Best Practices for Better Blade Performance
By Wood-Mizer, Europe
Sawmilling with Wood-Mizer Blades will result in straight, consistent lumber; however, there are some factors that can result poor performance. Regular maintenance, general knowledge of proper usage, and attention while cutting will help avoid blade breakage and poor quality cutting.
Sawing dirty logs will quickly dull the blade and lead to poor 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 speeds.
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.
The proper alignment and condition of several sawmill components should be checked regularly, according to the procedures detailed in the sawmill manual.
- Blade guide rollers should roll freely, should not have flat areas. The clearance between the back of the blade and the back of the roller should not exceed 3mm, neither should it be rubbing together, which will results in cracks along the back of the blade. Over time, rollers can wear and become tapered, which will result in wavy cutting, and they should be replaced.
- Blade wheel belts should be without defects and of uniform thickness. To ensure that both belts wear evenly, it is recommended 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 should be confirmed on a regular basis.
- Blade drive wheel alignment checks should be also performed 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.