The most useful machine: Band saw

Posted on Aug 12, 2020

Band Saw

One of the most essential factors in choosing the right blade for a job is the tooth shape. Generally speaking, the blades are categorized into three, some say four, basic types: regular tooth blades, hook tooth blades, and skip tooth blades. Each tooth type excels at cutting particular materials and it affects the operating speed and feeding rate as well.

As the name implies, a band saw is a saw composed of a continuous metal band (called a band saw blade) that rides on two wheels rotating on the same plane. The band saw machine contains a circular serrated blade that can be used to process wood, metal, and various other materials. Depending on the lateral flexibility and the width of the belt, the band saw machine can be used for cutting straight, irregular, or curved shapes. However, band saws are often used to cut irregular shapes. A band saw produces a uniform cutting effect through the evenly distributed tooth load. These machines can be powered by many sources, such as wind, steam, or electricity. The latter is the most preferred power source today.

The Working Principle of Band Saws

In the band saw, the details are fed to the cutting edge of the machine. The band saw cuts by pulling the metal band across the workpiece. The band saw is supported and driven by a drive wheel and tensioning wheel. Because each tooth is a precision cutting tool, accuracy can be kept within close tolerance. This eliminates or minimizes many post-treatment operations. In addition, chip removal is very fast. When the band saw is turned on, the operator lifts the saw and makes the blade fall onto the clamped material, cutting it while the band blade moves. The band saw turns off automatically when the cut is completed.

For cutting metals, you need a constant flow of fluid (called coolant) through the band saw blade as a lubricant to hold the blade, as well as prevent scale build-up or smudging on the blade. Coolants extend the life of the machine and increase accuracy. Sometimes brushes or brush wheels are used to remove the cut chips. Band speeds typically range from 40 ft p.m. to 5000 ft p.m.

In a vertical band saw, the blade is lowered onto the workpiece. In a horizontal machine, the workpiece is fed to the blade. The band saw is useful for cutting material to size and rough shaping. The blade comes in the form of a continuous loop that contains a serrated cutting edge. The blade is stretched on two pulleys, the upper idle, the lower driven by a variable speed electric motor.

Band Saw Blade Selection and Installation

There are many different types of blades that can be installed in a band saw. They differ in tooth size, tooth shape, blade material, etc. If you are unsure of what type of blade to use for a particular task, the job selection knob can provide directions or refer to the manufacturer's manual or documentation. The material to be cut should have at least three-tooth widths. Therefore, it is often best to cut thin sheets with scissors instead of a band saw.

Once you've found the right blade, you can cut it to length and weld it into a continuous band using a resistance welder built into the band saw. The upper and lower doors open to reveal the pulleys. The tensioner allows the upper pulley to be raised and lowered. Lowering the upper pulley makes it easier to install a new blade. The blade must fit properly in the upper and lower blade guides. After setting the blade, the voltage must be set and locked.

Band Saw Operation

Before starting the band saw, set the guide/blade guard to the correct height. The less exposed the blade, the safer you will be. Always set the blade guide high enough to remove the cut.

The right cutting speed is very different for different tasks. For example, mild steel should be cut at considerably lower speeds than aluminum alloys. The job selection knob can help you choose the right engine speed for your job. To adjust the blade speed, the engine must be turned on. The engine speed can be changed using variable speed control while the engine speed is monitored on the speed indicator dial.

:: Read More: What Are the Applications of Band Sawing Machine?

Choosing the Band Saw Blades

As mentioned, the configuration of the blade is rather crucial when it comes to cutting with a band saw. Besides the blade material, the most essential factor in choosing the right blade for a job is the tooth shape. Generally speaking, the blades are categorized into three, some say four, basic types: regular tooth blades, hook tooth blades, and skip tooth blades. Each tooth type excels at cutting particular materials and it affects the operating speed and feeding rate as well.

Band Saw Blades with Regular Tooth Design

The regular tooth blades are better known as the standard blades. They are the most common tooth type. The blades with this type of tooth have straight-faced teeth with deep gullets that are evenly spaced on the cutting edge. Gullets refer to the gap between each tooth. The straight-faced teeth refer to the zero-degree rake of the teeth. Blades with regular tooth configuration are used for general cutting operations that process thinner materials. They can cut through metals and wood.

Band Saw Blades with Curved Tooth Design

The hook tooth blades have deeper gullets and larger teeth that resemble a line of hooks. The teeth are widely spaced and usually feature a positive ten-degree rake. The rake describes how much the sharp tip of the tooth curves. With the hook teeth, the blade provides fast and coarse cuts in most materials. The skip tooth blades are similar to the hook tooth blades. They also have the teeth widely spaced on the cutting edge while having shallow gullets compared to the hook tooth blades. The skip teeth with a sharp angle clean out the chips effectively. They are ideal for woodworking applications.

In general, the band saws are a useful tool when there is a need to dissect materials into parts with desired shapes. They are versatile and able to process multiple types of materials. With the correct choice of blade, such a machine can take on almost all kinds of cutting operations. Next time, before initiating a sawing operation, it is highly recommended to take some time thinking about the materials to deal with and the best blade for the job.

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