A new sawmill designed for cutting heavy logs up to 1.7m in diameter has been introduced by Wood-Mizer.
The WM1000 is the largest Wood-Mizer sawmill to date and takes the company into the 'wide band' market for the first time. Developed especially to provide Asian and African markets with an affordable solution for sawing large tropical hardwood logs, it combines robust, durable construction together with easy installation and simple operation.
Despite its large size and 50-75mm wide bandsaw blades running on 1m diameter wheels, the WM1000 retains Wood-Mizer's world-leading thin kerf technology to reduce waste and maximise recovery of valuable wood. Hydraulic blade tensioning ensures accurate, straight cutting with a good surface finish, whether the user is halving or quartering a log or producing slabs for further processing, or using the Setworks control to produce finished boards of consistent thickness.
After more than a year in development, the new sawmill is now available in two versions. The headrig, which is a completely new twin rail design, can be purchased on its own for mounting on standard 'I-beam' tracks (which the customer can buy from Wood-Mizer or from local sources). The head has four driven wheels for travelling along the track - which can be as long as required - under the control of the operator
A benefit of this option is that logs can be laid directly on the ground between the two beams, and the WM1000 can then cut logs with diameters of up to 1.7m (the maximum throat capacity of the head).
Alternatively, the head can be bought as a complete package together with a modular log bed, for cutting logs up to 1.5m diameter. The bed can be laid in sections to achieve the desired length, and is fitted with manually-operated side supports and log clamp. Additional bed sections can be added at a later date if required.
The control panel is mounted on the head and the operator rides on a platform during cutting operations. This means the operator is able to closely observe the cutting process even when long lengths of bed or track have been laid - for example, to allow more than one log to be placed end-to-end and sawn in one pass.
In addition to controls for vertical, forward and backward movement of the head, the WM1000 come s as standard with Wood-Mizer's effective Setworks system. This improves productivity by allowing the operator to pre-set the required board thickness, after which the head is automatically moved to the correct position for each pass, ensuring precise and consistent control. Variable forward and reverse speed allow the operator to adjust cutting speed to suit the size and species being cut - and to use 'full speed' for the return journey for maximum production efficiency.
As the only sawmill manufacturer that also makes its own blades, Wood-Mizer has invested heavily in research and development and also in blade production lines to expand its supply capacity. This has ensured that the company is able to support the launch of the WM1000 with optimum quality thin-kerf 50-75mm wide blades - which can also be used on other makes of bandsaw.
For cutting tropical hardwoods, as well as large diameter temperate hardwood and softwood, customers are likely to find Wood-Mizer's RazorTip Stellite-tipped blades give the best performance because they stay sharper for longer when sawing abrasive, hard, dense, and dry timber - which means fewer stoppages for blade changes.
The WM1000 takes blades of nearly 10m in length. An additional feature of the head is that the hydraulic blade tensioning system allows the distance between the band wheels to be adjusted by approximately 200mm . In addition to ensuring that the blade is always tensioned correctly while in use for straight, accurate cutting, this amount of movement also means that the blade can continue to be used even if it is repaired by shortening and re-welding.
With the launch of the WM1000, Wood-Mizer has provided sawmillers with the opportunity to acquire a high performance wide bandsaw at an affordable cost, with the added attractions of simple installation, ease of operation and therefore minimal operator training, high productivity, and reliably accurate sawing with reduced waste and increased yield.
Although suitable for cutting all types of large diameter log, Asia and Africa are likely to show most interest in the WM1000, whether for new ventures or for upgrading or replacing older traditional mills. The ability to produce quality boards will allow customers to supply higher end markets with higher value products, with the confidence that they have top class support and back up services from a long-established manufacturer with worldwide offices and distributors.
Video footage of WM1000 demo at Ligna Messe, Hannover, May 30 - June 3, 2011
This article was published in the 'Wood-Mizer Today' company newsletter.
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