At first glance, folding and unfolding bandsaw blades seem like a very intimidating task. You might have asked yourself at one time or the other; “how do people fold these sharp blades into coils?”
If you have ever wondered how to fold and unfold bandsaw blades, then you will like to read through this article. This article will highlight the steps involved in folding bandsaw blades perfectly and nicely without harming yourself or damaging the blade.
Let’s do a brief introduction for those who are new to using the bandsaw or bandsaw blades.
What is a Bandsaw?
The bandsaw is one tool or machine that sets the standards for other cutting tools to try and beat in the world of woodworking. A bandsaw can outclass just about any type of saw you will encounter in a woodworking shop.
The saw uses a long circle-like blade to make cuts. The blade is spun around repeatedly by wheels located within the saw.
It is perfect for making straight cuts, curves, designs, and shapes on any wooden material. The regular bandsaw has two wheels on the inside which the spin the blade. The bandsaw can be used to:
- Cut curves and circles.
- Make precise complex cuts.
- Make designs on solid materials.
- Make fine round edges on wood.
Why Do You Need to Fold Your Bandsaw Blades?
Bandsaw blades are some of the longest in the world of woodworking. The blades are folded basically to preserve them, ensure they last longer, and store them safely.
Leaving the blades lying around can be dangerous especially if you have kids or unsuspecting persons around. Also, leaving the blades in the machine for a long time without usage can damage the blade. So, it’s important to fold them and keep them safe.
Tools Needed to Perfectly Fold Bandsaw Blades
To fold your bandsaw, you need a few tools. These tools protect you from accidents and make sure the blade is folded or coiled perfectly without damage.
- A pair of leather gloves
- Eye protection
- The bandsaw blade
- A pair of shoes or boots
- Thick long-sleeved shirt
How To Fold Bandsaw Blades
Bandsaw blades are flexible and durable, so you don’t need to worry about damage or breakage while folding. Below are the steps involved in getting a perfectly folded or coiled bandsaw blade ready for safekeeping.
Put on Your Safety Gear
the first step in folding your bandsaw blade is to put on your safety gear. Though the bandsaw blade is easy to fold when you get the hang of it, it is still vital to protect yourself when folding the blade.
Gloves and eye protection are very much important when working with sharp objects. When handling the blade, it can spring up causing the teeth to brush off against your fingers or hit you in the face, so put on your goggles and gloves.
Lay the Bottom of the Blade on the Floor
make sure the floor isn’t too hard or rough so it doesn’t damage the blade. You can place a board on the floor before putting the band blade on it. Also, be mindful of the blade’s teeth while placing it on the down.
Put Your Foot In The Bottom Of The Bandsaw Blade
Make sure you are putting on a pair of boots or shoes before you do this. Never place your bare foot on the blade. It can seriously harm you because your foot will not have the level of grip that the sole of your shoe will have on the blade.
Your foot can slip off the blade because of sweat causing the blade to unravel while folding it. This can lead to life-threatening injuries.
Grab the Top End of the Blade With One Hand
While your foot is placed firmly on the bottom end of the blade, put your palm under the other end of the blade, and slightly pull it up.
Your arm should be shaped in a way like you want to pull something upwards. You should be able to see your palm directly. The blade should have some sort of oval shape when you do this. Remember to use your gloves.
Lower Your Arm
What you do here is simple. Lower the arm that is holding the top end of the blade. Just lower the arm so it’s closer to your foot which is holding the bottom end of the blade. Do not lower the arm too much. Make it a few centimeters downwards, so it forms a circle shape.
Twist the Blade a Full 360 Degrees
With your palm still positioned the same way and the blade lowered, twist the blade a full 360 degrees. You can’t make the full 360-degree turn with just that arm, so use both hands. Twist the blade a complete 360 degrees while still lowering your arm.
Lift Your Foot
When you make the complete 360-degree twist, your blade should form a spiral shape. Raise your foot from the bottom end of the blade.
By the time, you make the complete 360-degree twist and take off your foot, you should have a three-looped bandsaw blade in your hands.
You can decide to go the extra mile by using a rope or tag to gently tie the blade so it stays firmly coiled. This is a safer step if you have kids at home.
How to unfold your bandsaw blades
You know how to fold the bandsaw blades, but you will also need to learn how to unfold the bandsaw blade. When you buy or order a new bandsaw blade, the new blade comes folded or already coiled, so you need to unfold it carefully. Unfolding the blade is easy too. Just follow the easy steps below.
Put on your safety gear
Uncoiling a blade can be tricky, so protect your body at all times.
Remove the guides
If it’s a new blade, it will come with a guide or tag on each side. It might be a twisted guide or a different type of guide that prevents the blade from unfolding when it‘s being transported. Simply remove the guides.
Separate the blade
Usually, bandsaw blades are delivered in three loops. Take one loop of the blade with one hand and leave the two other loops on the other hand.
When this is done correctly, you should see a figure-eight shape that forms below the open loop in the middle.
Pick out the center loop of the blade
When you get that figure eight cross that forms below the center loop, bring the bottom end of the loop closer to the arm that was originally holding just one loop and hold it firmly.
Then remove your other hand that was holding two loops. The blade should form a bend when you do this.
Gently pick out both ends of the blade and let them expand slowly
When you are done, the blade should be well uncoiled and ready to fix on your bandsaw. However, you need to check for the direction of the teeth before you fix it on the saw.
The teeth on the blade should be upside down when uncoiled. If it’s right-side-up, it won’t cut the wood.
Safety measures to follow when folding bandsaw blades
Folding bandsaw blades can be very dangerous if care is not taken. You are directly trying to fold sharp steel blades into a particular shape.
To guide against cuts to not just your hands but to other parts of your body, it is important to follow the following safety measures when folding your bandsaw.
- Always use leather gloves: leather gloves are perfect when dealing with sharp objects. The hard material prevents your fingers and hands from cuts.
- Make use of eye protection: the blade is flexible which means it can be bent in any direction. If you do not ensure the blade is bent perfectly, it could coil back and hit you.
- Don’t attempt to fold a bandsaw blade just after using the blade. Always give the machine and the blade a few hours to cool off before you attempt folding.
- Don’t place your bare foot on the blade.
Overall, folding a bandsaw blade is very easy if you follow the steps above. It can prove daunting at first, but just give it a go. You will not get the hang of it if you don’t try it.
Make sure to adhere to safety precautions and when you are done, you should have a well-coiled bandsaw blade.
Be sure to leave a comment below if this article proved useful to you. Have a nice folding experience.