Accidents are common in the workplace, so the term “Safety first” isn’t just a cliche. Lacerations, hand injuries, amputations, and even death are complications that can occur if band saws are used without following the necessary safety precautions, procedures, and guiding rules. Here is a write up that addresses band saws safety, read through, gain knowledge, and be safe in your workplace.
The Parts of a Band Saw and It’s Safety Features
We can’t start without giving you an overview of the vital band saw parts. Knowledge about what they do will provide you with an idea of working effectively and safely with them.
Frame and base: They provide a solid base and support while working.
Dust port: Channels dust away from the cutting platform.
Tension adjustment knob: Used to tension the band saw blade.
Blade adjustment knob: This knob helps adjust blades height and position.
Blade: For cutting.
Band Saw wheels: Spins to operate the saw’s blade.
Band Saw tires: Creates a grip to hold the blade in place and prevent unnecessary wear and tear on the wheels.
Below are several built-in safety features present in most band saws out there:
Wheel guard: Guards the saw’s wheel inside the frame as the wheel is sharp and can easily cause accidents if left exposed.
Blade Guard: Guards the spinning blade to prevent an accident or kickbacks while on the job.
Blade tensioner: Useful in safety as it ensures that the blade isn’t too tight when working with softer woods. If the blade is too tight, it can cause breakage or possibly slip off the wheels.
Safety Procedures, To Observe Before And While Using A Band Saw
- Read the manufacturer’s manual carefully and understand each part’s function, instructions, and safety guidelines unique to the proficient band saw you are working with. VERY NECESSARY.
- If possible, take a course on woodwork safety to better understand the importance of safety.
- Always check each part of the band saw to ensure they look OK. Make sure all the guards are in place, and no part is hanging loose or faulty.
- Using protective equipment (goggles, face masks, thick gloves) is a MUST when you start band saw uses.
While Working with a Band Saw
- Adjust the blade guard to a height range of about 3mm or 1/8in to 6mm or 1/4in above the top of what is to be cut. Wider gaps place tension on the blade and increase the risk of blade break.
- Check that saw’s blade is sharp and set right before feeding materials in.
- Use push sticks to remove any cut pieces between the resaw fence and the saw blade. Never use your hand.
- If the saw blade breaks, or pulls off the wheels while working, do these: if you can switch off the machine and stay far, notify others, and wait till the engine stops entirely before carrying out any further action.
- Keep work area free from obstructions.
- There should be light close to the band saw to see clearly.
- Hold stock firmly against the work table.
- If the work is quite extensive, get help. Please do not attempt to do it alone.
- Never accelerate, stopping by sticking an object on the blade. Always allow the machine to stop on its own.
- Identify the ON/OFF switch or the emergency stop.
- Use small V blocks when cutting cylindrical or irregular objects.
- Turn off the saw at once when you hear any clicking sound, as this indicates, blade crack or breakage.
- If you need to stop working for a while, turn off the machine, and let the blade stop rotating before shutting down.
- The saw should run at full speed before feeding in the material.
- All adjustments to be made should be made when the saw has completely stopped spinning.
- Disconnect band saw from the power source if you want to change tables.
- Always advisable to decrease the feed pressure when you get to the end of the cut.
Margin of Safety When Using Band Saw?
Standard procedures require that the operator’s hands be about 3-4in away from the saw’s blade when working for safety.
Those around should keep at least 2ft while the saw is running.
Are Band Saws Dangerous?
All tools have the potential to pose dangers, so yes, band saws can be dangerous. However, band saws rank as one of the safest saws. When used sensibly and following all the safety procedures, it is generally safe, as the exposed part moves downward when cutting. It doesn’t mean, though, that one should throw caution to the wind. Severe injuries can occur if band saws are not used with care. Accidents are more likely to occur without the time of use. When you fold bandsaw blade, so be careful while doing that.
Band Saw Hazard
Operators are prone to one or more of these hazards while working:
Dangers of freewheeling: Because the machine’s wheel takes a while to stop after being turned off, operators are at risk if they continue working around it.
An accidental start-up that occurs after a brief power loss: An operator’s body part may get trapped if he is unaware that the machine is ON. It can lead to injuries like mild lacerations, amputations.
Nip point Hazard’s: an operator can get along with the whirling machine if any body part is trapped in the nip point.
Contact with blade: can occur while using the saw because the hands are close to the blade.
Electrical hazards can cause shock.
Exposure to noise.
Exposure to dust.
How Can I Use Band Saw Safely?
The following are guides to follow to ensure safety when you use a band saw:
- Always clean the saw thoroughly after each use from leftover dust or stocks.
- Use the appropriate blade for the work at hand. Some work will require you to use a rough-edged blade, others a finer blade. Whatever it is, always have multiple sets of blades and check to see which blade will fit the work.
- Carry out routine checks, maintenance, and servicing.
- Understand the job at hand. If not, you may be confused and distracted.
- Always adjust the saw to maintain proper height.
- Always wear protective equipment’s (goggles, face mask, safety boots, thick gloves).
- Wrap your hair and remove dangling pieces of jewelry and clothing that can be trapped by the machine which working.
- Never walk away from saw when the blade is in motion.
- Securely anchor the saw frame to the ground with clamps to make it stable.
- The safety features in the saw should always be engaged when working and during maintenance.
Positions To Take When Using A Band Saw for Safety
Keep hands away from the line of cut.
Do not at any point stand at the right side of the saw while it’s running.
The teeth of the saw blade should be pointed towards the table.
What To Avoid When Working With A Band saw
- Don’t use force while pushing the wood.
- Remove sawdust or scraps with sticks instead of using hands.
- Don’t leave the saw unattended.
- Working when tired.
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