Bandsaw (Wood) - Elektra Beckum BAS500

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  • This machine should not be operated without an assesment.
  • This tool should not be used while alone in the space - lone working rule.

Elektra Beckum BAS500

click/tap to view an image of the band saw


click/tap to show specifications, dimensions, and condition notes

It’s for cutting neatly through material - even if it’s very thick - typically straight cuts, though slight curves are possible.


Height x Width x Depth: 2020 x 830 x 770 mm
Weight: Approx. 159 kg
Table height (from floor): 945 mm
Throat Capacity: 440 mm
Max. Height of Cut: 300 mm
Saw blade length/width: 3380/133" @ 6-25 mm blade widths
Saw table: 535 x 720 mm, tilts from 90° through 45°
Blade speeds: 50 Hz, 68-176-375m/min
Motor: 1.1 kW/1.5 hp 230 V / 50 / Hz 1-phase

Condition Notes

2nd life - Donated by University of the Arts London, London College of Communication.


  • Safety glasses are mandatory
  • Extraction use is required

Safety Checklist

  • Do not wear loose clothing.
  • Ensure long hair, jewellery, and any clothing drawstrings are securely tied back
  • Sensible footwear with sturdy toes should be worn at all times in the workshop. Steel toe-caps are a bonus.
  • Do not wear gloves - they are an entanglement risk with machine tools
  • As with any power tool - be alert. Do not use the tool when tired.
  • Use the guides and guards
  • When you’re setting the blade or adjusting bearings, ensure the machine is turned off at the isolator switch.
  • Empty the extraction if it is full
  • Fingers 15cm away from the blade - push stick if necessary
  • keep your fingers out of the line of the cut.
  • Do not use the rip and cross cut fence against your piece at the same time
  • Work-piece stays firmly against the bed of the machine. Round pieces must be held in an appropriate jig.



Risk Assessment

Bandsaw Risk Assessment


click/tap to view assessment outline

What to do ahead of time

The expectation ahead of an assessment is that you have thoroughly read through the material on this page, and are comfortable demonstrating your ability to safely use the tool. If necessary, watch the videos at the bottom of the page. Please be considerate of your inductor’s time.

Quiz link awaiting approval

What to bring

Something acceptable to rip and cross cut.

What will be covered

  • Inspections before use (clean area, bearings, inspection of blade)
  • Setting up the tool for the cuts
  • setting and turning on extraction
  • Making a rip cut
  • make a cross cut with the cross cut fence
  • cleaning up

Anatomy of the tool:

click/tap to expand
  • Bed - this is a large square metal plate with a slit for the saw blade to pas through. There is an adjustable fence attached to the bed. The bed is set at 90 degrees to the cutting blade, but bed can be adjusted so that it isn’t flat if a different angle is required - discuss this with a woodtech.

  • Blade/Band - the band saw is named after the cutting blade, which is one long flexible metal band (ours is 3378mm/133") with teeth on one side. We only see a small length of blade extending from the bed, but it runs a complete loop through the rest of the tool. The band is rotated very fast, to create a continuous cutting edge. This allows you to get a quicker, cleaner cut than with a jigsaw, where the blade has to move up and down. It also allows you to cut thicker material than with the jigsaw, mitre saw or table saw. As well as straight cuts, gentle curves are possible - more on this below.

  • Blade guard - this is the aluminium protective metal sheath which hangs down from the upper section of the tool, and serves two purposes: first, it helps keep the blade straight through 3 bearings; and second, it reduces the amount of exposed band that could injure you! The blade guard should always be set as low as possible for the workpiece you are cutting - more on this below.

Preparation for usage:

  • Isolate the tool by turning off its power supply - always do this before adjusting any powered tool.

  • Blade choice - different blades can be fitted to the band saw for cutting different materials, or cutting different angles of curve. A very wide band will cut straighter and resists cutting curves, whilst a narrow band will enable you to cut tighter curves but may not cut such neat straight lines. Changing bandsaw blades is a specialist skill - discuss your project with a woodtech if you think it might be necessary. Do not change the blade without wood tech approval.

  • Set fence - by loosening its handle and sliding across the bed to the cut width you require. The fence will help make a perfectly straight cut. If it prevents you getting your workpiece in the correct position, then the fence can be removed. Ensure you replace it afterwards! See the section “setting the fence” below for details on how to adjust.

