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October 2007 - The Logging and Sawmilling Journal




Imperial Oil

The function of saw guide oil is to form a friction-reducing oil wedge in the tight clearances between the rotating saws and stationary guides.

Imperial Oil’s saw guide oils are formulated with extreme pressure (EP) and anti-wear (AW) additives due to their multifunctional usage: sharp chains, deck chains and debarkers. This latter equipment can benefit from the EP additive’s reactivity to steel-on-steel rubbing, in addition to the adhesive properties provided by the tackifier.

Imperial Oil’s higher viscosity grades can help reduce oil consumption, and cost, but the lube system must be capable and ambient temperatures must be sufficiently warm to enable proper oil flow.

There is a great deal of science that has gone into the research and development of these lubricants, the company says.


The Rockwell lubrication system is designed to use a combination of air, oil and water as lubrication and coolant for edger saws.

The flow and consumption of these elements are individually regulated and can be easily adjusted by mill personnel. Water consumption is held to a minimum by using photocells to activate water valves, which are set to a “Sawing” and “Non- Sawing” flow rate.

Common flow rate is set at approximately .5 gallons per minute for “Sawing” time only and .1 gallons per minute during “Non-Sawing” time. Oil consumption can be as low as one gallon per shift. The water filter is a 30- micron filter, which can be reused after simple cleaning.

The air, oil and water lines have individual low-pressure switches to alert the operator of any line failures.



Texaco Products (operating under Chevron Global Lubricants) utilizes saw guide lubricant technology based on the incorporation of nontacky additives. These additives have been found to improve performance in several areas: eliminating the plugging of openings and oil/debris build-up; reducing rust and corrosion; as well as improving cold temperature properties.

Specific lubricity additives are incorporated to maintain heat and wear tolerances, and at the same time act to reduce arbor drag, thereby providing a reserve of power. This becomes especially advantageous when thinner plate saws are in use.

Most sawmills are also looking to reduce water consumption for both environmental and financial reasons. Saw guide lubricants that can provide reduced water content in hog fuel headed to the co-gen plant are just another way that using the right lubricant can help to reduce costs in the sawmill industry.




Dynamic Sawmill Systems Inc

Dynamic is a Canadian-based company specializing in the development of innovative wear guide system technologies. Dynamic presently manufactures and sells a bandsaw wear guide system that has been called among the most significant bandsaw wear guide improvements in over 25 years, says the company. The system can be installed on new bandsaws or easily adapted to presently installed horizontal, vertical and angle guide units.

The technology centres around a patent-pending, multi-use, replaceable wear pad that does away with removing the wear guides from the saw during a standard guide change, transporting these heavy units to the filing room, resurfacing the wear blocks, re-calibration, human error and re-installation. Each pad has four potential working surfaces, so when the pad is rotated end for end, flipped over, or replaced (which takes less than two minutes for both upper and lower guides), the sawblade offset is automatically re-set to within +/- 0.002”. The company has provided systems for sawblade widths of 1” to 14”, single and double cut, with some systems having been in daily operation for over two years.


Modern Engineering

Accurate and consistent saw guides allow for accurate spacing between the saw guides and the saws. Less accurate saw guides cause larger fluctuations in this spacing, which causes an increase in board deviation when this spacing gets larger and increases the incidents of saws heating up and folding over when this spacing gets smaller. Saw guides are key to efficient sawmill operation—only the most accurate will ensure the best recovery of wood fibre.

Modern Engineering manufactures ultra high precision edger saw guides to +/- 0.0002” accuracy. Aluminum saw guides are CNC machined and honed to the final size after engineering hardcoat anodizing is applied. This ensures that all aluminum saw guides meet the precise tolerances.

Steel saw guides are CNC machined and then ground to final size to ensure that they meet the same precise tolerances. All sizes are confirmed with leading edge Zeiss CNC Coordinate Measuring Machines to ensure accuracy and quality.


Optimil Machinery Inc

Optimil board and gang edgers are supplied with aluminum or steel saw guides. On site CNC machine centres allow Optimil to deliver a premium product in a timely manner. The company can also provide saw guide conversions to existing saw boxes, enabling customers to achieve tighter target sizes and less sawing deviation.

