Bandsaws are basically simple tools. A flexible blade circles two (sometimes three) large wheels. The wheels turn, driving the blades in a large circle at high speeds.
These saws excel at cutting odd shapes and curves, resawing wood and making bandsaw boxes.
The first band saw was patented in 1808 by William Newberry of England.
It was an improvement on earlier saws, although the blades available at the time were prone to breaking.
Then, in 1846 a French woman, by the name of Mlle Crepin, came up with a new method for brazing the ends of the blades.
Around the same time steel manufacturers were also improving their techniques.
Together they improved the blades to the point where these saws became more dependable and by the late 19th Century they were practical for everyday use.
Today they have several advantages over other types of saws. One is that the narrow blade means that the kerf (the width of the saw cut) is small and therefore there is less waste.
This is especially useful when resawing wood. Resawing refers to cutting a piece of lumber along its thickness to make 2 or more thin pieces, such as when cutting veneer.
This technique creates book-matched boards. These are boards that have the same grain pattern mirrored in each other. Book matched wood can add interest to a piece. In the walnut box top above I resawed a board through a knot so as to have the knot mirrored on each side of the top.
Finally, the blades'
flexibility makes it possible to cut curves, for boxes, round table tops, jigsaw puzzles and many other applications.
Since the 1800's both blades and the saw as a whole have continued to improve. Today band saws are flexible tools that can do wonders.
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