It may seem easy to choose the right saw blade the first time – it might even seem easy to write off saw acquisition as a minor issue. But your choice of saw could make or break a mill’s ability to process lumber at a reasonable rate. If you’d like to cut blade costs or take measures to improve your mill’s productivity, it’s probably your best bet to start by carefully considering your choice of saw. Keep reading if you agree; we have a few things that should help you make the most informed decision possible.
The More Teeth, The More Power
A mill’s power can either be over-exerted or over-estimated, there is rarely an in-between. So it’s a real pain to come up with exact specifications concerning the amount of teeth your blades should and should not have. Of course, the mill’s engines will come with manufacturer’s recommendations, but those are for new engines, not consistently used ones. Generally, the less power your mill’s engines can manage, the less teeth your saw should sport. It’s good practice if you want to avoid producing saw dust that is too fine for proper removal.
When using lots of power (resulting in a fast feed) a fine-toothed saw is required. And the saw should have enough teeth to do the cutting. The opposite goes for slow feeds, which require less saw teeth to achieve maximum work output. A saw that has too many teeth on a slow feed will cut the logs too fine and waste power and energy. Finding a balance between power and saw teeth is important enough to require at least a brief consideration from you – the manager. So invest in some more research, and come up with a solid formula that works well in your mill.
Know your feed, “Inches-per-Revolution”
This measurement is the standard you’ll need to know to understand how much work your saw blades are getting done. Even a saw running on upwards of 100 horsepower, could have a slower feed on the carriage, resulting in fewer inches-per-revolution. In other words, the saw should be getting tons of work done at that power level, but actually isn’t. To avoid deceptive data, you’ll have to measure both the power routed to the saws and the inches-per-revolution. That amount of thorough data should ensure that you are better informed when determining what type of blades to operate your mill with. Follow this rule of thumb –
“About 8 teeth for every inch of feed in soft wood. About 10 teeth for every inch of feed in hard or frozen wood.”
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