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Tech Update: Finger Jointing Equipment

Tech Update Editor: Mel-Lynda Andersen
Copyright 1997. Contact publisher for permission to use.


The Mann-Russell division of the Coe Manufacturing Co. produces a complete line of finger joint gluing systems, utilizing radio frequency curing as well as systems to assemble finger joints pre-heated by forced hot air. A vertical finger joint shaper is also available from the company. RF Curing is commonly used in structural finger jointing to allow increased production, ease of handling, immediate proofloading and planing. While Mann-Russell has produced RF finger joint lines for over 40 years, the demand continues to grow as more primary and secondary manufacturers utilize finger jointing to increase recovery and enter into the engineered wood products market, says the company. To complement the finger jointing product line, Coe/Mann-Russell also produces a complete line of lumber edge gluers and beam laminators.

Conception R.P. Inc.

Conception R.P. Inc. presents the CRP 2000, which features high-production capacity of up to 35,000 linear feet per shift, claims the manufacturer. Distributed by PG Mill Supplies Ltd., the CRP 2000 assembles up to 120 pieces a minute, produces plank length up to 30' (18' standard), and is capable of handling both softwood and hardwood. Included with this finger jointing system is a powerful assembly self-feeder module, which transfers automatically, with no operator, pieces from the shaper to the assembly machine. Technical data on the semi-automatic feeder and assembly self feeder portion of this system include PLC-controlled feeding sequence, belt-type bottom conveyor with rollers, brush-type top conveyor, lift-over barrier-type indexing mechanism, and a laser line that detects minimum lengths.

Kitcam Inc

The Kitcam KNA FJ-728 Finger Jointing System is a cost-efficient machine that has been manufactured for more than 15 years, reports the manufacturer, first by Nelson & Atkinson, and in the past two years by Kitcam. The FJ-728 is a manual system capable of giving a production rate of up to 10 cycles per minute on up to 6"X2" material. The machine uses an air-operated cycle with various speed controls that pass the wood through a trim saw before the finger cut to obtain the joint profile.

Kitcam has been manufacturing equipment for the wood industry for the past seven years and has a full engineering capacity to customize standard machines to suite a wider range of size variations. They also manufacture the Model AP 26 manual air-operated assembly press and the Model GA 20, a separate disc glue applicator.


Doucet Machineries offers two models of shapers. Model X is equipped with dual roller chains and adjustable lugs, 15-hp cutter head motors, 5-hp trim saw motors, capacities of 1/2" to 2" thick by 1-1/2" to 8" wide, and lugs at 12" centres. Model X1, with dual ductile iron chains and adjustable lugs, is also equipped with 15-hp cutter head motors and 5-hp trim saws with incorporated scoring saw motors. Both models offer a range of options, reports the company. The press MP-16 is designed for four cycles per minute with 16'-long material; the 5-hp undercut saw with a 14" blade has a capacity of 2" X 9". The 5-hp hydraulic unit for the press, the programmable controller, stainless steel friction plates and 1" incremental length control are all standard

Many options are available with this press, such as length by 4' increments, pre-assembly tunnel transfer arrangements, etc. Since 1996 Doucet has been operation a high-capacity finger jointer for studs, running at a design capacity of 100,000 linear feet and up, with two dual ductile iron chains, in a joist manufacturing application. Many other applications have since been added. Doucet Machineries has been ISO-9001 certified since 1996, and works with their customers to develop systems to specialized requirements.

Western Machinery Group

Western Machinery Group designs, manufactures and installs complete high and medium production finger jointing systems for all types of applications, including moulding, millwork and structural. The company is currently in the research and development stage of designing a new low-production machine for customers who need a lower level of production for their particular application. Options on equipment include bin/pallet dumpers, infeed conveyors, semi-automatic lug loaders and automatic stackers.

