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Why are Bandsaws Left-handed?

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Mike Garnham08/09/2008 10:59:00
4114 forum posts
1 photos

Hi,

if you stand normally at a bandsaw to feed work through, you are the front left-hand corner of the table.....ish, and essentially feeding with your left hand. Now, walk over to the front right-hand corner, and imagine feeding work through from that side (ie imagine the blade was reversed). That would feel so much more natural to me, a right hander.

Why are the saws set up like this? It seems daft to me.

Has anybody ever seen a bandsaw that you feed in from the other side?

Mike

Oddjob08/09/2008 12:44:00
avatar
1635 forum posts
79 photos

I too am right-handed.  I stand directly in front of the blade and guide my work with both hands whenever possible.  Otherwise I guide it with my right - either pressing the work againt the rip fence, which is usually to the left of the blade, or the mitre fence which is usually to the right.  If the machine were reversed, my right elbow would sometimes foul the machine casing.

Richard

Andy King08/09/2008 13:11:00
avatar
170 forum posts
8 photos
19 articles

Hi Mike,

The only right handed bandsaw I can recall is the Inca (PDF of the manual here): http://www.incamachines.com/eng/component/option,com_docman/task,cat_view/gid,4/Itemid,5/ 

They don't sell in the UK anymore as far as I'm aware though.

For feeding, on wider curved work especially, on a standard bandsaw a righthander would control and tweak the work position with the right hand and also support it while the left hand is mostly for feed pressure and to hold it down to the table. Reversed, the left hand has to guide the curve, so is not the dominant hand. Whether this is the main reasoning behind the design is anybody's guess!

cheers,

Andy

Olly Parry-Jones08/09/2008 13:14:00
avatar
2776 forum posts
636 photos
...Perhaps it's purely to sympathise with all those "lefties" who feel left out, since every other woodworking machine is designed for a right-hander!
Big Al08/09/2008 19:41:00
1599 forum posts
73 photos
I have never given it a thought, until tonight when I read this thread. I am right handed and have never had a problem with any bandsaw, with regards to it being left handed. Al
Mike Garnham08/09/2008 20:32:00
4114 forum posts
1 photos
Neither have I, Al........it is just my curiosity!
Ralph Harvey08/09/2008 20:40:00
3274 forum posts
315 photos
2 articles

With my "mickymouse" bandsaw it really dosnt matter if you are stood to the left or right, it is so bl...dy small

I long for the day i can afford a saw i can actually use rather than look at because it wont quite fit my wood in.

Mind you you don't go through many blades if you dont actually use it..... so it is cheap to run (or actually not run)

Ralph

Mike Garnham08/09/2008 10:59:00
4114 forum posts
1 photos

Hi,

if you stand normally at a bandsaw to feed work through, you are the front left-hand corner of the table.....ish, and essentially feeding with your left hand. Now, walk over to the front right-hand corner, and imagine feeding work through from that side (ie imagine the blade was reversed). That would feel so much more natural to me, a right hander.

Why are the saws set up like this? It seems daft to me.

Has anybody ever seen a bandsaw that you feed in from the other side?

Mike

Oddjob08/09/2008 12:44:00
avatar
1635 forum posts
79 photos

I too am right-handed.  I stand directly in front of the blade and guide my work with both hands whenever possible.  Otherwise I guide it with my right - either pressing the work againt the rip fence, which is usually to the left of the blade, or the mitre fence which is usually to the right.  If the machine were reversed, my right elbow would sometimes foul the machine casing.

Richard

Andy King08/09/2008 13:11:00
avatar
170 forum posts
8 photos
19 articles

Hi Mike,

The only right handed bandsaw I can recall is the Inca (PDF of the manual here): http://www.incamachines.com/eng/component/option,com_docman/task,cat_view/gid,4/Itemid,5/ 

They don't sell in the UK anymore as far as I'm aware though.

For feeding, on wider curved work especially, on a standard bandsaw a righthander would control and tweak the work position with the right hand and also support it while the left hand is mostly for feed pressure and to hold it down to the table. Reversed, the left hand has to guide the curve, so is not the dominant hand. Whether this is the main reasoning behind the design is anybody's guess!

cheers,

Andy

Olly Parry-Jones08/09/2008 13:14:00
avatar
2776 forum posts
636 photos
...Perhaps it's purely to sympathise with all those "lefties" who feel left out, since every other woodworking machine is designed for a right-hander!
Big Al08/09/2008 19:41:00
1599 forum posts
73 photos
I have never given it a thought, until tonight when I read this thread. I am right handed and have never had a problem with any bandsaw, with regards to it being left handed. Al
Mike Garnham08/09/2008 20:32:00
4114 forum posts
1 photos
Neither have I, Al........it is just my curiosity!
Ralph Harvey08/09/2008 20:40:00
3274 forum posts
315 photos
2 articles

With my "mickymouse" bandsaw it really dosnt matter if you are stood to the left or right, it is so bl...dy small

I long for the day i can afford a saw i can actually use rather than look at because it wont quite fit my wood in.

Mind you you don't go through many blades if you dont actually use it..... so it is cheap to run (or actually not run)

Ralph

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