Circular saw guide water causes several problems in sawmills. These include an increase in moisture content of sawdust, which raises shipping and drying costs if used for pellets; pooling of water in conveyors and basements that, in cold weather, will cause sawdust to freeze and jam conveyors; and cause corrosion of machines and conveyor chains. In addition, many mills have limited water supply and may not have sufficient water for saw guides, resulting in sawing issues.
To help member sawmills better manage these problems, FPInnovations tested several guide pad designs resulting in a guide pad that uses less water while maintaining the conditions for good sawing performance. Trials evaluated the cooling capacity of guide pads by measuring saw blade temperatures. To investigate water flow through orifices and over the pad surface, clear guide pads, machined from acrylic sheet, and colored water were used in the tests at the FPInnovations Lumber Manufacturing Pilot Plant.
Experiments with various guide pad designs showed that an Open Guide Design, which does not have a land on the top and bottom edges of the guide pad, is the most effective in terms of cooling, but that this design could wear faster compared to other designs. Tests in member sawmills with some of the new designs will be performed to verify the cooling effectiveness and wear rates. Future work on this project will focus on methods to collect and reuse the cooling water (and to a lesser extent the lubrication oil) in addition to testing if cold water can improve the cooling effect.
For more information on these research results or to get a copy of the report, please contact Bruce Lehmann, Associate Research Leader of FPInnovations, Machine and Saw Performance group.