Woodworker's Central
Woodworker's Gazette
Gazette Archive 7/12/02

A Book Review by Marc Phillips

Title: Band Saw Bench Guide

Mark Duginske

Published by: Sterling Publishing Co. Inc.

387 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016-8810
ISBN 0-8069-9397-9
Price Softcover: $14.95
160 color pages

Overall I found this to be a good book on basic bandsaw operation, nomenclature, and trouble shooting. Mark takes the reader through (but not always in a logical sequence) all the various components on a basic bandsaw, and does so in a school textbook fashion. If you're looking for any humor or amusing antecdotes, look somewhere else.

Starting with "The bandsaw is basically 2 wheels, a blade, and a table. As the wheels rotate, the blade also rotates and cuts the wood" , Mr. Duginske takes the reader through identifying the different parts and includes useful definitions for the beginners such as explaining why a 12" bandsaw is called a 12" bandsaw. This is immediately followed by a very in-depth and useful explanation of wheel eccentricity, and ways to check and correct faulty wheels and tires. This is followed by more parts identification and trouble shooting the guides, table, etc. Then a good section on locating and eliminating vibration rounds out this section.

The following chapter covers blades, and is easily one of the most comprehensive writing on bandsaw blades I have ever read. I was a bit disappointed with the section on bandsaw blade repair... Mark skimmed lightly over this and I was hoping I would find some real insight into this particularily frustrating (for me) endeavor. As an example of what I mean, the author shows a drawing of a blade holding jig, but provides no explanation as to how to build one, what's critical when building your own, etc. The same holds true with the part on grinding the ends of the blade at 20 degrees... that's all the reader gets. A drawing and construction explanation of both a blade holding jig and a grinding jig would have been useful.

After a very thorough section on aligning the wheels, the reader is moved ahead to cutting techniques. A lot of those little tricks that are needed to use a bandsaw effectively are described and illustrated very well, including brief overviews on marquetry, intarsia, and making cabriolet and tapered legs. Making tenons on the bandsaw is discussed, but Mark uses a tablesaw for part of this operation... I found that I couldn't help but think of how in Roger Cliffe's book on tablesaws, he refused to use anything other than a tablesaw even when a circle was needed!

I will admit I was a little dismayed with the section on making dovetails on the bandsaw. Mr. Duginske begins this section by making the remark that "hand cut dovetails offer unlimited design flexibility but unfortunately it is too time consuming for the professional and requires too much skill for the hobbyist" I disagree, and to seemingly prove my belief he then launches into an extremely complex and time consuming (and "page" consuming... 12 pages!) on making dovetails on the bandsaw that requires a fairly complex jig, spacer blocks, paper shims, etc. The finished joint is then displayed... Honestly, it's NOT an attractive dovetail, and there are large gaps very visible. Pattern cutting, jigs and fixtures, a glossary of terms, and a metric equivalents chart complete the book.

I would recommend this to any beginner who is just starting out with a bandsaw...with a caveat not to consider these methods to be an "end all" in the world of woodworking joinery.

Marc Phillips
Custom WoodCrafts

Editor's Note: Sterling Publishing has graciously donated several books for review which are passed on to our members free of charge in exchange for thoughtful, honest reviews. Thank You! And you can usually find their titles at a discount from Barnes And Noble

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