Bandsaws are commonly regarded to be among the safest of woodworking and cutting apparatus currently on the market; however, this is not to say that accidents cannot happen. Despite their seemingly safe reputation in comparison to other machinery types, bandsaws are still dangerous tools with the capability to cause considerable injury if operated incorrectly. There are a multitude of factors that should be kept in mind when working with an industrial bandsaw as to allow you to get the most out of your tool, as well as reduce the risk of injury.
Cutting Materials Safely
When operating an industrial saw, it should be ensured that the motor is allowed to reach its full speed before beginning to cut anything. Materials should also be placed flat against the table or guide fence during the cutting process; free-hand material cutting in mid-air should never be attempted as this greatly increases the risk of injury occurrence.
When cutting curves, an outline of your path should be drawn cleanly onto the stock as to aid with a precise cut and reduce the chances of mistakes or slippages. Always work to ensure that any movements are taken slowly and methodically; if you need to back out of the cut while the bandsaw is still in operation, ensure the stock is held firmly against the cutting table with one hand and power down the motor with the other; never attempt to bring materials out of the cut until the bandsaw blade has reached a complete stop.
Keep Hands at a Safe Distance
While this point may seem like an obvious one, it is one of the most important safety precautions to keep in mind as to avoid a risk of injury. Hands should never be any closer to the bandsaw blade than around three inches back and should never be positioned directly in the line of the cut; one hand should be on either side of the material being cut as to easily guide it through the blade. If you are required to hold material any closer to the blade than previously recommended, do this only using a push stick.
Bandsaw Safety Features
On the occasion that something goes wrong during the use of your bandsaw machine, there are a number of safety features in place on the majority of machines available on the market today. These features help to greatly reduce any risk of injury while your bandsaw is in operation.
It is vital that you ensure the blade tension on your saw is checked regularly. Whether your bandsaw has been idle for a length of time, or you tend on switching to a harder material, it should be confirmed that the blade is taught, however, not too tight. The overtightening of your saw blade can lead to breakages, while a looser blade could run the risk of slipping off during use; this could be highly dangerous.
Wheel covers work to hide the wheels inside the frame of the bandsaw. As the wheels operate at a high speed, it is important to ensure that the covers remain closed via a door safety interlock when sawing. The doors should only be opened to change the blade.
Blade guards, as implied by the name, guard your hands from the bandsaw blade while in use. You should work to ensure that any and all of the guards on your industrial bandsaw are kept in place as to prevent the occurrence of any accidental slippages or mishaps that could result in serious injury if precautions are not in place.
Overall, there are many precautions that you can take as to reduce the risk of injury during the operation of an industrial bandsaw, as well as features built in to the majority of modern machines that work to make the operation of such saws as safe as possible. To learn more about automatic bandsaws, why not get in touch with our experienced bandsaw suppliers and discover what we can do to help you.