Saw-doctoring 101: 2021’s saw of choice

In Issue37 by FIEALeave a Comment

In any business, we tend to speculate as to what changes will occur or what new technology will come along. Throughout 2020, I began to notice a change in sawing taking place – more filers are sawing with circle saws. And it appears that trend will continue in 2021.

New mills are not installing many bandsaws and a lot of mills that are upgrading are using circle saws and taking bandsaws out. Circle saws seemed to be the saw of choice with new mill start-ups during 2020. Of course, many of the older mills continue to run bandsaws. But, among those mills moving towards circle saws, we are seeing a push for improvements in the guided saw.

What improvements are we seeing? Better quality plate from the steel manufacturer, tighter tolerances at almost every step of manufacturing, and improvements in tipping (methods and product). Filing rooms are setting stringent guidelines with regards to radial and tangential angles to improve the sharpness of the tooth.

Saw design is becoming more critical in order to make sure the gullet design and capacity removes the chip and meets the mill’s needs. Today’s filing equipment is allowing the filer (and saw manufacturer) to hold the tightest tolerances, thus allowing the mill to cut quality, high-grade lumber at faster feed speeds.Going into 2021, we understand there are no shortcuts in the filing room. In the past, we have learned that a saw can run with less side clearance than old-school information suggested, especially with the new saw plates being manufactured today.

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The very latest technologies being employed in the saw shop and a raft of troubleshooting sessions for local saw-doctors this year have been built into the 2021 sawmilling event, WoodTECH 2021 It’s running in both New Zealand and Australia – at the same time (so we’re linking sawmillers and saw-doctors from both sides of the Tasman for the first time) on 3-4 August 2021.

”The tech series has been run for close on 20 years now” says FIEA Director, Brent Apthorp. “Feedback from the 350 or so local mill delegates that attended the last event, back in 2019, highlighted to us the importance of this part of the industry getting together on a regular basis. The once strong saw-doctors associations that used to run and meet on both sides of the Tasman no longer are being run”.

“The age of skilled saw doctors is increasing and it’s so much tougher to attract younger people into the trade. These two-yearly events where saw-doctors and mill staff can get outside their production environment to learn from the technical expertise brought in and from each other are such an essential part of this industry now”.

Details on the event and the WoodTECH 2021programme can be found on the event website

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