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Band Saw Inspection Checklist

A band saw is a very useful woodworking machine. It can cuts thick lumber in a matter of minutes, as opposed to hours by hand cutting. Furthermore, because its blade is thin, it can cut complex curves. Because it is a machine, safety should be a serious concern. By running through a safety inspection checklist before operation, you can be assured that the saw will run and cut properly.

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Blade Inspection

Before running the saw, make sure the blade is sharp. A sharp blade will cut the wood, instead of tearing it. If it's dull, sharpen or replace it. Other things to look for are broken, missing, or bent teeth. If any of these conditions are found, the blade should be replaced.

Wheel Inspection

Inspect the large lower and upper saw guide wheels. Look for signs of bending, blade scoring, or large nicks. Look at the bearings, for signs of burning. After a static visual inspection, run the wheels without the blade on, and look at the running wheels for signs of being bent. If any of these conditions are found, the wheels should be replaced.

Blade Guide Rollers

Look at the blade guide rollers. Look for signs of scoring, or a bluish tinge on the steel, indicating burning. With the saw unplugged, physically move the rollers back and forth, to make sure they are running free and not binding. If any deficiencies are found, they should be replaced.

Guards

The Occupational and Health Safety Administration (OSHA) recommends inspecting all guards on the band saw. Things to look for are guards that are chafed by the blade or drive belt, and any signs of burning or scoring. Another thing to look for is latches that stay shut, so that the guard will not fly open during saw operation. If any deficiencies are found, the guarding should be repaired or replaced prior to saw usage.

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About the Author

Tony Oldhand has been technical writing since 1995. He has worked in the skilled trades and diversified into Human Services in 1998, working with the developmentally disabled. He is also heavily involved in auto restoration and in the do-it-yourself sector of craftsman trades. Oldhand has an associate degree in electronics and has studied management at the State University of New York.

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