How to prepare your sawmill for cold winter
By Wood-Mizer, Europe
Sawing in cold weather can be challenging; however, here is a checklist to ensure you and your sawmill are prepared to tackle the winter sawing season.
Prepare the blade lubrication system
1. Remove the water tank and place it on a level surface.
2. Drain all water from the tank.
3. Fill your tank with windshield washer fluid rated at -20 degrees or lower.
4. Once your water tank is full with windshield washer fluid, replace the cap and reinstall it on your mill.
5. To purge any remaining water from the lubrication system, open the blade lubrication valve on the sawmill and let the excess water in the system flow out. (For LubeMizer lubrication systems, turn on the machine to key position 3, make sure your feed rate is at 0 to prevent saw head movement and turn on your LubeMizer.)
6. Confirm at the lubrication outlet that only windshield wiper fluid is coming out.
Change blades for frozen logs
1. Select a blade with a lower hook angle, such as the following blade profiles 4/32, 7/34, 7/39, or 9/29.
2. Consider using a 32 mm wide blade for better performance.
3. Softwoods can saw like hardwoods when frozen, so use hardwood blades in cold weather.
Monitor feed rate and lumber quality
1. Keep feed rates consistent while sawing frozen logs.
2. Use a slower feed rate when sawing partially frozen logs.
3. Monitor lumber quality after sawing to determine whether you need a different blade or change a feed rate.
As always, keep your sawmill well maintained, appropriately aligned, and covered when not in use. Follow these cold-weather tips, and you will be sawing with ease throughout the winter season!