Best Practices for Better Blade Performance
By Wood-Mizer, Europe
Sawmilling with Wood-Mizer Blades will result in straight, consistent lumber; however, some factors can result in poor performance. Regular maintenance, general knowledge of proper usage, and attention while cutting will help avoid blade breakage and low-quality cutting.
Sawing dirty logs will quickly dull the blade and lead to low cutting. Always clean the wood with a wire brush or use the Debarker option on the sawmill.
Always enter the cut slowly and smoothly, and then speed up as necessary. Sawing feed rates should be as fast as possible while maintaining straight cuts. Understand how tree density relates to cutting speed. Softwoods are inconsistent and require careful speed monitoring. Hardwood density is usually more consistent and allows steadier rates.
Keep blades clean
Be attentive to the accumulation of pitch on the blade during sawmilling. Use ample lubrication, and adding a small amount of liquid soap to the water will help keep the blade clean. After sawing, always release the blade tension.
Alignment and parts to check
According to the procedures detailed in the sawmill manual, the operator should regularly check the proper alignment and condition of several sawmill components.
- Blade guide rollers should roll freely, should not have flat areas. Clearance between the blade back and the roller back should not exceed 4mm, neither should it be rubbing together, which will result in cracks along the blade back. Over time, rollers can wear and become tapered, which will result in wavy cutting; in this case, you should replace the rollers.
- Blade wheel belts should be without defects and of uniform thickness. To ensure that both belts wear evenly, you need to switch the belts from the drive side to the idle side and from the idle side to the drive side regularly (once a week, or more often when running multiple shifts).
- Sawmill alignment is an issue to check regularly.
- You should check the blade drive wheel alignment from time to time.
- Improper blade tension or a faulty tension system will result in unreliable cutting. Ensure that the blade tension matches the manual’s recommendation.