Out of all the woodworking machinery, the band saw is considered to be one of the safest. But if it’s not used correctly, it will become dangerous. To diminish the risks, you should keep in mind several things.
When working with woodworking tools, you should always wear your safety glasses. Because the blade of the band saw rotates at substantial speed, stock and other small pieces can jump in any direction. And if the blade breaks, pieces could become disconnected. So the first important thing you should do is make a habit of always wearing safety glasses.
You might also need to use earmuffs or earplugs when utilizing the band saw. But we’re not sure the noise level is that high that you will need to use some sort of hearing protection.
For clothing, you should avoid wearing long-sleeved or loose-fitting clothing because they might get caught in the band saw blade or become a hassle when you’re doing other work.
Check the Band Saw Before Every Cut
You should periodically check the wheels and blocks for wear, and they also might need adjustments if specified in the manual. When creating cuts, these two keep the blade in a correct position. If you don’t do this from time to time, they will produce wear and tear and might cause the blade to break. Another thing to check is the tension of the blade as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Before you make the cut on the stock, you should make sure everything is adjusted correctly and have the right tension for the blade. Keep the blade guard within 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch of the stock. You’ll break the blade if you leave the guards too high.
Where to keep your hands?
Make sure to keep your hands at least 3 inches away from the blade. Keep one hand on one side and the other on the other side to push the stock through the blade. If you really need to have the stock closer make sure you use a push stick.
Another tip would be to never reach across if the band saw is in the way. Using your hand you can turn it on or off if the switch is near you.
Safely Cutting Stock
You should begin the cut when the motor of the band saw is at full speed. Make sure to put the stock flat against the table when operating the band saw. At all times, keep the stock flat on the table. Also, “free-handing” the stock in mid-air is a terrible practice; you should never do that.
The band saw rip fence or miter gauges can be used for a specific angle that needs a cut or specific consistent-width rip. This will create a safer and more accurate cut.
Draw the outline of what cut you want to create on the stock when you are trying to do cutting curves. Always move methodically and slowly. If something went wrong, keep the stock in one place with one hand and with the other hand turn off the motor. Wait until the blade stops completely if you try to back the stock out of the cut.
For tight curves, you should go slowly, many relief cuts. Please don’t make a long one because it’s harder to make it accurate.
Other band saw safety tips are related to common sense. Sometime you might cut a small piece from a bigger piece of stock. Never try to flick it with your fingers. With the blade stopped, use a different part of the stock to push it. Do not leave pieces on the table because they might impede the cut.
Make sure to avoid distractions when you’re working with any woodworking power tool. Keep your eyes on the machine until you are finished. One of the top reasons for injuries is the fact that the user got distracted by something. Create a rule with your working partners, so you don’t get interrupted during the cuts.
Machines that have blades that run at high speed are going to be relatively dangerous. We covered the essential aspects, and we hope you’re going to be safe using the band saw.
Even though the band saw might look like scary machinery, there’s no need to be fearful. The easiest way to keep things safe is to keep your hands out of the way and keep the saw and the job site clean. And make sure you don’t forget wearing the safety goggles and don’t wear loose-fitting clothing.