Timber Processing’s December issue discusses how manufacturers and suppliers of saws and filing equipment are handling the present and future state of the industry. Pope & Talbot’s saw filing program finds its sweet spot, and a Northwest Washington mill succeeds with wide product mixes and continues to adapt to sawing a small log resource.
Hurricane Katrina has affected nearly all aspects of the Southeast forestry products industry since it landed on Gulf Coast shorelines on August 29, 2005. Even though the storm’s intensity (a category four hurricane) at landfall was less than that of Hurricane Camille, which followed much the same course nearly four decades ago, Katrina’s winds extended farther out, therefore causing much more damage.
No matter how high-tech the industry may get, a sawmill, at its most fundamental level, is nothing without at least two ingredients: logs to cut, and saws to cut the logs. The entire process, and its potential for profit or loss, hinges on getting and maintaining productive and efficient saw blades and keeping those blades sharp.
Head saw filer Jim Newton was among the original group of young trainees assembled to attend saw filing school in anticipation of Pope & Talbot’s startup here nearly 26 years ago. Don Armstrong, the first head saw filer at the Spearfish mill and grandson of saw filing icon, E.P. Armstrong, pulled many of them from unskilled laborer positions on the construction site and taught them a trade.
Seattle-Snohomish Mill Co. continues to wisely adopt new technology—as it did almost 15 years ago when a small log mill was added to an existing large log mill to more efficiently process an increasingly small log resource. The past three years have been busy here, starting with installation of a new Coe 90 ft. dry kiln with AccuDry moisture meters in ’03, and an overall compressor upgrade to variable frequency drives and an infusion of Vollmer filing room equipment in ’04-’05.
In the 1970s, our engineering firm published a snail mail newsletter called “Forest Engineering Datum,” where we explored some engineering concepts relating to woodworking. (Since 1987, by invitation, we have used Timber Processing as a conveyance.)
In the past couple of months Simonds has installed the first batch of the company’s new TS-06 tooth straighteners in a variety of band sawing applications and gotten some remarkable results, according to a company spokesman. The TS-06 is a machine designed to replace the backfeed on a band saw sharpener and examine the body of the teeth to see if they are bent and correct them as necessary.
Jacobsen’s JM-100A is designed to automatically mill composition band guide blocks. The accurate, fine finish is achieved using a heavy duty dual carbide cutter head which travels along a precision set of linear rails. Jacobsen has incorporated a quick change block fixture to switch between straight and angle blocks in seconds.