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Bandsaw Definitions

Bandsaw Definitions and what you should know with regard to the jargon tossed about within the industry.

As a child, I grew up believing that a BLT was a Club sandwich. My mother always called them Clubs and who was I to argue? Imagine my shock and dismay at ordering a Club Sandwich as an adult only to have the waitress set a turkey sandwich before me.

I hate turkey.

Industry jargon is no less confusing and muddled. This unique form of speaking or labeling certain aspects of the field, like most words in the English language, tend to branch out in usage, where one word can end up with two or more meanings depending on the speaker.

This often leads to confusion; especially for the novice, or when switching jobs or even positions within the same company. A term that means one thing to one person may be used by someone else in an entirely different manner to describe the same thing.

To help make this issue less confusing, a list of a small portion of the daily usage terms are below. Some of the terms that may or may not be interchangeable, and what they actually mean as opposed to how they are put to use.

Additive – a chemical added to cutting fluid (in small quantities) to impart certain properties; any substance added to something to improve it

Age Hardening – a process of aging that increases hardness and strength and ordinarily decreases the ductility of metals

Alloy – a substance with metallic properties composed of two or more chemical elements, at least one of which is a metal

Anneal – the process of heating and cooling a metal to relieve stresses and eleminate hard spots

Back Angle Clearance – the angle of the back of a saw tooth measured in relation to the cutting edge of the band — to prevent the back of the tooth tip from rubbing the material, a certain amount of clearance is necessary. The angle depends on cutting speed and the feed rate

Back off – the rapid withdrawl of the band from contact with the work piece

Beam Strength – the resistance a band has to back deflection when subjected to the edge thrust of feeding force

Built Up Edge – the deposits of metal shavings that accumulate at or near the cutting edge of the bandsaw blade tooth — heat generated by the cutting action softens the work enough to weld particles to the tooth face

Camber – the arcing or bending of the back or cutting edge of the band. In positive camber, the cutting edge arcs backward; in negative camber, the cutting edge arcs forward

Chip – a small fragment of material removed by a cutting edge

Chip Welding – the fusing of a portion of the chip to the tooth face, caused by extreme heat and pressure in the cutting area

Coolant – a liquid used to dissipate heat from the bandsaw blade and work piece

Cut-off – a process of cutting a piece of stock into usable parts

Feed Rate – the linear travel of the work piece into the band; expressed in inches per minute

Ferrous – of, containing, or derived from iron

Free Machining – the property of materials that make it easy to cut

Gullet – the throat within the curved area between two bandsaw blade teeth

Hardness – the measure of a material’s resistance to indentation; normally expressed in brinell (Bhn) or Rockwell ‘C’ scale (Rc) units

Kerf – the slit or slot made in a work piece by a cutting tool as it removes a portion of the material in order to part it

Machinability – metallurgical property of metals and alloys that make them relatively easy or difficult to machine as measured under specific standard conditions — the ease with which a metal can be machined to an acceptable surface finish

Nonferrous – relating to metals or alloys free from iron

Pitch– the number of teeth per inch in a bandsaw blade

Raker Set – a saw tooth pattern in which one tooth is offset to the right, the next to the left and with the third being straight

Rockwell C (Rc) – one of three scales use to measure and compare the hardness of metals in the Rockwell system

Scale – a dark, hard coating of oxide on the surface of metals

Side Clearance – the difference in dimension between the set of the teeth and the back of the band that provides band clearance

Soluble Oil – mineral oil mixed with water and used as a cutting fluid

Straight Set – a saw tooth pattern where all teeth are set symmetrically, one to the right: one to the left

Wave Set – a saw tooth pattern having one group of teeth set progressively to the right and back to center with the next group of teeth set progressively to the left and back

Work Hardening – hardness that develops in metal as a result of cold working, dull band teeth, excessive band speed, or too light a feeding force

More to come.

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