iPhoneOgraphy – 29 Jul 2016 (Day 211/366)
A bandsaw uses a blade consisting of a continuous band of toothed metal rotating on opposing wheels to cut material. They are used principally in woodworking, metalworking, and lumbering, but may cut a variety of materials. Advantages include uniform cutting action as a result of an evenly distributed tooth load, and the ability to cut irregular or curved shapes like a jigsaw. The minimum radius of a curve is determined by the width of the band and its kerf. Most bandsaws have two wheels connected by a belt or chain rotating in the same plane, one of which is powered, although some may have three or four to distribute the load.
The idea of the band saw dates back to at least 1809, when William Newberry received a British patent for the idea, but band saws remained impractical largely because of the inability to produce accurate and durable blades using the technology of the day. Constant flexing of the blade over the wheels caused either the material or the joint welding it into a loop to fail.
Nearly 40 years passed before Frenchwoman Anne Paulin Crepin devised a welding technique overcoming this hurdle. She applied for a patent in 1846, and soon afterward sold the right to employ it to manufacturer A. Perin & Company of Paris. Combining this method with new steel alloys and advanced tempering techniques allowed Perin to create the first modern band saw blade.
The first American band saw patent was granted to Benjamin Barker of Ellsworth, Maine, in January of 1836. The first factory produced and commercially available band saw in the U.S. was by a design of Paul Prybil.
Power hacksaws (with reciprocating blades) were once common in the metalworking industries, but bandsaws and cold saws have mostly displaced them.