Thursday, February 1, 2018
By Randy Panko and Dariusz Kujawa, Wood-Mizer Blades Experts
With the colder winter temperatures, logs begin to freeze. Here are some helpful reminders to compete with the sawing challenges faced by sawyers during the harsh winter season.
Sawing frozen and partially frozen logs or cants can be treated like sawing hardwoods. The best option for frozen wood are 9/29 'winter profile' blade and 7/34 'hardwood profile' blade.
A Wood-Mizer 9/29 blade profile is good for winter conditions on lower horsepower bandmills that use a 32mm wide blade.
For a straight cut during the winter on certain species of wood, we recommend using a reduced parameter set for blade teeth.
In the early periods of cold weather, more attention may be required when sawing the outermost boards because logs freeze from the outside in toward the heart. As logs lay through frozen temperatures and long nights, eventually entire logs will become frozen. In the spring, as the weather begins to warm up, logs will again thaw from the outside in.
Keep your feed rates up even when sawing frozen logs, if possible. This helps clear chips and sawdust out of the cut and keeps the debris from refreezing on the lumber.
Check blade guides frequently. If loose, tighten or replace them. Additionally, keep the blade from riding hard against the blade guide flange. It is very important that blade guides are level and not tilted up or down, so use the blade level gauge to check this.
Periodically swap the drive and idle side blade guide belts and replace them as they flatten and wear. This will also keep the blade from riding up against the flange.
The sliding blade guide arm should be tight and provide the same amount of flange clearance, regardless of its position. This provides blade stability in the cut.
Sufficient blade tension is essential in sawing frozen wood. Use higher tension if possible and use a blade strain gauge to read the actual tension on the blades.
Do not over- or under-tension the engine drive belts. Keep them snug, not loose.
These are just a few tips that will allow you to saw frozen wood effectively. Don’t let the winter days keep you from sawing with your mill. Wood-Mizer blades are more prepared than ever for these colder days, and now you are too!
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