Band saws are a fairly simple machine with a few important parts, so it makes sense that the market for additional band saw accessories is a large one. These versatile machines cut everything from metal to meat, so they need to be varied in how they get the job done.
There is a range of band saw accessories designed the make the task at hand a little easier and cleaner, and even to help customize a machine to suit your specific style of work.
With such a large market for band saw accessories, we’ve identified a few of the most popular add-ons and how they can benefit your workshop whether you’re a small time woodworker or operate on a commercial level.
What are they: Some band saws come equipped with one of these, however, many people choose to rig one onto their machines themselves. Operating your band saw can create large amounts of dust, so it’s crucial to collect these particles before they can do any damage. A dust collection port acts as the portal to a vacuum and collects the sawdust that’s created from operating the band saw.
Why are they important: Enclosed workshops, in particular, will notice immediately if the dust isn’t being collected, as it can leave a film on the surrounding machinery and benchtops. In addition, mass amounts of dust floating around your workspace can cause damage to your eyes and even be a cause of respiratory problems.
According to the USA’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, exposure to wood dust can lead to asthma, chronic bronchitis, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis. A dust collector will also keep your workstation and floor as clean as possible from sawdust.
How can they be used: A dust collection port is one of the band saw parts that is helpful for both amateur woodworkers and commercial grade band saw operators. By attaching a dust collection port to your band saw, you can then link this to a hose and vacuum so that it collects the dust for you while you work.
What are they: Of the many band saw accessories, a rip fence is one that can be easily constructed in your own workshop. Simply put, a band saw rip fence acts as a guard to limit the exposure the woodworker has to the band saw blade. Its construction means its L-shaped fence gives side clearance for the bearing assembly to go up and down, giving less band saw blade exposure to your hands.
Why are they important: A band saw rip fence’s main priority is safety, as it allows for the safe operation of the machine when ripping low profile material. They’re classed as an accessory due to the fact that the manufacturer’s existing band saw fence may not do an ideal job of maintaining safe operational conditions as they can expose too much of the band saw blade.
How can they be used: According to Wood Magazine, a rip fence can be purchased or installed if you use your band saw for straighter cuts as well as curved ones, otherwise there’s no need to bother. For making your own band saw rip fence, there are loads of instructional videos available online for DIY projects to do with band saw parts.
What are they: The band saw blade is the most crucial accessory of your machine, as it determines how your cut will perform. Band saw blades will differ depending on the desired outcome of your project, so it’s handy to have a diverse range of blades on hand. Each of the band saw blades are categorized by their tooth design, width, material, and configurations so it pays to know how each can benefit you.
Why are they important: For most people who use their band saw, having just one style of band saw blades is not ideal. By changing the band saw blades on your machine, you’ll be able to cut thin materials, plastic, wood, metal, meat and more, so it’s crucial to be prepared for a variety of projects.
How can they be used: For an in-depth instructional guide on changing your band saw blades, always consult the manufacturer before installing. Each machine will have different specs which determine the best blades for use, so always be mindful of your specific machinery and its recommendations.
What are they: While many woodworkers opt to purchase blades for their band saw, some might prefer a band saw welder. A band saw welder is an add-on accessory that allows you to weld your own blades to custom lengths and styles, for those who are looking for a specific style ofedge.
Why are they important: Precision is key with band saws, and it’s the very reason that this power tool is chosen over other saws. By welding custom made band saw blades you can create low to high carbon equivalent and bi-metal band saw blades that are used in metal, food and wood cutting.
How can they be used: A band saw welder commonly operates with flash butt welding. This resistance form of welding joins two metal parts together using only heat and force, without any filler material, by way of electrodes and currents.
For those amateur woodworkers who use their band saw in a home environment, you may not find it necessary to have all the additional bells and whistles of a larger scale band saw.
Additionally, those in a workshop environment with access to a larger, cabinet style band saw might find their machines already come equipped with all the accessories they need.
The band saw accessories you choose to buy or make will depend on how you use your tool, and you can add on as many or as few accessories to your band saw so it can better suit your projects.