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Bandsaw

Risk assessment

Usage Notes

Instructions

Safety

  • Be aware of other people around you. Don't bump into them and be respectful of usage space around the equipment.
  • Only cut things along the bed of the machine. This is not a scroll saw / CNC machine. Things could go wrong if the work piece is turned significantly while cutting it. Gentle curves are possible but be extra careful.
  • Tie long hair back.
  • Don't wear loose clothing that might catch on any moving part.

Use the following recommended safety equipment for protection while using this machine:

  • Safety goggles for eye protection
  • Ear defenders for ear protection
  • Dust masks for prevention of inhalation of particulate matter
  • Gloves for abrasion resistance (optional but recommended)

Bandsaw blades

  • The spares are located on the shelf below the actual bandsaw.
  • If a bandsaw blade becomes blunt, replace with a spare from the aforementioned shelf. Do not use the spares if the blade is still sharp - if it's not cutting well, make sure you're not forcing the work piece too hard through the saw.
  • If there are no more spares, comment on the mailing list to get more stock - make a note of whether the metal/plastic blade or a wood blade is needed. Alternatively, buy a replacement and request reimbursement through the normal forms.
  • The saw that's suitable for metal or plastic has more teeth per inch (tpi) than the wood one, i.e. finer pitch. Current recommended one is 10 tpi.
  • The saw that's suitable for wood has less teeth per inch (tpi) than the metal/plastic one, i.e. coarser pitch. Current recommended one is 6 tpi.

Usage

Preparation

  • Ensure there is enough working space around you and that you won't interfere with anyone else working there.
  • Make sure the teeth are pointing down in the visible area of the blade itself. If the teeth are going upwards, the blade has been installed incorrectly and won't cut the work piece. It can also be dangerous due to the piece being moved unpredictably.
  • Loosen the guard knob and raise or lower the guard to the height of the work piece. Allow about 1 cm (or less) as tolerance and so that you can actually move the wood through the saw. Re-tighten the knob so that the guard no longer moves.
  • Move the fence to the desired width. There are measurements on the table to give relevant widths. Note that the fence needs to be secured front and back and each end is independent. So, make sure that the fence is positioned correctly and securely attached.

Cutting

  1. Put work piece onto the table.
  2. Never put your hands on the work piece directly in line with the blade. Hold the piece by the edge not near to the fence and apply forward pressure (to move the piece to the blade) and light lateral pressure against the fence (to keep the piece straight on to the blade). If you are using smaller pieces, use a push stick so that you're not sacrificing your fingers - only a piece of scrap wood.
  3. Once the piece is in position but not touching the blade, turn on the machine.
  4. Slowly push the piece forwards. Let the blade do the cutting, not pressure from you. If it's not cutting well, the blade might need to be replaced.
  5. Check that the blade is not getting too close to your fingers and use the push stick when it is.
  6. Move the piece through the machine. Be aware that the piece will kick up at the end of the cut - this is why you moved the guard down into the correct position earlier.
  7. Turn off machine.
  8. Collect your newly cut pieces.
  9. Repeat as necessary.

Problems

  1. Stop the machine first
  2. Wait until the blade has stopped moving.
  3. Extract the problematic work piece.
  4. If there are burn marks on the piece (of wood), it implies that the blade is getting (or is) blunt and the blade should be changed.
  5. If the piece is stuck, there might be a few problems:
    • If the piece is stuck at an angle - Keep light pressure of the work piece against the fence to ensure a straight cut.
    • If the piece is stuck but straight on, the blade might be too dull - replace the blade.

Cleaning up

  • Put all safety equipment back.
  • Brush the platform to remove excess material. Sweep area around the band saw and bin the rubbish.

Maintenance

Changing the bandsaw blade

  1. Find suitable gloves to protect your hands. Even blunt blades can cause damage.
  2. Loosen the knob at the top right on the front of the bandsaw.
  3. Open the panel - might need encouragement by pulling the panel underneath the work surface.
  4. Loosen the pulley wheel which has the blade around it by loosening the vertical knob at the very top of the machine. It will take quite some time.
  5. Remove the small, square guard from the table.
  6. Pull the blade off of the pulleys and move the blade out of the guide (just under the work surface and can be seen when the small, square guard is removed).
  7. Rotate the blade loop 90° towards you.
  8. Ease the blade past the black metal guard.
  9. Rotate the blade loop 90° towards you again so that the blade is facing away from you if you're standing at the front of the machine.
  10. Remove the blade from the hole in the work surface.
  11. “Fold” up the blade by using the foot and twisting method shown in the induction.
  12. Use a tie to stop the old blade from expanding again.
  13. Brush out dust / excess material while you have access to most of the machine without a blade in the way.
  14. Acquire new / alternative blade.
  15. “Uncoil” the new blade so that it has only one loop, not the three loops that it comes packaged in.
  16. Put the new blade into the machine by reversing steps 6 through 10, ensuring the teeth are pointing down on the side you insert into the table bit. You are likely to need help to get the blade around the pulleys and through the guides all at the same time.
  17. Tighten the pulleys until there is enough tension (as described in the induction).
  18. Manually turn the top pulley to ensure proper alignment of the blade with respect to the pulleys, i.e. the blade stays on the middle of the pulley. If it shifts forwards or backwards with respect to the pulley, adjust the angle of pulley wheel by turning the small black knob on the back of the machine as appropriate. If three complete revolutions can be made and the blade stays in the center of the pulley wheel, then it is aligned properly.
  19. Check the carbon brushes to make sure the blade doesn't vibrate too much.
    • Use a small Allen key (3mm) to release the hold of the carbon brush near to the cutting area and within the guide above the cutting surface.
    • Remove the brush and check for wear. It should be flat against the blade and not have a significant curve.
    • Re-install the brush. It should just be touching the blade with only the slightest pressure against it - It's meant to align the blade not apply a braking force.
    • Repeat with the brush on the other side.
    • Repeat two more times with the brushes in the alignment guide underneath the platform.
    • Ensure the brushes are held in place properly by tightening the Allen bolts (finger tight).
  20. Close panel.
  21. Secure panel by screwing in the knob at the top right.
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