For the January meeting of the Classic City Woodturners we had a bandsaw demo. Some would think that unusual for a woodturning group, but you’ve got to make usable blanks somehow. More often than not, that ‘somehow’ includes a bandsaw. Alex Snodgrass was our demonstrator, and he is a true expert on the bandsaw. He made a point to tell us that he’s not a woodworker, he’s a bandsaw-guy….
Following are a couple of key points that I was able to pick up on (and I’m sure that I missed plenty of great info just due to such infrequent use of the bandsaw on my part). The successful use of a bandsaw depends on a couple of things. First off, the table must be square to the blade. Without that, anything that you cut won’t be square to anything else you cut! Once the table is square, the side guides should be as close to the blade as possible. They should not touch, however. They should be located 1/16-1/8″ behind the blade’s gullet for a small blade, and the deepest part of the gullet should be at the center of the wheel for a large blade. When using a large blade, the rear guide should be almost touching the back of the blade. For a thin blade, however, you should touch the blade such that there is about 1/8″ of tension in the blade. (Mind you that he was using his bandsaw guides, and not a ‘stock’ one. I’m not sure if the same rule applies to all guides or not. I suspect on other guides you have to make sure that the blade does not touch the rear guide. He also mentioned that you want to keep your table waxed so that the wood will turn more smoothly for curvy cuts.
The pics with this article are Alex Snodgrass (the demonstrator), a reindeer that he made in about 2 minutes as part of the demo, and Jim Talley showing off his new shirt. 🙂