Basic Band Saw Cutting Techniques Explained

Band saw cutting is an art and a skill that takes practice along with good instruction to master. Cutting wood and metal is a skill that can take years to master. However, once a person masters the skill of using a band saw, they will be able to craft items like furniture, tools, décor, decoys for hunting, and toys. Many skilled band saw operators make good money making and selling various works of art they have made from a band saw. Before becoming a master, one must master the basics.  Here is a quick rundown of a few basic band saw cutting techniques.

Cutting Straight

A straight cut is the mark of any good band saw expert and it takes practice, a steady hand, and severe concentration.  It’s not an easy thing to do because the tiniest movement sends the cut in a different direction.

The first trick to help cut straight is to keep the band saw well maintained, clean, and well lubricated with oil.  Treat the band saw badly and it won’t cut well for you.

A poorly tuned band saw blade guide will cause cuts to veer to the right.  An index card can be used to tune a blade guide by using it to determine the spacing between the blade and the guide.    To do these just loosen the Allen screw and insert the card.  The distance between the blade and the guide should be just less than the index card without actually touching the guide.  Tighten the Allen screw and you’ll see the blade move toward the guide.  Once the index card becomes tightly snug, remove it.

Carve a Circle or an Arch

The foot of the band saw will need to be adjusted to be at the same height as the work piece. Cut around the circumference of the circle a little piece at a time.  It’s important not to overdo it.  You can take away pieces of wood but you can’t add wood back.

To Re-saw

Re-sawing refers to cutting thinner and smaller pieces of wood from a larger piece.  To do this you’ll need to lower the saw foot to the same level of the work piece.  Turn on the blade.  Feed the wood into the blade with firm pressure applied to the piece.  Small pieces of wood should be fed through the blade with a push-stick to prevent injury.

Simultaneous Cutting

Several pieces of wood can be cut by the band saw at the same time as long as they are the same size.  You can do this by stacking the pieces together, securing it with strong tape.  The foot of the band saw will need to be adjusted to the height of the work piece.  The stack can be fed just the same as a normal piece of wood and each piece in the stack will be identical as long as care was taken to secure the pieces tightly.