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Author Topic: Hammered for left or right  (Read 9619 times)

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Offline Corley5

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Hammered for left or right
« on: September 25, 2001, 06:39:50 PM »
I've got two insert tooth saws.  One a 50" and one a 52".  Grandpa ran the 52" for a while then couldn't make it saw true.  I'm not sure of the exact problem but it didn't work to his satisfaction.  It ran good with winter teeth then he put the summer teeth back in it and it wouldn't work worth a *DanG.  So he put the winter teeth back in and then it wouldn't saw with them either.  I have the suspicion that the teeth may not have been filed true enough and this maybe some if not all of the problem.  You can look at them and see they aren't filed straight across.  He put a 48" solid tooth on it,  never had any more problems and told everyone he didn't like insert tooth saws. :)  He was good at gumming and swaging and I've never done it and don't want to screw the old saw up.  It needs to be swaged know.  I bought a new box of teeth, style 3, 8/9 gauge, 9/32 kerf, and was planning on putting them into the 50" inch saw but I don't remember him using that saw so I don't know if it is hammered right.  My mill, Corley #5, is left-handed and before I put new teeth in the saw,  I want to make sure it is hammered for a left hand mill.  How do I tell?  Any other words of wisdom?  Should I try new teeth in the 52" one?  I also bought an Andrus hand filer so I'll get the new teeth filed straight. :)
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Offline Don P

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Re: Hammered for left or right
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2001, 07:39:22 PM »
The link below is to a sawdoc's webpage that gives some good info. Ron and Jeff saw more before morning break than I have total, but my blade is dished slightly into the logside of the cut. When it lays over out of the cut into the board I'm done. My doc said he can fix them up to work either way and any speed just has to know. That's not him below, I think my guy predates the crank phone.  :D Click on the troubleshooter link when you get there. 
I've been somewhat disappointed in my Andrus filer and its just as likely me but it loads up and "skates" without cutting pretty often, crank backwards once and the file is shot. I keep a file card handy and clean it often. I still use it to get back to angle but have played with the dremel and a large wheel making a hollow grind, very sharp but not too durable. A local mason/sawyer/heavy equip man/old fart :D told me to just use a flat file and I have been developing that. Gotta admit you can work any face with a handheld file.I had lousy luck swaging till I swaged a freshly sharpened tooth then refiled it again after swaging.
At a recent conference I was informed that circle mills are 18 times more likely to produce checking than bandmills ( I was the only circle mill there). Have researched the statement to find the source was a paper that says 18 times more than planed lumber, but the cause is what interested me. It seems to be due to poor sharpening, whacking small cracks into the wood, then the check just dives in on the weakened spot. Started to play with side dressing to get rid of that rake tooth that projects beyond all the others and makes a scratch.  Got any pics of your mill?

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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Hammered for left or right
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2001, 03:40:28 PM »
Corley5:

I would find a sawman in your area to look the saw over, just to make sure.  If it didn't cut before, then there is either something wrong with the saw or the mill.

Wherever you bought your teeth should know where you can take your saw.  You must know your RPM.  

I run a left handed mill and have used saws that were originally hammered right, then set to our mill.  I've always have had some problems, since the metal has memory, and wants to flip back as soon as there is any heat.

I have used saws that other people said were no good.  The first thing I do is change teeth.  Not everyone can sharpen a saw - with or without a sharpener.  Saw guides that aren't adjusted right can play games on you.

It won't hurt to put new teeth in and try it.  Keep us posted.

DonP:

Side dressing is more of an art than a science.  I have a spider guage which will show where all teeth should be.  If you take too much off of one side, your saw will have a tendency to lead that way.  Too much and you will open your saw up, and it will heat up.

