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Author Topic: Saw Doctors and circular blades ...  (Read 2746 times)

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Offline ex-Engineer Wannabe

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Saw Doctors and circular blades ...
« on: January 07, 2007, 12:28:55 PM »
Howdy, folks!

I spent the day timber framing yesterday, and while doing so, I chewed the fat with a Woodmizer owner who mentioned something that really caught my attention.  In passing, he mentioned that one must know a good saw doctor in order to keep a circular type mill cutting straight.  Please note that, as we were not discussing mills specifically, this was a completely unsolicited comment [which goes a long way toward credibility].

As I've long pondered the purchase of my own mill, this really hit home for me.  In fact, I've recently seriously considered a swing frame mill due to the lay of the land I'll be working on most of the time [read: sloping, steep, remote, long logs].

I'd really like to get some thoughts from the circular saw crowd and, specifically, I'd love to read some thoughts from the Brand X folks that might read this ...

Enjoy the weather  :)   
"Measure twice, cut once" -- Don't know who coined this one, but he was pretty wise.

Offline fencerowphil (Phil L.)

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Re: Saw Doctors and circular blades ...
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2007, 02:10:45 PM »
Hey, EX-E

I have had two Peterson swingblades, both the winch production frame type
with the 26" circular blade.  Out of a total of ten blades, only one seems to
need re-tensioning.    The only routine maintenance I require is re-tipping
(replacing the teeth) on the blades.  Fortunately I have a big circle saw doctor
within 45 miles.  I can drop the blades off, or use UPS, etc.

If you want to go to the logs in hilly terrain, the winch production frame is not
the one for you.  Instead, the ATS - All Terrain Sawmill by Peterson would be
the ticket.  With it you can level your rails better on uneven ground.   

There are plenty of good saw shops.  I expect the six blades I have now to last me
years and years.   Since I cut a lot of residential logs,  I have a steady flow of
retip jobs, but, with a band mill I would have been going through blades like crazy.

Hit a nail with my blade:          Chip a tooth.
                                              Usually take note of damage and keep sawing.
Hit the next nail:                     Maybe another chip.
                                              Sharpen (takes three minutes) and keep sawing.
Hit a few more nails:               More chips.
                                              Sharpen and keep truckin'.
Hit a hardened screw or heavy metal or concrete patch:
                                              Game over.   Change blades - takes 20 min.
                                               on mine - eight nuts, eight bolts.
                                               My cost to retip usually runs under $30 per blade
                                               on the 10-tooth - less on the six tooth. UPS extra.

Since I knew I would be hitting metal, I choose the type saw I did. On a band mill,
the same scenario as above would have caused blade changes  4-6 times  and would
have wrecked probably two blades permanently.  In other words, my blade cost
initially is high, but over time is less.    Another reason I chose the swingblade was
being able to cut really big logs.  I seek them out, especially the ones too heavy to
lift onto a bandmill - unless you have a Timber Harvester band mill.
I cut some logs last month that weighed in at over 11,000 pounds each.  Nothing
had to be moved but the fine boards that came out of those two Red Oaks: 20' x 44"!

Phil L.
Bi-VacAtional:  Piano tuner and sawyer.  (Use one to take a vacation from the other.) Have two Stihl 090s, one Stihl 075, Echo CS8000, Echo 346,  two Homely-ite 27AVs, Peterson 10" Swingblade Winch Production Frame, 36" and 54"Alaskan mills, and a sore back.

Offline urbanlumberinc

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Re: Saw Doctors and circular blades ...
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2007, 02:24:08 PM »
I'm gonna echo what Phil said - I recently hit a bunch of tramp metal with my Lucas and the final score in the end was one blade in need of re tipping, which cost 35 bucks.  I finished the log with the damaged balde.

Offline Captain

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Re: Saw Doctors and circular blades ...
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2007, 03:39:05 PM »
Don't worry Bill, we've got you covered.  Send them here to me, or I can set you up with folks in VT and NH as well.  I tell most floks that just need tipping to get that done locally, I can supply tips if that is an issue.  When a blade gets really messed up and needs tensioning, send it to me and we can turn it around in about a week or two typically with a full service.  Tensioning included.  Cost is $80 plus shipping.