Western Machinery Group is the only finger jointer manufacturer with a training facility for their customers. This facility has a complete high-production finger jointer set up specifically for training before a customer's machine is delivered. They also design and manufacture complete pneumatic conveying and dust collection systems for all types of applications, including finger jointing.


With more machines installed worldwide than any other manufacturer, GreCon offers configurations to handle virtually any situation, claims the manufacturer. Systems handle both short finger joint pieces and long lengths for flooring or glulam production. The new Combipact system features high production at a reasonable cost and still provides a high-strength precision joint, says the company, and its compact design saves valuable floor space without sacrificing production. GreCon is the largest manufacturer of vertical and horizontal finger jointers in the world. They manufacture systems from 5,000 linear feet per shift to 50,000 linear feet per shift. They have finger jointers for a broad range of applications from non-structural to structural, and from low automation to high automation. The design of the finger joint shapers and the press result in a high-quality joint, says the company. GreCon has factory sales and service throughout North America.

Chipper Knife Sharpener

Bandit Industries has a new hand-held knife-sharpening device, the Knife Saver, that can be used to put a sharp edge on a dull drum or brush chipper knife in just minutes, and without having to remove the knife from the chipper.

One pass with the diamond-honed tungsten carbide sharpener restores the knife's cutting efficiency, says the company. The preset angle of the Knife Saver saves blades and centers itself on the knife edge for precise sharpening. Benefits include reduced knife sharpening costs, and increased chipper performance and chip uniformity.

EuMa Tech Inc

European Machinery Technologies Inc. distributes a range of wood processing and mill equipment, including a variety of finger jointing systems. The Keilzinkfrase wedge cutter machine with press for panel processing is a processing aggregate carriage with chipping component, wedge cutting component, doctor brushes and glue-spreading machine. It features a stable supporting table, clamping and pressing table, pressure beam, heating elements, panel aligner and hydraulic aggregate.

SMB finger jointing lines are constructed as vertical or horizontal plants. They are suitable for both small and large timber cross-sections, during the production of lathes, window wood or glue binder. A compact execution stand offers ease of control, fast changeover and takes up less space. Operations such as alignment, clamping and pressing are adapted automatically, and movements requiring intensive power and speed are hydraulically actuated. SMB finger jointing can be integrated in fully automatic production lines and equipped with different interlinking devices. Plants can be supplied with a variety of options, i.e., short-timber feeding, acoustic cover, special painting or automatic pressure adjustment.


Dimter's ProfiJoint 500 KE Ultras, manufactured in Germany and distributed in North America by Michael Weinig, Inc., profile proper finger joints at a packet width of 600 mm, enabling boards to be machined at the same time with highly precise fingers and no tear-out, says Dimter. In a typical Dimter operation, the timber packet remains stationary while the profiling aggregate travels, which facilitates a constant workflow. Feed rollers from above and below prevent vertical mismatch. The feed rollers and the friction brake also pre-press the fingers, achieving a more exact final length. Dimter's patented press works so that while one batch of timber is in the press, another is being fed into the press, thus accelerating processing time. Also during pressing, all four sides are centred to produce an absolutely straight final product, says Dimeter, and an electronic length measuring device allows a combination of different short lengths to be processed, thereby increasing capacity.

The Dimter finger jointing line, ProfiJoint Magnum, manages up to four packets per minute at the profiler, up to 120 boards at the transfer station and reaches up to seven pressing cyles at the finger jointing press. Only one operator for feeding and one operator for stacking are needed. At the simplified transfer station boards are turned from above by a brush wheel, and the length of the infeed station has been doubled, enabling a near-complete final length to be buffered in a longitudinal direction.

According to Robert Winstanley, Dimter Products Manager for Michael Weinig Inc., European finger jointing machines usually use vertical and not horizontal joints. Vertical joints are pressed with three to four times the pressures of horizontal joints and are generally much tighter than horizontal joints. Because of these differences, he says, vertical joints are much stronger than horizontal joints, making them useful in manufacturing any structural load-bearing components

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