A Little Bit About Rockwell
Rockwell Tools was originally known as Pittsburgh Equitable Meter and Manufacturing Company and was founded in 1927. Through the years, they made a series of company acquisitions, and in 1945 purchased Delta Machinery. Rockwell invented the world’s first power miter saw in 1966 and had become synonymous with top quality tools and machines due to a line of products that had proven reliable over many years.
What is a Bandsaw?
A bandsaw is a saw that is used principally in woodworking, lumbering, and metalworking. Its blade is a continuous band of toothed metal that gets stretched between two or more wheels from which it spins. The evenly distributed teeth allow the bandsaw to uniformly cut straight, irregular or curved shapes.
If cutting a curve, the minimum radius that can be cut will be determined by width of the blade itself. Bandsaws, although impractical for many years, were first patented in the United States in July of 1817. The second bandsaw patent to be granted was to a Benjamin Barker in 1836. Barker’s machine used a 34 foot long blade that was nine inches wide and 1/12th of an inch thick, and the diameter of the wheels was five feet.
Basic Parts of a Bandsaw
- Frame – This is what supports the entire machine and its components
- Wheels – Wheels drive the belt. Usually a bandsaw will have two wheels – one being powered and one being free spinning. However, some bandsaws have three to four wheels to help distribute the load. The upper wheel is adjustable and allows for tensioning and tracking the blade. The lower wheel connects to the motor which powers the wheels.
- Blade – The blade is what cuts the material and comes in a variety of size and tooth pitch. The variety allows the machine to be versatile in the type and size of the material it cuts.
- Guide Blocks – keep the blade from flexing during the cutting process
- Table – a flat surface for supporting and working the stock
- Fence – the guide that provides a distance setting and support during the ripping process.
Our Rockwell Bandsaw
Our Rockwell bandsaw replaced an old Powermatic we had 2 years ago. We don’t use it on a daily basis, but still use it relatively often. This machine is mostly used for resawing wood, but can be used for cutting out unique shapes or curves.
One of the unique things about a bandsaw is that you can stop pushing material through mid-cut without any negative effects. Stopping the cutting on a table saw would cause the material to be kicked back because of the saw’s circular blade and direction, however the bandsaw blade moves straight down through the wood that is sitting on the table allowing the craftsman to evaluate the accuracy of the cut and make any adjustments necessary.
A very important factor in making good cuts with this machine is to ensure it is equipped with a sharp blade and a good set of guides.