The user-friendly Optimil saw guide lube panel provides a simple solution to mix the air, water and saw oil. And the Optimil pneumatic Babbitt fixture allows customers to pour multiple bolt-on guide pads with a single pour. This reliable solution saves the filers time and can be designed to work with any saw guides.


Pacific/Hoe Saw and Knife Company

Pacific/Hoe Saw and Knife Company manufactures a full range of circle and band guide systems, replacement guide arms, E-Z Flow lubrication systems and guide milling machines, including the all new JM-100A totally enclosed, automatic band guide milling machine. Circular guide arms include nitrited steel, chromed steel, aircraft grade hard anodized aluminum, and Pacific/Hoe is introducing the all-new “Steelite” lightweight chromed steel guide arm.

E-Z Flow lube systems are custom designed for circle and band applications and include cabinets and remote operation controls. Band guide systems are custom measured and designed for single or multiple band mills. There are over 600 cartridge style Pac/Hoe systems in operation.

The new “Steelite guide arms” are approximately 60 per cent lighter than regular steel arms and about 15 per cent heavier than aluminum. They are chromed for added hardness and corrosion resistance. Aluminum arms have become more expensive and there is always the problem of both handling and saw damage, but Steelite gets around all of this and is extremely cost effective, says the company.



Rockwell Industries has been manufacturing saw guides for over 12 years. All of their guides are precision machined using the latest, high quality CNC machinery with tolerances to +.0005, with hardening up to RC 60.

Rockwell can manufacture guides of any size, any shape, for any edger, using either aluminum or steel. They also manufacture pneumatically operated Babbitt molds. Free shipping offered for orders of 30 or more.

(604) 882-0066



USNR has been designing and installing saw guides and kerf reduction technologies since 1934, and brings that experience to customers.

Its CNC machining technology provides greater accuracy and part-to-part consistency, which translates into durability and sawing accuracy in the mill. That’s why so many mills choose USNR saw guides, even for non-USNR machinery.

USNR’s aluminum saw guides are made from aerospacequality aluminum (T7075-T6), and are precision-ground on all critical surfaces prior to hardcoat anodizing. The hardcoat anodizing results in all surfaces with minimum 72 RC, which significantly increases wear resistance.

The company’s steel saw guides are made from 4140 steel, heat treated to an RC of 48-52, and are precision ground on all critical surfaces, ensuring ± .0002” accuracy. The heat-treated steel guides can be chromed, nickel plated, or nitrated.

All USNR saw guides are designed in the Solid Modeling CAD environment so there are no surprises during installation.

Vancouver Gear Works Ltd

VanGear has always strived to manufacture only the highest quality guides. Starting with computer aided drafting (CAD) or from samples, these parts are designed or re-engineered to the mill’s requirements. Once approved, the guides are manufactured on the company’s twin bed CNC milling machine, using the highest quality materials—T6-6061 aluminum or hardened steel.

VanGear ensures quality. Each job is checked on its CNC coordinate measuring machine. This final step assures that each guide produced by VanGear is 100 per cent right the first time. When requested, the company will test and evaluate a mill’s current configuration and make recommendations for increasing the performance and life of its guides.

VanGear has an in-house quality control inspector, who has the authority to reject any guide, at any time throughout the production stages. The quality control inspector also inspects all guides before they can be shipped. If requested, the company can provide a certificate of inspection for any order.


Williams and White

Saw guide accuracy is essential for sawmills if they are going to increase wood recovery from increasingly costly logs. And Williams and White (W&W) has led the way in improving efficiencies in the manufacturing of precision saw guides. Its design team continues to improve the manufacturing process to reduce the cost of precision saw guides for sawmills worldwide.

The company has developed a purpose-built guide to handle the added stress of curved sawing. These saw guides are part of the W&W solution offered to filing rooms. The W&W Saw Guide Program is high quality and economical. The Premium Series saw guides are developed for curve sawing and are 30 per cent stronger than standard for their weight. Engineered drawings are supplied on order.

Guides are hard anodized to Mill Spec. 8625 Type 3, with sizing tolerance to +/- 0.0002” parallel and are CNC machined. Guides are also part-numbered and have individual serial numbers.


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This page last modified on Sunday, January 21, 2007