Band saw

Hatchet
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Hatchet
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Joined: December 28th, 2016, 1:29 pm

September 5th, 2018, 1:29 am #1

Hello all,

Does anyone have experience using a band saw to expedite the bowmaking process? While it sure isn’t abo- it would greatly speed up roughing out a stave.

That being said, does anyone have any advice on engines, blade length, or brands  for tackling tough Osage?
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toxophileken
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toxophileken
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Joined: January 15th, 2006, 4:55 am

September 6th, 2018, 2:45 am #2

Bandsaw is a great tool for bowmaking, absolutely.

Haven't tried under powered bandsaws on osage.  If you are splitting down to stave size, shouldn't be too much of a problem if you use an aggressive toothed blade and let it do the work.  That said, I'd go with something larger than a bench top model.  Used saws can be found, and parts to fix things like roller bearing guides (or replace with ceramic guides), etc. can be readily had.  One can also change out to a more powerful motor.

It's just going to depend on how many bows you plan to make and how much you can afford.  If you aren't in a hurry, you can axe and draw knife out a stave pretty quickly.  If you are in a hurry or want to increase production, a bandsaw is invaluable.  Next on my list would be a big belt sander (6"x89").  Those are the two main tools I use, which I would have to replace if they failed, to stay in business.  

Oh, my saw is a 16" Laguna, the old kind that only has a 13" resaw capacity. which is fine, because anything bigger than 13" I pretty much need help with feeding in/out of the saw these days...  I believe it has about a 5HP motor.  I knew an old bowyer who bought an 18" bandsaw from a butcher and put a big motor on, and he did some pretty big logs...

Ken
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wolfhawaii
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wolfhawaii
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Joined: December 2nd, 2005, 2:18 am

September 7th, 2018, 6:34 pm #3

I have used smaller bandsaws to rough out staves; by smaller I don't mean the 9" tabletop kind! A 14" Rigid  on a stand is what i have now, not sure of the hp, maybe 1.5....that is probably the ok minimum for a home bow builder. Don't try to cut too close to your marks or you may have the blade get away from you and mess up your stave.
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Hatchet
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Hatchet
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Joined: December 28th, 2016, 1:29 pm

September 8th, 2018, 1:58 am #4

Ken and Wolfhawaii,

Thanks for your input!

I’ve scraped out a number of bows with just a draw knife and some hand tools. I’m mainly looking to increase production at this point. I’ve used a few other people’s band saws with pretty good results. And yes, I have also learned the “don’t ride the line too close” lesson more than once!

Any suggestions on blade types? TPI?
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toxophileken
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toxophileken
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Joined: January 15th, 2006, 4:55 am

September 8th, 2018, 3:37 am #5

I use the coarsest tooth count I can get, and I don't spring for the more expensive blades.  Even so, for my saw, the 12' x 1.25" blades are over $20 each.  

I think the coarsest I can get is 1.3 tpi...  So about four teeth per three inches, if I'm not mistaken.  Smaller blades won't be available with that low a tooth count.

Larger blades don't deflect much at all.  Mine mainly do not, but I got to use a massive bandsaw in Bulgaria that had like a 3" or more wide blade that just didn't deflect at all.  I was able to shave off fine pieces of wood, with precision, and quickly floor tiller out a bunch of ash bow staves from logs/quarters.

I agree, 14" is a good minimum to look for.  That type will almost always be a smaller bandsaw set on a base, but more robust than a bench top model.  I bought a used Harbor Freight model for a very good price as a back up at one point, and it has the advantage that it runs on 110V and I can pick it up and throw it in my van if I need to use it on location somewhere.

I've seen some good deals on bandsaws.  You can always tune up an old one pretty easily.

They will certainly increase your production!  However, until you learn to use it correctly, it may take off wood faster than you can think, and cost you a good stave here and there...  On the best pieces, I go very slowly and carefully with my bandsaw, or use hand tools.

Ken
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