Bandsaw Blade Guide UX Design

Laguna Tools Bandsaw Blade Guide UX Design


     Bandsaws are common power tools that are used to cut wood as well as sheet metal. The saw utilizes a continuous blade that runs between a powered wheel that drives the saw blade, and another wheel to hold the blade in position and in tension. Because the blade is in tension, it runs straight downward between the two wheels and is completely vertical through your cutting plane. The orientation of the blade allows for intricate cuts to be made that wouldn’t be possible with most other types of saws. However, the high tension in the blade alone isn’t enough to hold it straight when cutting. Because of this, bandsaw guides are utilized to prevent motion in the blade in horizontal directions. There are two guides, one above the cutting table and one below. 

     Typical bandsaw guide designs include side bearings, which sit by the flat sides of the blade, as well as a thrust bearing, which sits behind the blade. The side bearings are generally set as close to the blade as possible without making contact so long as the blade isn’t making any cuts. When in use, the blade will end up twisting and moving so the side bearings exist to provide a low friction surface that will keep the blade in line to allow for consistent cutting. Similarly, the thrust bearing sits as close as possible to the back of the blade, but is only engaged when the user pushes on the blade too hard while cutting. A slightly different design is used by Laguna Tools which utilizes ceramic blocks instead of the bearings to reduce required maintenance of moving parts.

Goal and Objectives

     Our goal is to redesign both upper and lower blade guides to refine user experience when operating the Laguna Tools 14-Twelve bandsaw. While keeping the great performance of cutting from the bandsaw, the new blade guides will have more precise and accurate methods of adjustment, and users will have easier access to adjust and replace blade guides. By the end of Fall 2021 quarter, we finalized the design and prototype of our redesigned thrust bearings, and by the end of Winter 2022 quarter, we expect detailed designs for the side guides and bottom guides. 

Laguna Tools 14-Twelve Bandsaw Introduction Video

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