I've used side dressing to help pull the saw on certain woods.  Poplar seems to want to cut out, hickory wants to cut in.  Has to do with tree density, log size, and tooth length.  
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Offline Corley5

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Re: Hammered for left or right
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2001, 09:22:18 PM »
Thanks for the tips.  I'm going to try the new teeth in one of them and see what happens.  I've got some junk popple to experiment on.  If that does't help I'll send it with some friends saws when they have theirs worked on.  They take theirs to a place in Paris Mi.  I ordered my teeth and filer from Menominee Saw.  They are a full service saw place but I'd  have to take the saw there and pick it up.  
I've sawed about fifteen thousand feet+- with the solid tooth saw this season and had good luck even filed it by hand.  The mill seems fine.  I've got these insert tooth saws and have been told they're the way to go.  Just trying something new.  I'll let you know how I make out.  For pics     http://albums.photopoint.com/j/AlbumIndex?u=401354&a=8473119

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Offline Corley5

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Re: Hammered for left or right
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2001, 07:16:24 PM »
So I put new teeth in the 50" saw and tried it.  It's dished out of the log.  Just the opposite of the old solid tooth.  I can make a couple cuts in an 100" log and then it starts to heat and wobble.  Not real warm but warm enough.  We put a straight edge on the 52" saw and it isn't dished either way.  I think that explains its problem.  One day next week I'm gonna take the 50 to a saw shop in Grayling for some work.  In the mean time I'll try my hand at swaging and put the old saw back on.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Hammered for left or right
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2001, 08:29:11 PM »
Saws are tensioned to their RPM. The Greater the RPM, the more tension a saw requires to run. Centrifugal force causes the saw to open up and run flat. The Lower the RPMs, the less tension or dish is needed.

I would guess your 50 inch saw is hammered for a faster RPM than your arbor is turning, thus it does not open up, or pull the dish out, resulting in friction, and a hot saw.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Hammered for left or right
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2001, 09:13:37 PM »
Most times the saw should be dished towards the log, although I have seen cases where the dish is the other way and the saw still cuts fine.

Corley5, I'd be glad to ride up one day and see if I can help you out if you need me to. Heck, your only about an hour and a half away I think.
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Hammered for left or right
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2001, 04:48:18 AM »
Another problem could be in the shanks.  If they are worn, sawdust can spill out of the gullets and down the saw.  This will heat it up.

Are you sure your RPM is right?  Running too slow will be a problem.

I'd take Jeff up on his offer.
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Offline Corley5

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Re: Hammered for left or right
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2001, 07:13:13 PM »
Jeff, I just might take you up on your offer.  Of course your welcome to stop in anytime for a visit.  The saw is going to the shop Monday and should be back in time for me to try it that night when I get home from my real job.  It could be that it is hammered to run faster than my mill does.  It seems to have a lot more dish than the other saw.  I put the tach on the arbor today before I called the saw place and it's turning 500 RPMs.  In the meantime I put the old saw back on, filed her up and sawed around a thousand feet.  700 hundred of popple and 300 of beech and maple.  It worked good.  Guess I'll do it again tomorrow.  What was supposed to be a couple thousand feet custom job turned into around four thousand.  Much of which I'd have left in woods.  I'll let you know Monday night how things work out with the "new saw".
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Offline Corley5

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Re: Hammered for left or right
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2001, 08:00:43 PM »
Got the saw back Tuesday instead of Monday and put it together that night.  Tinkered with the saw guide, sawed a couple logs and it seemed good.  I don't like messing with the guide with it running!!  A guy on the other side of town lost some fingers that way once.  That may have had something to do with a six pack of Stroh's for breakfast.  Fired the old girl up at 6PM tonight and by 7:15 when the engine ran out of gas I'd sawn four hundred feet.  Not bad considering the nasty little popple logs I'm working on.  Spend more time turning and dogging than sawing.  It's running better now than it has in long time.  I really want to try it on some big stuff.  Might have to kill a couple big basswoods.  Thanks guys.  
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Hammered for left or right
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2001, 03:45:45 PM »
The best way to adjust the guides is while the saw is running.  Some of the older mills had a 1 piece guide.  Those are terrible to adjust.  Split guides are much easier.  For guide material, I always used either hickory or locust.

I still hate to adjust saw guides, even after all these years.  You got to be real careful.  But, after you have it adjusted, it shouldn't need too much more attention.

Beer and sawmills don't mix.  I sawed in one mill where 2 guys always drank a case of beer a day.  Truly amazing that no one got hurt.

On those old mills, you could always tell the sawyer.  He was generally missing a couple of fingers.  You can squeeze one off pretty quick with those hand dogs.

