I never use my Bandsaw

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Forum topic by Patrick posted 10-08-2014 09:26 PM 1441 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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41 posts in 763 days

10-08-2014 09:26 PM

I listen to the Fine Woodworking podcast a lot. I love it. It’s very entertaining and not too corny. One of the questions they get asked all the time is from beginners wondering what big machine to buy first. The answer is always that if you could only have one machine in your shop or take one machine with you to a remote island, make it a bandsaw. I was very excited to purchase a very nice saw a few years ago, but the truth is I hardly ever use it. What am I missing?

20 replies so far

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8161 posts in 3069 days

#1 posted 10-08-2014 09:38 PM

Start making furniture with curves, templates,
and things like that.

The table saw is a convenience to me but considering
the forms I work with not having a band saw
would slow me down considerably.

Many of the people who write for FWW are professional
furniture makers and in order to compete in the
market they are obliged to use curves and other
technical methods to make their work stand out.
Many are also concerned with replicating historical
styles that incorporate curved parts.

Furthermore, in working expensive solid woods,
the band saw wastes a minimal amount in ripping
and resaw cuts. It’s also very, very useful for
joinery if one doesn’t have a shop full of
more specialized joinery machines or jigs.

One can taper parts a variety of ways, and tapers
are a fundamental part of furniture’s aesthetic
vocabulary. Rather than fuss with jigs, I mark
out a taper with a straight edge most of the
time and cut it on the band saw, then clean
it up on the jointer or with a hand plane. It’s
not a production method suitable for making
a lot of identical parts but for doing a handful
of tapered legs it’s quick enough and a
relaxing way to go about it.

View Chris208's profile


236 posts in 1691 days

#2 posted 10-08-2014 10:26 PM

I have 2 bandsaws now, and use them all the time.

I cut joinery – primarily tenon cheeks




Rough cross cuts with a miter gauge.

I love them, because despite the fact it’s the only tool I’ve got hurt on ( my fault, as always) it is way safer than my TS.

I use my tablesaw for things I can’t do on my bandsaw.

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1698 posts in 1376 days

#3 posted 10-08-2014 10:40 PM

It’s interesting that you bring this up. I work almost exclusively with hand tools. I don’t even remember the last time I fired up my table saw or Jointer, but I don’t own a bandsaw and that’s the one power tool I would gladly have and use in my shop. Especially for resawing and curved work. Curves can be a real pain without a bandsaw and I find myself avoiding them for that very reason.

-- Richard, Hot Springs, Ar -- Galoot In Training

View Picklehead's profile


991 posts in 1350 days

#4 posted 10-08-2014 10:48 PM

What you’re missing is that it isn’t the only tool in your shop and you aren’t moving to a remote desert island with only one tool.

-- You've got to be smarter than the tree.

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1131 posts in 880 days

#5 posted 10-08-2014 11:13 PM

Two band saws and they are used constantly. The table saw seems to catch clutter because of its flat surface because the band saws can be adjusted in less than half the time it takes on even an uncluttered TS. Less sawdust, less noise, less waste, less time and nice shapes. Essential tools in a shop. Add a good scroll saw the that mix.

-- Still trying to master kindling making

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Jim Finn

2390 posts in 2343 days

#6 posted 10-08-2014 11:50 PM

I use my band saw 90% of the time for re-sawing.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

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11362 posts in 1597 days

#7 posted 10-09-2014 08:48 PM

Band saw is a versatile cutting tool.

View Patrick's profile


41 posts in 763 days

#8 posted 10-09-2014 09:38 PM

I really love the replies and other people’s perspectives. So far the only times I have used it is to make some curves for aprons, make bridle joints, and fix joinery problems like mortises in the wrong spot and things like that. I’m sure once I start box making and more curvey work, then it will become a more go to tool.

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1294 posts in 1369 days

#9 posted 10-09-2014 11:14 PM

I’m in the same boat. I rarely use my BS. The TS, planer, and jointer are the staples in my shop. But like it was stated for furniture makers it probably is a go to tool.

View Dabcan's profile


250 posts in 2092 days

#10 posted 10-09-2014 11:42 PM

Hardly a day goes by that I don’t use my bandsaw. The school I went to basically viewed it as essential, so they taught many techniques on it that others might use their table saw for. I rip boards on it, curves, just about anything. I do have to say that this all happened after I got a good bandsaw. I had a cheap Ryobi one for 3 years and all it did was drive me crazy.

I’d love to have a second bandsaw, keep a narrow blade on it for curves, save me time changing blades constantly!

-- @craftcollectif ,,

View Patrick's profile


41 posts in 763 days

#11 posted 10-09-2014 11:46 PM

If you want a second bandsaw, those 14 inch Grizzly’s are great and not too expensive either. I love mine (when I use it).

View CharlesA's profile


2974 posts in 1219 days

#12 posted 10-10-2014 12:20 AM

I find my bandsaw really handy, but I’m definitely more table saw-centric. I also have a very good blade on my miter saw so I use it for a lot of crosscutting as well. It’s very common for me to use all three in a span of 10 minutes.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View ElChe's profile


630 posts in 757 days

#13 posted 10-10-2014 06:12 AM

Not to mention cutting really big raw hides for three different sized dogs. :) And occasionally pork chops a la Tage Frid!!!

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

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1591 posts in 845 days

#14 posted 10-10-2014 02:21 PM

Wow. I must be the only lazy person in this thread.

I use mine all the time. Especially if it is a small project and I do not want\feel like pulling out the table saw.

It is amazing all the little things I cut with it to avoid pulling out the big guns.

-- Brad, Texas,

View nuttree's profile


279 posts in 2745 days

#15 posted 10-13-2014 04:33 AM

I use my BS almost daily. As was mentioned before, a good, not necessarily expensive, BS is of great use. A poor BS will drive you crazy and make you turn to other tools. My grandfather has long since passed, but one of the lessons he taught me was – nothing is more expensive than a cheap tool.

-- I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in. -John Muir

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