Beginner Band Saw Tips

Learn some tips and techniques for cutting curves in wood stock

Band-saw close-up
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Many woodworking projects require curved cuts in one or more pieces of wood to build the project. While many carpenters and construction workers on a job site might reach for a jigsaw, for fine woodworking within a woodshop, a better choice is to use a band saw. A band saw uses a single looping blade that is tautly-strung around two drive wheels, one above and one below the saw table. The blade is held in place by guide blocks on either side of the blade as well as the tension on the blade.

If you're a beginner getting started in woodworking and want to learn the basics of using a band saw, the following articles will give you a good start.

  • 01 of 06

    What Is a Band Saw?

    man using a band saw
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    The band saw is the most accurate tool for cutting curves in wood. To use a band saw, the wood is placed on the saw table and the wood is maneuvered through the saw blade, rotating the wood to follow the desired curve line. However, a band saw can do a lot more than just cut curves. Learn the basics of the band saw and what else it can be used for in the woodshop in this woodworking article.

  • 02 of 06

    How to Cut With a Band Saw

    cutting with band saw
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    Because the band saw can make such a wide variety of cuts, there are a number of different sizes of band saw blades. In this article on how to cut with a band saw, learn about the most common sizes of band saw blades and when to use them. Additionally, find tips for making straight cuts, cutting veneers out of a large block of wood, resawing thick boards into more manageable thicknesses of stock and more!

  • 03 of 06

    How to Cut Curves in Thick Stock

    man using band saw
    Richard Drury/Getty Images

    Cutting curves in thick stock can be a bit challenging. Using a jigsaw, the blade can deflect, causing the finished cut to be angled. Using a router with a jig may result in a burned router bit, even if you make the cut in a few passes. Using a band saw is probably the best choice, as long as you use a blade that is thick enough.

  • 04 of 06

    Using Your Band Saw Safely

    man using a band saw
    Richard Drury/Getty Images

    Of all of the woodworking machines commonly used in a woodshop, the band saw is likely one of the safer tools (at least from a statistical sense). However, it still can cause a significant injury if used incorrectly. To help reduce the chance of an issue, this article can help you to understand how to safely set up and use your band saw, regardless of the type of cut you need to make with your saw.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Band Saw Usage Tips

    Cutting a Circle on a Band Saw
    (c) Chris Baylor

    Once you fully understand a bit about how your band saw works and how to make a few types of cuts safely and effectively, you can expand your knowledge with these band saw usage tips like how to cut a circle out of a piece of stock or how to prevent saw blade burns on the wood when cutting.

  • 06 of 06

    How to Change Band Saw Blades

    Changing a Band Saw Blade
    (c)Chris Baylor

    In order to cut a tight curve on a band saw, you'll need a thin blade. However, thin blades can break if used for making larger cuts, so in that case, a larger blade is a better choice. In that event, you'll need to know how to change the blade on your band saw. Here are the steps you need to know to change the blade on any cabinet-style band saw.