Glad you got it running.  Have fun.  ;D
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Hammered for left or right
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2001, 04:14:26 PM »
Ron, don't you have Hardwood guides with a thin brass sleeve? They last a long time because they keep the hardwood from splitting off from the end, which usually how the guides wear out.

I will try to get a picture of my guide system. You adjust them remotely. Initial setting is made with the saw off. They move seperately and together.

First you adjust them apart and away from the saw. (this is done with the saw still) you then start the saw, and using the remote hand screw, you adjust the guides till one or the other is running where it should. (Not against the saw, but as close as possible with out touching). You can now shut the saw down and adjust the remaining guide. leave a little gap for the blade to run without actually contacting the guides.

Saw guides are not there to actually guide the saw. They are there to stop it from diving or leading out of control. A properly running saw NEVER runs against its guides. It may sit there and tick occasionally but never run against them.

You cannot properly adjust guides on a hot saw (or warm for that matter).  If its warm, back off the guides and run it till its cool. Thats the proper way to evenly cool a saw. But also remember, DONT GET IT HOT IN THE FIRST PLACE! heating a saw will eventually take out its tension, and sometimes immediatly.
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Hammered for left or right
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2001, 10:33:16 AM »
The saw guides I'm using now are some sort of composite material.  They are round and harder than wood.  Really stink when heated.

I've seen those brass types, but never used any.  I've also heard of guys using oiled leather.  That comes from a real old timer.

How far is remote?  I've seen saw guides that can be adjusted from the booth.  Why you would want to do that is beyond me.  I don't think you would get it right.  But, some guys actually guide the saw with their guides.  I've done that from time to time.

I always keep my log side guide pretty close.  I only want to see light beside it.  Think about the thickness of a piece of paper.  Any further, and the saw may dig in.

Board side I keep a little looser.  I usually tighten that up when the saw wants to jump out of the cut.  

Different species will make the saw perform in different ways.
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Re: Hammered for left or right
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2001, 07:04:45 PM »
I know saw guides are second nature to you guys but I'm lost. :-[

How bout a quick rundown of guides. So not only myself but others will know as well,  what in the world those guide thingys do. :o

Thanks
Gordon

Offline Jeff Lesak

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Re: Hammered for left or right
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2001, 02:13:10 PM »
When I hammer a saw, I make the log side flat.It has been my experience that a well put up saw, running on a well maintained mill will run either right or left hand. You hammer for tension  to stretch the body of the saw so that when it spins at speed, it will balance the stretch of the blade ( a headsaw can stretch as much as 1/8 inch in diameter.).  When the saw is up to speed, it tends to move to center it self over the center line of the disc of the saw. (That's why you set the guides at speed.) If all is right with the mill and the blade, this centering should allow you to saw either left or right.
To see if your blade is hammered left handed, put a long straight edge on the log side. It should be nearly flat. You can do this on the mill, but make sure the collars or guide are not pushing the blade around.

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Re: Hammered for left or right
« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2001, 02:20:11 PM »
Welcome Jeff!

First post and you told me something I never knew. I have always thought and been told that a saw is left or right period. I always wondered what would be the difference. So is the dish we see caused by the grind on the collars?
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Hammered for left or right
« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2001, 02:43:10 PM »
Boy, I hate to disagree with a guy that hammers saws, but I believe there is a differencence in a saw hammered right or left.

I've bought used saws that were switched from right hand to left hand, and they never performed all that well.  I was told this was due to memory.  They always heated up quicker.

I've bought several new saws that were hammered left from factory and these have always performed well.  

I have taken my saw to my saw doc and he started to check it as a right handed saw.  He then remembered it was a left hand mill and flipped the saw over.  There's only a couple of left handed mills in my section of the state.  

I've always been told that there is a dish hammered into the saw so that the centripetal force will flatten the saw at a certain rpm.  If you go too fast, the saw will flip, and if you don't go fast enough it won't straighten out, causing it to heat.
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Offline Jeff Lesak

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Re: Hammered for left or right
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2001, 06:33:35 PM »
Jeff
Unless your run at very high RPM, you should see no dish in your saw at rest. It should be flat on the log side.(You will see the bulge of the usually thicker gauge of the eye show up on the board side of the blade.) If it is not, depending on how much dish, it will need leveled.( Saws will run with some dish, depending on RPM,and general mill alignment.) If the collars are causing too much dish, they will need attention.
The hand of the saw is a concern when it is hammered. I keep the log side flat-level-as I go, working from that side to check the tension.

