A narrow band of toothed metal is pretty much the “cutting element” of a Band Saw, a type of motor powered saw, common in most lumber mills.
Band saws are fixed power tools, and don’t come hand held, though miniature varieties exist. They successfully operate utilizing a band fitted with toothed metal blades, which ride on two wheels on a vertical plane. The wheels are powered by a motor, which facilitates the revolving of the bands. The wheels are adjustable in most band saws, and the space made between the wheels often helps in dictating the cut types the band saw would make.
They are ideal tools for cutting irregular shapes, with the curved cuts made by the tool determined by the width of the band blade used during its operation.
Most timber mills prefer using band saws over circular saws since wastage isn’t an issue with band saws. As band saws leave behind a smaller kerf, which in the realm of woodworking means a saw’s cut size, lesser waste comes from using it.
The band saw’s blades in timber mills are often stretched very tight, considering the large chunks of wood they are given to cut up. With blade sizes ranging from 4” wide x 19’ long x 22 GA thickness to 16” wide x 62’ long x 11 GA thickness, large band saws fit the bill for timber yards’ needs when it comes to cutting.
There are different types of large band saws, the most common of which are Resaws Head Saws, and Double Cut Saws.
Resaws are pretty much the large band saws used in timber mills. They have small kerf sizes, which leave less wastage, and work pretty fast and accurate. A timber mill wouldn’t be complete without one, as resaws are practically “tailor cut” for them.
Head saws are also large band saws specializing in initial cuts to a log. Generally, they are fitted with silver teeth on the back of the band saw’s cutting edge, and a two to three inch space between the saw’s cutting edge. The silver teeth are designed to wipe silvers out of the saw’s cutting path when cutting on a log, which happens when the band saw needs to back out of a cut.
Double cut saws, as the band saw’s name implies, have cutting teeth on both sides of a blade. Similar in size to that of a head saw, double cut saws are also geared to work similar to head saws, only with “backward” cutting capabilities.
Bottom line, band saws are generally useful for overall cutting work, and not for detail cutting. They are pretty much the initial phase tools for a woodworking excursion, giving woodworkers woodpieces on which they could do more detailed work on.
Get Instant Access To 14,000 Woodworking Plans, Designs & Projects! See How You Can Get Access to Thousands of Do-It-Yourself Woodworking Plans That Are Cost Effective, Tried and Tested and Guaranteed!