Basics of Bandsaw Machines

As the name implies, bandsaw machines are saws that consist of a continuous metal band (called the bandsaw blade) that rides on two wheels rotating in the same plane. A bandsaw machine contains a round and serrated blade, and can be used to process wood, metal and various other materials. Depending upon the lateral flexibility and the width of the band, a bandsaw machine can be used for straight, irregular or curved shape cuts. However, bandsaws are mostly used to cut irregular shapes. Bandsaws produce uniform cutting action as a result of an evenly distributed tooth load. These machines can be powered by many sources like wind, steam or electric power; the latter being the most preferred source nowadays.

Bandsaws Working

In a bandsaw, workpieces are fed into the cutting edge of the machine. The bandsaw machine cuts by drawing a continuous metal band across the workpiece. The bandsaw blade is supported and driven by a drive wheel and an idler wheel. Because each tooth is a precision cutting tool, accuracy can be held to close tolerances. This eliminates or minimizes many secondary machining operations. In addition, chip removal is very fast. When the bandsaw is turned on, the operator raises the saw and makes the blade descend on the clamped material, cutting it as the band blade moves. After the cutting is completed, the bandsaw switches off automatically.

To cut metals, a constant flow of liquid (called a coolant) over the bandsaw blade is needed as a lubricant to keep the blade cool as well as to prevent encrustation or smearing on the blade. Coolants thus prolong machine life and increase accuracy. Sometimes, brushes or brushwheels are used to remove the cut chips. Band speeds typically range from 40 ft p.m. to 5000 ft p.m.

In a vertical bandsaw, the blade is lowered onto the workpiece. In a horizontal machine, the workpiece is fed to the blade.

Classification of Bandsaw Machines

Bandsaws can be classified into two broad categories:

Based on mounting-

Vertical bandsaw machines

Horizontal bandsaw machines

Based on mounting-

Manually operated bandsaw machines

Semi automatic machines

Fully automatic machines

Some other types of bandsaw classification includes pivot type, double column type, and swing head miter cutting type machines.