Band saw…kinda fun!
I currently own one of the small band saws…the Diamond Laser 3000 XL. I bought it from Delphi Glass, and it’s actually pretty cool. I had a Taurus Ring Saw but really didn’t like it…the blade was round and I found it hard to control. Perhaps being a woodworker, the idea of the band saw was more appealing. I sold my Taurus on eBay.
I really like that I can cut complicated designs. Of course, some of the cuts you can do on the band saw are impossible to cut by hand. One I do occasionally is the University of Texas Longhorn. I cut it out of thin white glass and tack fuse it to another piece of glass for a quick box lid.
If you’re doing anything with pattern bars or cutting thin slices of anything, the band saw will not create as much waste.
I found that I don’t really use my band saw that often anymore, but when I need it, it’s really handy. I understand you can also cut stone with it.
One problem with cutting glass with these type of saws, though…the “ground” edges can become scummy when you fuse them to a full fuse. I haven’t had the same problem when I tack fuse or soft fuse. I have tried using a “glass brush” that’s used with traditional cloisonne enameling, and that seems to clean it up a bit. Paul also mentioned that having a very clean kiln also prevents dust that can get into the “pores.”
Also, a couple more differences between the Taurus and the regular band saws…the Taurus has an available “separating” blade that can be undone and made to cut holes in the middle of your work. A cool idea, but I never used it. Also, the cutting mechanism separates from the base and could be used to cut large pieces of glass in place, rather than trying to maneuver a large piece of glass on the saw.
Oh, and all of them cut tile…so there’s room for some creativity!