Offline Jeff Lesak

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Re: Hammered for left or right
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2001, 06:48:14 PM »
Ron,
Over the years, I have hammered left hand saws to right hand, and visa versa. They have gone back to the mill, disabused of any memory, and run fine until needing hammered again, some months later. Its not a matter of memory. Properly hammered, right to left, or left to right, no problem.
When I hammer a saw, I work from the log side, making it flat or level. (See the note to Jeff above.) Your saw doctor must work the same way. That is why he would check from the log side.
You are right that a saw has to run at the speed it is hammered for, or it won't stand up. But, at speed, the saw stands up beyond flat, to the point of having the extra thickness usually at the eye equally evident on the board and log side. Hence the need to set the lead at speed, to get the eye of the saw away from the log, that is held fixed by the dogs, so that the thicker eye is not rubbing.

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Re: Hammered for left or right
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2001, 01:14:33 PM »
Jeff L, Jeff B, and Ron some great information now at least I'm in the same ballpark thanks for the information. Seems also that there a few different ways to skin a cat or maybe hammer a blade with the same end result.

Nice to get such knowledge from so many different folks. Jeff L look forward to reading your posts on circle mills. Might want to hit the knowledge base and post a couple of tid-bits or helpful hints.

Do you guys think in time that the band mill will be the standard at the mill instead of the circle mill? Also Jeff L do you ever do any work to bands or just to circle mills?

Thanks
Gordon

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Re: Hammered for left or right
« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2001, 03:12:24 PM »
The problem with the smaller band mills is production.  Until they can get production to a level comparable to circle mills, the small bands won't replace them.  Automation and less grunt work is needed.  

They are awful expensive for what you get.  I see small hand mills going for less than $5000 and automatic portable circle mills for $20000.  These are used units.

Many of the larger mills are using band resaws, but quite often use circle mills to break down the log into cants.  They can just bull through a log so much quicker.  They also use a 1/8" blade and have 4 to 6' wheels.

For small and medium-sized mills, they just can't afford all the money required to sharpen and set the saws.  You need a seperate sharpening room, and a trained band filer.  That gets into a lot of expense and you have to have increased yield and production to justify the move.  Some of the real small mills may convert to small bands.  But, I haven't seen a great rush.

I think the place for the small band is as a resaw.  You can get a lot more milage out of those blades.  But, they have to be redesigned to make them more labor efficient.

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Offline Jeff Lesak

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Re: Hammered for left or right
« Reply #21 on: November 06, 2001, 06:05:42 PM »
No, I don't work on bands. I have great respect for those that do.
Until the supply of logs becomes restricted, or regulated as it is in much of Europe, the use of band saws will not replace the circle saw in the foreseeable future. Why cut big board feet in a hurry, only to run out of logs by Tuesday? As it was pointed out, smaller band mills tend to lack in production capability. But if you aren't getting a lot of logs....
The use of band resaws as an augment to the circle head rig seems to be the configuration most larger operations are moving toward. You don't need as big and expensive a band rig to resaw, and the inevitable wrecks on initial break down to the cant are easier to handle on a circle head rig. Recovery there isn't an issue. Your throwing the slabs away anyhow. It represents a big capitol outlay, and increased employees to tend the bands, but the increase in recovery, and production offset the costs, if you have the volume.

Practically speaking, it has been my experience that folks that have not had much experience around a mill are probably better off getting started on a little band rig. They are turnkey, and the manufacturers seem to provide support. If you don't know what you are doing on a circle rig, you are in trouble. The problems with a band set up seem easier to solve. And when things go wrong, they usually don't blame the saw Doctor.

Offline Corley5

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Re: Hammered for left or right
« Reply #22 on: November 07, 2001, 06:09:52 PM »
Some friends of mine decided to change from the logging end to the sawmilling end a few years ago.  Their first mill was a Heartwood band mill that sawed both ways with 90hp Perkins power plant.  Nifty little fella.  They used it for a year or so then went to Meadows #2 auto mill with a 200hp Cummins 8).  The Meadows is more sawmill than the Heartwood ever hoped to be.
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