и отвердевания припоя, после их снятия место спайки увлажняют мокрой губкой для закаливания,
  • осматривают стык, его твёрдость должна соответствовать полотну,
  • if the junction is solid, then the mite heating procedure is repeated until the straw-colored adhesions appear, gradually cool,
  • soft adhesion requires another hot mite heating and sharper cooling,
  • so that the mite sponges do not solder to the saw strip in the process, a chalk solution with liquid glass is applied to their contact surfaces,
  • for installation and tension on the lower and upper pulley use a handle, the correct location on the discs and rollers of the stop is checked by rotation, adjust the correct passage,
  • briefly turn on the unit and additionally adjust if necessary.

Installation of additional guides

The ideal position for the guides is considered to be a distance of 30-40 mm from the log, no longer recommended. If wood of different widths blooms on the band saw, it is better to consider the possibility of adjusting the guide elements.

After these assembly steps, the band saw is ready for use, but for safety reasons a protective cover is required to be mounted on the upper pulley. This is done in case the fast-moving belt slides off the pulley - so it will be delayed by the casing.

The chip storage container is easy to reach and clean. Since waste collection is usually carried out in the lower part of the bed, the belt drive is brought into the lateral space so that it does not become clogged with chips. The engine is also covered by a casing of dust and waste processing.

So that the wood of the machine does not spoil for a long time, it is treated with varnish, after applying antiseptic drugs.

How is the band saw arranged?

A hand-held band saw on a tree consists of several blocks fastened together, the number of which can be increased or decreased, depending on the desired tool functionality. The main components of the design of the band saw are:

  • frames with guides that help the movement of the tape,
  • a mechanism with a drive for belt tension,
  • tape holding device
  • lifting gear
  • belt drive with wedges,
  • an electric motor with a power level of 15 kW, or a gasoline engine,
  • retainers of the wooden part on the frame,
  • a tap and a container of water to wet the product during sawing,
  • rails for moving the mechanism.

Some models have special protective covers and mechanisms for a more stable position of the tool - these elements will make working with the device safer and more convenient. The essence of the principle of the band saw is fixing the log between the two guides and its separation with the help of a cutting blade.

How to make such a tool yourself?

Before you start assembling the saw structure, prepare at least a simple drawing to clearly understand the dimensions and main components of the device. Most of the parts will be made of wood.

The frame is made of polished sheet glued with overlap. The minimum thickness of the mechanism parts is 2.5 cm. It is not recommended to use furniture shields or wooden boards, as they are not strong enough.

The frame is made in the shape of the letter C. In order for the body to be rigid and strong, pads are attached to the wood surface glued from six layers. Make sure that the fragments are only at right angles to each other.

Next, we collect the movable part of the saw. We mount the profile to simplify the creation of the guide groove. With this profile, the saw blade will be tensioned to the desired degree.

To strengthen the corner joints, install additional fasteners. Further, the design is finalized so that the frame moves freely in the grooves.

To create rotation rollers, several wooden plates are glued together and round parts are cut. Additional parts are installed on the wheels, which will make the work with the device less noisy and more productive. After fixing the wheels, the saw blade is pulled to secure it on the pulleys. A sufficiently tightened blade will make precise and accurate cuts.

What is useful to know for successful work with the tool?

For the convenience of the workflow, highlight the work area with an ordinary lamp. It is better to install protective frames on the device that will help remove chips and serve as guiding elements. The optimal material for them is an MDF board with a thickness of at least 8 mm.

After the installation of the device is completed, disinfect all the parts made of wood with an antiseptic solution so that the rot and mold do not begin to appear soon after starting to work with the device. How to work on a band saw on a tree, a video with instructions will tell you in detail.

Advantages and disadvantages of a band saw

This type of saw is successfully used in various types of work with wood and other materials and has a number of advantages:

  • use the tape model economically, as it makes very narrow cuts,
  • high productivity of the device due to the fast cutting speed,
  • reasonable cost of the device is available due to its specific structure,
  • does not create strong noise during operation, which makes the work process more comfortable.

Along with many advantages, band saws have some limitations and shortcomings:

  • a complex process of adjusting the operation parameters of the device, which can be a problem for a beginner,
  • due to the nuances of the design of the mechanism, it can only perform longitudinal sawing of the wood web.

How to choose a finished saw?

If you choose the right tool, then you will be able to carry out the repair of band saws on wood soon. Since there are a lot of parameters for choosing the right tool model, quite a few people are able to choose the right device for their needs. We offer you to get acquainted with the most important and essential criteria for assessing the quality and functions of different saws. First of all, pay attention to the technical parameters of the models.

The accuracy of the cut depends on the cutting speed and material feed. There are optimal speed ranges for best results.

The higher the performance of the device, the saw blade will be less resistant to damage, deformation and wear.

The reputation of the manufacturer is also of great importance - if the reviews about the manufacturer are good and the reputation is reliable, then the products will most likely turn out to be of high quality.

Examine the condition of the main components of the device - moving structure, portal, guide parts, pulleys and rollers.

A portal made of square pipes with reinforcing profiles is suitable for sawing wood parts. Otherwise, the main body may soon become distorted during the sawing process.

But working with small details will not hurt him in this way. The best material for guide elements is a solid metal that is resistant to stress deformations.

How to determine the quality of the canvas?

The right choice of saw blade determines the life of this important part. Therefore, you need to choose a blade that is suitable for the type of work that you want to do with a band saw. The best steel for the cutting blade is alloyed or carbon.

But the saw made of an alloy of two high-strength metals, which is characterized by increased strength and excellent cutting qualities, has also become popular. The greater the number of teeth per inch, the more accurate the cut will be. For the optimal amount, it is customary to take 8 teeth per inch. The width of the edge is not very important, but the canvas will last longer if it is five times the height of the tooth.