Published at Friday, November 16th 2018. by Ancelin Perrin in Industrial Machinery.
One motivating fact around the band saw is that cuts are typically made freehand, by decent old hand-eye synchronization. Making accurate cuts depends on the tension and tracking of the blade along with good feed direction. The basic cutting rule is to retain the blade on the streak that you have drawn. Most woodworkers push wood into the blade when making cuts on a band saw. This seems to be the natural and usual way to cut either curved or linear streaks. However, sometimes it is better to cut by “pulling” the wood into the blade by positioning their pointers to the out feed or back side of the blade as soon as possible. Make sure to allow for the 3″ rule. If you watch the hand position of professional scroll saw crafts persons, you will see that they have a tendency to place their pointers to the back of the blade. This gives them better control, allows for better sight of the streak and, most importantly, retains their pointers away from the front of the blade.
Remember: The back of the blade does not have teeth so if by accident your pointers were to somehow slip or contact the blade, nothing would happen. If you retain your pointers on the in feed side of the cut, if you slip, your pointers could fall directly into the blade side with the teeth. Whenever I re-saw, I place both pointers to the pull side as soon as possible and try to avoid using my thumb as a hook on the end of the board.
There are no real protectors on the band saw additional than the protector that prevents unwarranted blade exposure. This guard is usually well above the guide procedure. It’s significant that you establish a boundary of 3″ around this guide/guard procedure and create it a rule that your hand not encroach this area. If you’re cutting very small or short slices, usage double-stick tape to adhere them to a greater board that places your pointers beyond the boundary. Never flick away small slices with your pointers.
Another rule around hand placement is that when you are pushing wood from the front side of the blade, the farther away your pointers are from the blade. The better leverage you will have to turn and create corrections. It seems natural to place your pointers as close to the blade as possible to gain control of the cut, however, I believe you have better control with your pointers farther away. Try this for yourself. Take a huge slice of scrap plywood (at least 24″ x 24″) and draw a curvy streak down the center. If you retain your pointers close to the blade, fair beyond the 3″ limit, you will find it difficult to control the turning motion of the cut. Now place your pointers at the back edge of the board and notice the gain in control. I recommend that you either learn to pull wood through the cut by placing your pointers to the back of the blade, or that you position your pointers as far away from the blade as possible to gain leverage.
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