The band saw is a staple in the woodworking industry. Band saws are used for cutting wood into smooth and intricate shapes for a professional and creative design. They are capable of creating accurate curves, bevels, and other types of cuts that other saws are not capable of doing in a clean, smooth manner, if at all.
Most wood furniture in your own home has been crafted by wood that is cut from a band saw. If you are buying a band saw for the first time, here is a guide for how to set it up a band saw and get it running.
Step by Step Guide for Set up a Bandsaw
Step 1. Adjust The Table
The table, as you may already be aware, must be level and flat. You can check this with either a straight edge or a level. If you have purchased a pre-owned band saw and it isn’t flat with the ground, you can have it repaired.
This is not a cheap procedure, however, regardless of how easy it may sound. Be sure that the table of your band saw is always flat, even if you buy a new saw. There’s always a chance that you might have a problem with the saw or the floor that you placed it on.
The insert of the table should be slightly lowered in the front and slightly raised in the back. You should also give it enough clearance around the blade by using thin plies for the insert. These will not damage your best band saw blade and cost very inexpensive.
Step 2. Fit The Guide Post
The guide post must fit the blade guard, as well as the thrust and guide bearings. It moves up and down in order for the blade to make large enough strikes for efficient cutting. This post has to be precisely perpendicular to the surface of the table.
The most important thing to keep in mind when operating the band saw is its guard. It should never be removed, or even touched if you can help it. The assembly of the top guide shows two different side guides, which can be adjusted to accommodate various sized blades that you can remove and insert.
These guides are normally made of metal, in order to create heat and friction. If these metal guides touch the blade as it is doing its work, the blade can get seriously damaged. To better protect the blade against its guard, you can use wooden blocks that can better support the saw’s blade, in addition to suppressing some noise that is made when using it.
For some band saws, the guides contain ball bearings that you can adjust for light contact with the band saw’s blade, allowing for better beam support. For larger blades, add more ball bearings, and do the opposite for smaller blades.
As these blades run from the curvature of the rollers, there would be less surface area touching the blade, leading to much less friction and heat. You will also experience a greatly reduced noise level.
Step 3. Adjust The Bottom Guides
There are some band saws that do not even have any bottom guides at all. So check to see if your saw has bottom guides to proceed with this step.
The bottom guides must be checked properly to ensure your saw is being run correctly. Some of these guides are fastened to the mainframe, but they have the same methods of adjusting as the top guides do. If your bottom guides are not fastened to the mainframe, they are likely fitted with some sort of shaft that can be removable.
Step 4. Align The Blade With The Thrust Bearing
Turn over the guide so that the side guide bearings are on top and near the top guide bearings. This will reduce the distance between the two beatings and encourage better beam support. From here, use a piece of paper to adjust the side roller’s clearance along the blade set located behind the blade’s gullet.
Allow only two or so millimeters in between the thrust bearing and the back of the blade. This requires a lot of patience, but when done correctly, you will get the best result every time.
Step 5. Test Out The Blade
Blades come in many sizes and purposes. Smaller blades that are higher in TPI (tips per inch) are for more delicate cuts, while larger blades with lower TPI are used for cutting thicker or harder materials.
When setting your blade up, the upper wheel can be adjusted to let your blade center on this wheel for proper movement. After doing this, in addition to adjusting the top and bottom guides, tensioning is next.
Tensioning is the most important factor in how well a saw performs. You cannot adjust the saw to know precisely how great it will perform, so you need to use the method of trial and error until you notice a tension level that you are satisfied with.
After you find the right tension that you see fit, place some masking tape along the tension block at the back of the top cover. On the tape, document the size of the blade for a point of reference.
Step 6. Correct The Fence
Many fences are not exactly square to their tables. To correct this, you can fix plywood fence to the saw’s fence and apply sandpaper, paper or cardboard in between the two fences. Screw these fences together. This way, you can create your own fences with two varied heights.
That is how to set up a band saw. Band saws, like other saws and power tools, are to be handled with great care and are wonderful products if set up correctly. We hope that this guide has made you more familiar with band saws in addition to being better skilled at how to set up yours.
Did you enjoy this tutorial? Have a question about how to assemble band saws? Feel free to give your thoughts or own suggestion in the comments down below.