Saturday, 17 March 2018

The Band-Saw

   I have a general rule that if I spend longer fiddling around with the tool than I do actually using it, it probably isn't worth it.
   The band-saw is pretty much on the edge of that category.
   Yes, I did manage to make long, lengthwise cuts that probably would have taken a very long time by hand, but the blade twisted and pulled off & I had to spend a great deal of effort trying to get it out of the wood and back onto the wheels. Now it has some permanent wonks it it, but it still cuts.
   So, I'm wondering if it's actually worth the effort, since, as I try to cut, the blade inevitably warps off to the right side, which means I have to keep twisting the wood off to that side to keep a straight cut, which, inevitably, does not remain straight.
   It does not work as advertised (then, again, what does?), it does not perform as 'experts' assure me it should, it does make a large job much faster, within certain parameters, but the cut must be constantly adjusted manually and requires a lot of sanding down to make it smooth afterwards. Despite lots of screws and guides to make exquisitely fine adjustments to it runs perfectly, these apparently make no difference at all in how it actually performs. I think the engineers were just thinking they were being clever. The cutting blade wrenches off to the side and no amount of guides or adjustments seem to compensate for that.
   The reason I say that is because, as much as some people love to use tools for their own sake, when the using of the tool is an end in itself, and love to spend hours on their craft, this is not my craft. I use wood because it is convenient and useful, but I am still trying to achieve an end, some other goal.   I suppose there is also an element of my own unfamiliarity with this tool. I don't use it every day, or even every week, so I'm not really familiar with it. Perhaps if I did, I'd understand it better and wouldn't have the problems that come up. I discovered that as I have become very good with other tools that I have used a lot, a hand-saw, for example.
   But, while I did have to spend almost as long fiddling with the band-saw as actually using it, it certainly was a lot faster than if I had cut the pieces by hand, and the inaccuracies will be easily sanded out.
   Conclusion, it's still worth it.

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