Timber Mills use Some Really Large Band Saws
By: The Working Man
The large band saws are often used at timber mills for
ripping lumber and because of the small cut size they make
which results in less waste they are considered better for
the job than circular saws.
They blades for a large band saw range from four inches wide
and nineteen feet long with a twenty-two gauge thickness to
a sixteen inch wide and sixty-two feet long by eleven gauge
The blades for a large band saw are mounted on wheels that
have a diameter large enough so that metal fatigue doesn't
become an issue during the repeated flexing of the blade
while it changes from the circular to straight profile. The
blade is stretched as tight as possible to just below the
limit at which metal fatigue might become an issue.
A large band saw has deformations worked into it that
counteract the force and heat while the saw is working. This
process is called benching. These band saws are serviced
regularly. Saw doctors or saw filers are the names of those
responsible for the operation of large band saws.
The sawyer and saw filer design and optimize the shape of
the tooth gullet. These vary per mill, by the condition of
the wood and wood type. They shape the tooth gullet on a
grinding wheel customized for each situation. The tooth
gullet is maintained with the grinding wheel profile and
occasional dressing of the wheel.
Head band saws are large saws that make the first cuts in a
log. The cutting edges have a two or three inch (five to
seven and a half centimeter) tooth space. The back has what
are called sliver teeth, which do not cut so much as they
clear the kerf of slivers when the blade needs to back out
of the cut that was just made.
A re-saw band saw is an optimized large saw that is used for
cutting timber along the grain and thereby reducing large
sections of wood into "veneers" (smaller sections). This
requires a wide blade of two to three inches with a small
cut so that there is little waste. Re-saw band saw blades
can be fit into standard band saws.
Double cut band saws have teeth for cutting on both sides of
the band. These are very large in general and as big as a
head band saw.
Whatever the type of band saw, it is now essential for
creating the lumber that builds our civilization.
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