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Bandsawing Tips
Balancing Bandsaw Wheels
The lead wheel weights used for balancing car tires will also work on an out-of-balance bandsaw wheel. They'll do less damage to the wheel than drilling a bunch of balancing holes in it. Plus, you can re-position them as needed. And, since they're made of soft lead, their weight can be easily adjusted by shaving a little off with a utility knife. Always start with the lightest, smallest weights you can find for this job.
Minimum turning radaii for different sized bandsaw blades
NOTE: Blades above 1/2" width are usually designed for straight-line cutting (such as resawing)and not for cutting curves. Blade width: Minimum turning radius: 1/8" 1/4" 3/16" 1/2" 1/4" 7/8" 3/8" 1-1/2" 1/2" 2-1/4"
Holding the pieces of a compound cut together during cutting
Compound bandsaw cuts (such as those used for cabriole legs) often require that you replace the piece of scrap you just cut away from your workpiece before you can make your next cut (usually made on a different plane). The easiest way to do this is by using double-stick carpet tape or ordinary masking tape.
Emergency bandsaw tire
It always happens at the most inopportune times. You're working away when all of a sudden, the rubber tire on your bandsaw heads South. It's Saturday evening. You're trying to finish a project. No spare bandsaw tires within a million miles. Well ... fear not. Often, car or truck innertubes can be trimmed for use as bandsaw tires. Bond them carefully to your bandsaw's wheel with rubber cement. This fix should get you through your project ... but it's not permanent! Be sure to replace your temporary tire with a proper tire ASAP.
Safely holding ultra-small pieces for bandsawing
Sometimes, it's necessary to cut extremely small pieces of stock that are impossible to grasp properly without getting your fingers well inside the red "safety zone"...where fingers aren't supposed to be ! This problem can often be solved by guiding your stock with the eraser ends of two pencils.
Three options for temporarily holding workpieces together during pad sawing or turning operations.
1: Use rubber cement. Apply to both pieces, let dry and press firmly together. They will separate easily when you've finished your cut. 2: Use double-sided carpet tape. A firmer grip than rubber cement and tougher to separate, as well. Lacquer thinner can help. 3: Use artist's "Scotch" Adhesive Transfer Tape. Applied with a gun-like device, it's available in art supply stores and removes easily, like rubber cement.
Extend the life of your Bandsaw tire
with this "automatic tire duster" Bandsaw tires last lots longer when you keep them clean. To do this, attach old, worn-out toothbrushes to the frame of your saw so they rub continuously against the tires to keep them clean. If you need to bend the handle in order to attach the brush, soften it by heating in a pot of boiling water. When the brushes wear down, just replace them with a new set of "retired" brushes.
Smoothing-out Bandsaw cuts.
By removing the set on your bandsaw blades, they'll produce a much smoother cut, without those tell-tale tooth marks. Here are 3 ways: * Lay the blade on a hard metal surface (anvil, etc) and peen the teeth with a smooth-faced hammer. * Pinch the teeth with a pair of pliers. * Hone the edges of the teeth with a coarse stone until the set disappears. Remember, however, that blades which have been altered in this fashion will not cut as tight a corner ... nor will they cut as rapidly as blades with set teeth. Therefore, push your workpiece through the blade more slowly and leave yourself a little more radius than you would normally need.
Make-it-yourself bandsaw tire cleaner
It's a fact that Bandsaw tires will last much longer if they're kept clean. You can make a simple, self-cleaning system for your tires from a couple of old discarded toothbrushes. Just cut the handles off to about 3" long, heat them up with a candle or torch and bend them to a 90-degree angle. Then, simply screw them to the inside of your bandsaw's "cabinet" so the bristles ride constantly against the tires' surfaces during operation..."sweeping" the dust and debris off as you work.
Keeping Bandsaw Blades In Position During Changeover
To prevent the blade from slipping off the top tire while you align and tighten it, temporarily tape (or use a spring clamp) the blade to the top tire during the changeover process. CAUTION: If you use a clamp, donít to forget to remove it before turning on your machine.
Super-smooth resawing cuts
If you're trying to resaw thin strips of wood from not-too-thick stock (up to 3" or so) with a 1/4" to 3/8" wide bandsaw blade and find that you're getting rough cut surfaces...your problem is more than likely caused by the "set" in your blade's teeth. You can solve this problem with the blade you have by squeezing the "set" out of your blade's teeth using a set of smooth-jawed pliers or in the smooth, metal jaws of a machinist's vise. By eliminating the "set", you'll have to feed your stock through the cut more slowly, but your final results will be smoother.
Magnetic Bandsaw rip fence
If you have a bandsaw with a cast iron (not aluminum) table, you can use a commercially available, magnetic kitchen knife holder as a rip fence. These holders are usually very straight, with magnets that are more than strong enough to hold during most operations.
Cutting tighter curves with Bandsaw Blades
The sharp, square edged on the back sides of your bandsaw blades can restrict the tightness of the curves you cut. You can solve this problem by laying a medium coarse sharpening stone on your bandsaw's table surface (behind the blade), turning on the saw and rounding-over the back edge of the blade slightly. Don't push hard on the stone while you're doing this or you'll push the blade off your saw's back-up rollers. It's best to do this job with a dry stone.

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