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Band Saw Blade Basics, Tips On Getting It Right
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Band Saw Blade Basics, Tips on Getting It Right

When you just get started with a band saw whether you buy it or make it, one of the first things you'll need to know is the band length. I made a band saw that cuts up to 12 inch stock, but one of the first things I had to do was calculate some various measurements. For those who have never worked with a band saw, this information might come in handy for you.

Finding the band length is very important for proper operation of the saw. The way you do this is to take the wheel diameter times 3.1416 (pi), add this to twice the diameter of the wheels, then add that to twice the distance between the wheels, and this will give you band length. To show you an example, consider a band saw with 13 inch wheels and 13.32 inches distance between the wheels. These are the dimensions of the band saw that I built and use.

13x3.1416 =40.84+26(13 is diameter of the wheels x 2)=66.84+26.64(13.32x2)=93.48 which is close to and acceptable for a 93.5 inch standard band length.

Another tip for those just getting started is the distance between the hub centers. You'll need to know this for building a saw, because this will tell you where to position your hubs. If you have a particular size band in mind, the hub center distance is the band length minus the diameter x 3.1416(pi again), then divide the sum by 2. For the example let's say you have a 93.5 inch band and a 13 inch diameter.

93.5-(13x3.1416)=52.66 and divide that by 2 which equals 26.33 inches. That will be the distance between the hub centers.

If you would like to know the distance that will be between the two wheels which will be more than your cutting depth will be due to the table and the guards, you would add twice the wheel diameter with the diameter times pi, then you subtract it from the band length, and you will then divide the remainder by 2. This sounds much more complicated than it really is. In this example, 13 inch wheel diameter, band will be 93.5 inches.

93.5-((13+13)+(13x3.1416))=66.84 which will equal 26.66 divide that by 2 and that gives you 13.33 which will be the distance between the wheels.

Making a band saw isn't really as difficult as these tips sound, but it does take some calculation and patience. I built my saw in a few weeks and alot of the things I built it with are just stuff I had laying around my shop. There is a picture above of the band saw I made.

Whether you buy a commercial band saw or you build one is really up to you, but the rewards are worth the effort or investment, as there are endless things you can do with one. I've made miniature outhouses, clocks, and even made some nice lumber from the limbs after a windstorm.

Street Talk


Good source of information. I am learning a lot in this site regarding the basics of band saw machines and band saw blades.

  about 5 years ago
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