Training: bandsaw

To use the bandsaw (or any other tool in the Red Zone), you need to be trained in person by the lab manager, Brandon Stafford. Reading this page is a good start, but it does not grant you permission to operate the machine.

General safety procedures

The bandsaw is in the Red Zone, so you should be following all of the Red Zone safety procedures in the Nolop Safety Policy. This means stuff like wearing safety glasses, non-loose clothing, and the like. Read the full policy for the details.

Safety procedures specific to the bandsaw

  • Lower the upper blade guides to just above the thing you’re cutting. You want the blade to be as supported as possible. Above the table, the blade is supported by the white, ceramic blade guides. The lower you can get the blade guides, the better the blade will be supported.
  • When pushing your workpiece through the saw, don’t push inline with the blade. If you slip, your hand will slip into the blade. Instead, push from the side. Bracing your hand on the table is a good idea.
  • Wait for the blade to stop before you remove scraps from next to the blade.
  • Wear hearing protection if you are making for than a couple short cuts. The machine can tend to squeal pretty horribly.
  • Familiarize yourself with the emergency stop button. Push in to stop; pull to release.

A few other important things to know about the bandsaw

  • Use low speed for metal; use high speed for wood or plastic. Please talk to Brandon before you cut metal to make sure you have the right blade.
  • Make sure the material you are cutting is at least as thick as 3 teeth on the blade. Our usual blade has 14 teeth per inch, so that means the thinnest thing you should cut is around 3/14th of an inch, which is around 0.216″. (If you try to cut thinner stuff, all the cutting force is taken by one or two teeth, which eventually breaks the teeth off the blade, and then the blade won’t cut any more.)