There is also an owner out in Western MA that does his own, and works with a tipping guy in Greenfield, MA.  He has had good luck.

Be careful taking advice from a guy that cuts with bands for a living.  I would rather have a relationship with a sawdoc on an occasional basis than have 30 blades in rotatation for sharpening.  (Just my opinion)  :)

BTW you bandmill guys, Captain is realizing the need for a small bandmill to act as a resaw.  May even buy a small electric orange one....bet you thought you would never see the day  :D

Captain

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Saw Doctors and circular blades ...
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2007, 04:07:34 PM »
I think that kind of comment is more directed to guys like me who run bigger saws.  Mine's a 56" with 46 teeth.  If the saw isn't wrecked, then about the only time I take a saw to be hammered is when the shanks are changed.  That's usually after a couple million bf.  The better a saw is maintained, the less you'll be needing a saw doc.

I do run those smaller saws in my vertical edger.  Mine has replaceable teeth and each saw has 22 teeth.  They can take pretty much abuse before its saw doc time. 

With replaceable teeth, you just chuck the teeth after you hit a nail.  I figure my saw costs are in the line of  $1.50/Mbf. 
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline fencerowphil (Phil L.)

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Re: Saw Doctors and circular blades ...
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2007, 04:08:18 PM »
I had a phone call this week that made me think about combo-
cutting like Captain describes, where the swingblade makes cants
and slides them off to a band mill.
 " I got about six loads of nice ply logs that have collected -
   sat too long or had some minor defect.  Most are slick 24"
   logs.  My former sawyer's been giving me the run-around
   for some reason."
Now, that's a lot of swinging!
I have cut a job of eighty sizable pines before, but I had two
10" WPFs and two operators doing it.    We had one set hi-lo and one lo-lo.
The customer had a big John Deere with a bucket rigged with
two log tongs.  He kept a pile of logs on rails at each Peterson
and we just rolled em and rolled em and ROLLED EM!

Man, those off-bearers and stackers were hasslin'. 
 whiteflag_smiley
(Come to think of it.  I was breathin a might hard myself.)
 :D
Phil L.
Bi-VacAtional:  Piano tuner and sawyer.  (Use one to take a vacation from the other.) Have two Stihl 090s, one Stihl 075, Echo CS8000, Echo 346,  two Homely-ite 27AVs, Peterson 10" Swingblade Winch Production Frame, 36" and 54"Alaskan mills, and a sore back.

Offline Captain

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Re: Saw Doctors and circular blades ...
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2007, 05:14:04 PM »
For me the small electric bandmill will allow me to sell some of the larger things I have as smaller ones.  Had a customer just this morning wanting some 1/2" thick pine for wainscotting.  Can't resaw 1 1/8"  boards on the swingmill.

I will, however, stick to the swingmill to take boards out of logs ;D

Captain

Offline Frickman

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Re: Saw Doctors and circular blades ...
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2007, 06:28:28 PM »
I agree with Ron W., that comment was made about the big circle saws. I too take mine to the saw doc when I need shanks. Installing new shanks can change the tension, and I would rather him do it so he can adjust the tension. Sometimes the saw might need a bit of leveling too. It might have sawn good, but it might need a bit of tweaking. Like he said, the better you maintain a saw, the less you'll be needing the saw doc.
If you're not broke down once in a while, you're not working hard enough

I'm not a hillbilly. I'm an "Appalachian American"

Retired  Conventional hand-felling logging operation with cable skidder and forwarder, Frick 01 handset sawmill

Pretend farmer when I have the time

Offline ex-Engineer Wannabe

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Re: Saw Doctors and circular blades ...
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2007, 07:14:44 PM »
Thanks for the great posts, fellers  ;D

It would seem that the blades on the portable circular mills -- like the 10" WPF [thanks, Captain] -- can take quite a beatin' before the doc has to be called in.  It's also great, nevertheless, to read that there are a few good ones around these parts -- one never knows what one might run into ...  ;)

Please keep the wisdom coming ...  :)
"Measure twice, cut once" -- Don't know who coined this one, but he was pretty wise.


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