The question “Can I just buy a woodworking bandsaw and forget it?” can be very misleading. Of course you can buy a saw and start working on projects right away. And if you’ve got some time and the patience, you can probably work out your own DIY woodworking project. But are you really guaranteed to get that same quality as you would from a professional woodworkers shop? A band saw is a complex tool and requires special care and maintenance.
If you haven’t seen one in a while, do a quick inspection before you head out. If it looks brand new, has it been well oiled and serviced, and isn’t making all kind of strange noises, then it’s probably still in pretty good condition. But the older the saw, the more likely it is to need some serious service down the road. The general rule of thumb is that you should service your woodworking bandsaw every six months or so. In this article we’ll look at a few things you should look for when diagnosing trouble.
One of the most common problems with woodworking bandsaw review models is that they tend to either break their blades during the cutting process or lose their cutting teeth. Either of these will prevent you from being able to complete your project and may even require you to get a new machine altogether. The most obvious reason for a blade tension issue is poor fitting cast iron wheels. Ideally, your wheels should be both tight and evenly matched to each other. If they aren’t, then your cutting edge is going to hit the edges of your workpiece more than it should, increasing the risk of ripping or burring the wood.
Another potential area for damage is from overuse. As woodworkers get more experienced, they may find their woodworking bandsaw gets into the habit of needing to be forced into a ripping motion to get good results. This is actually a good thing as it ensures your resaw blade is ready to rip and cut effectively at all times. If it isn’t though, then it can cause a serious drag on its cutting edges that will inevitably lead to damage. To test whether your band saw is ready for the job, simply stop your work and give it a good wipe down with the damp cloth before attempting any cuts.
If you find that your woodworking band saw is constantly having issues with its cutting edges ripping and gouging the wood, then it’s likely your problem lies in the rip fence. The rip fence on a saw is designed to prevent the blade from making direct contact with the soft woods inside your rip plane. Unfortunately, if you have had your machine for very long without having put on a new fence, it will become loose and allow the blade to cut directly into the soft woods. This is when serious damage will occur and you need to either fix or replace your machine immediately.
The first thing to check if your rip fence is cracked or bent is to press your tongue against the center of the blade. If it doesn’t snap straight up and down, then you will know it is not being properly supported. Many bandsaws today come with a folding blade guard which can be easily removed and replaced. If the guard is damaged however, simply replace it.
The next thing you should check when your band saw blades start showing signs of wear is to carefully slide the blade forward and back. If the teeth pass through the wood smoothly, then there are no grooves. On the other hand, if they hit jagged obstacles, they will be very rough and irregular in shape. Either way, this means the teeth are not being properly supported, and if you don’t want to see any serious damage happening to your wood ripping machines, then these are the first two issues you need to correct immediately.
Woodworking band saw blades do wear out, but generally, it happens in the early years. However, many woodworkers still don’t take much notice of their bandsaws as they continue to work with them for years. This is a big mistake that many beginners make, and there are some serious consequences when it comes to neglecting your bandsaw. Read reviews here to learn more about woodworking bandsaws and how to care for them.