  • Guard height adjustment - there is a large black plastic wing-nut and dial on the top side of the bandsaw, which holds the blade guard in place. Place your workpiece on the bed, and gently undo the black wingnut (lefty-loosey) and then using the black dial, rotate to raise and lower the blade guard. When the guard has around 5mm clearance between the top of the workpiece, and the very bottom of the guard, re-tighten the wing-nut (righty-tighty). By doing this, you lock the bandsaws bearings into place, as well as keeping the blade guard in position. The blade guard should appx 1cm above the piece being cut.

  • Check tension control - You are not allowed to adjust the tension on our bandsaw, If you believe it is too loose/tight, speak to a woodtech and they’ll come and make the correcting adjustments.

  • Check if blade is correctly installed - if the blade moves backwards and forwards or side to side more than a tiny amount, then the blade is loose, meaning there is a greater risk of damage and injury. The tool is in a dangerous state and should not be used - contact the woodtechs

  • The below image shows our bottom (left picture) and top (right picture) bearings. The bottom bearings 1 & 2 are adjusted using an Allen key, while the upper bearings are adjusted with a 10mm spanner for lateral movement, and the thrust bearing (3.) is adjusted using the plastic handle on the back of the unit. All bearings should be as close to the blade as possible and shouldn’t move unless a small force (laterally and/or backwards) is exerted on the blade. This will cause the bearings to engage and stop the blade from moving off your cut line.

  • Move extractor manifold - ensure that maximum suction is directed to the extraction pipe on the bandsaw by moving the extractor pipe to the bandsaw port.

  • Mark the cut across the top of your material - this will help ensure you cut correctly first time! This is especially important if you only need to cut part way into your material, rather than all the way through. Remember: measure twice, cut once.

Congratulations, you’re now ready to saw!

Using the bandsaw

  1. Ensure you are wearing eye protection, and the power to the bandsaw is still off!
  2. Check that:
    • Fence is in correct position and tightened
    • Blade guard is set at the right height
    • Blade is not loose
    • Blade is not fouled by any small chunks of material from previous usage that have slid down the blade
    • Material should not be in contact with the blade
  3. Turn on extraction, and power to the band saw
  4. Turn the isolator switch on and turn on the bandsaw by pushing the green button on the left side of the machine - wait a few seconds for the blade to get up to speed. If there are any unpleasant noises, kill the power, and contact a woodtech
  5. Make sure you are stood comfortably in front of the bandsaw, with the teeth of the blade pointing straight at you.
  6. Ensure that your fingers are always at least 6 inches from the blade - push your workpiece with a scrap offcut if necessary
  7. Do not put your fingers around the back of the guard, or go to grip the guard - the back of the fast-moving band is exposed, and can severely injure you.
  8. Hold the workpiece firmly, and push gently up to the blade until the teeth engage. Continue to gently feed the workpiece to the blade - the amount of pressure you need to apply will vary depending on material and depth. If there is any smoke, or a nasty whining noise, then you are using too much force! It should cut most material very smoothly and easily. Let the tool do the work.
  9. Ensure the blade follows your cut mark - remember that only slight curves can be cut with the bandsaw. Do not try to twist the work piece more than a few degrees to adjust the cutting path.
  10. If you have cut all the way through your workpiece, then press the red button to kill the power, and wait for the blade to stop moving fully before removing your workpiece form the bed.
  11. If you haven’t cut all the way through your workpiece, then you may find it easier to slide the workpiece back out whilst the saw is still powered. Be very careful not to twist the blade or cause friction with the back of the blade. Ensure that the teeth are not touching your material when you kill the power.
  12. When making curved cuts, follow the below guide as a starting point for cutting curves (values shown are for the minimum radius):
    • 1/4" wide blade = 16mm radius
    • 3/8" wide blade = 36mm radius
    • 1/2" wide blade = 63mm radius
    • 5/8" wide blade = 95mm radius
    • 3/4" wide blade = 178mm radius (Our standard blade)
    • 1" wide blade = 184mm radius
    • If you want to make tighter curves, you will need to make relief cuts or ask a woodtech to change the blade.

Between cuts:

  1. Check for any small pieces of material which may have slipped down between the blade and the bed. If necessary, isolate the tool from power and clear these by hand/compressed air.
  2. If doing lots of cutting, then periodically isolate the tool from power and check the blade is not loose.

When finished with the tool

  1. Isolate the tool by turning off its power supply.
  2. Clean the bed, and make sure there are no small pieces of material between the bed and blade.
  3. Refit the fence if you removed it.
    4. Sweep and hoover!


Manual: bas_500_wnb.pdf (857.5 KB)

General setup video. Watch the wizard of bandsaws spit knowledge. He brings his fingers way too close to the blade though - use a push stick for the last bits of your cuts: Setting up a bandsaw

Safety Video: Bandsaw Safety Lesson

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