Noise management data sheets: band saws
Band saws are common pieces of equipment in workshops. They are used to cut timber, soft metal and plastics with a good degree of accuracy. The noise levels of a band saw, depending on the blade type and material being sawn, can exceed 85 dB(A), requiring the use of personal hearing protectors.
- Make sure the blade is running freely between the guide rollers. Check the rollers for adequate lubrication and wear.
- Check that the belt covers to the flywheel are adequately secure and vibration and rattle are dampened.
- Ensure that blades are tensioned properly in accordance with manufacturer's instructions.
- Keep a regular check on the sharpness of the blade. Blunt blades tend to take longer to cut and can burn the work.
- Check the centre insert in the table. Make sure that it is not loose and does not obstruct the blade.
- Adjust guide rollers to thickness of material being cut.
- Some guide rollers on older machines may be modified to run quieter. On models where a revolving disk is used to support the blade, the disk can be replaced with a small bearing mounted on a length of rod.
- Do not use excessive pressure (eg forcing the wood through). Let the machine cut at its own pace.
- This is generally a quiet machine and should be used in preference to other power tools such as jigsaws and circular saws.
Adapted from the Noise Control Manual for Schools with the permission of the Education Department of Western Australia.