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Does Wood-Mizer now manufacture wide bandsaw blades?
At the Ligna exhibition in May this year, Wood-Mizer exhibited its new WM1000 sawmill for the first time. This attracted considerable interest because it is the largest sawmill manufactured by the company to date.
Designed to cut logs up to 1.7m in diameter, the WM1000 has been developed to offer an affordable solution for sawing large, heavy logs - particularly tropical hardwoods - and takes blades of 50-75mm width.
During Ligna, journalists from the Belarusian publication Woodworking News asked whether this means that the company is now starting to manufacture wide bandsaw blades.
"It is true to say that the WM1000 takes Wood-Mizer into new markets that have traditionally used wide band sawmills, and equally true that wide bandsaw blades are sold in widths from around 75mm upwards", said Richard Vivers, chief operating officer of Wood-Mizer.
"However, this does not mean that we are now manufacturing wide blades, because the width of a blade does not exactly define whether it is classed as 'wide' or 'narrow'. We can say that 'narrow' blades are those which do not need the 'benching' processes of straightening, levelling and tensioning. With wide blades, these processes have to be carried out regularly to ensure that the blades grip the bandsaw wheels correctly and give a straight cut, and to reduce the risk of cracks at the gullet and back edge.
"In other words, narrow blades are those which can be easily maintained using only our sharpening and setting machines. Their width can reach 100mm. If the blade is wider than that then it will need the additional benching processes.
"Wood-Mizer is not developing into the area of wide bandsaw blade production. We are experts in narrow band technology and have invested heavily in blade manufacturing lines. At first we made blades of 32mm, 38mm and 45mm widths and more recently we added 50mm width. With the development of the new WM1000 sawmill for large diameter logs, we have now started making blades up to 75mm wide.
"However, the important point to remember is that all these blades, including the 75mm width, are still 'narrow bandsaw blades' because the simple and easy method of maintaining the blades, just by setting and sharpening, has not changed".
Wood-Mizer is the only manufacturer of sawmills that also produces blades. At Ligna the company presented its SilverTip and DoubleHard ranges as well as the RazorTip Stellite-tipped blade for cutting hardwoods and other difficult timber such as dense, dry, reclaimed wood.
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