File Week Canadian Forest Industries is highlighting innovations in the filing room, from new processes and techniques to new technologies, during File Week 2017 from May 1 to May 5!

Our File Week coverage serves as a hub for saw filers and sawmillers to learn best practices and find the latest information on advancements in saw filing technology.

We are posting cutting edge content both from our archives as well as brand-new stories and product news from the BC Saw Filers convention that took place April 28-29 in Kamloops, B.C.

We are highlighting:
  • stories from the filing room
  • technical articles on saw filing automation
  • equipment spotlights on the latest saw filing gear
  • columns from BC Saw Filers Association’s Trevor Shpeley and Modern Engineering’s Udo Jahn
  • strategies for employing the next generation of filers, and more!

Stay tuned to this landing page and our social media (#FileWeek2017) for the latest stories and videos during File Week 2017!

Facebook: www.facebook.com/CanadianForestIndustries
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CFIMag

 

 

May 5, 2017 - File Week 2017 wraps up today after five full days of coverage focused on new technology and processes for the filing room.
May 5, 2017 - The trade of sawfiling goes back to when men first started cutting wood with saws. In the beginning, filers were largely self taught and performed their mysteries behind the locked doors of their shops where even the mill owners needed permission before being allowed to enter the shadowy realm of the “Saw Doctors”. The secrets of the trade were guarded jealously and if you wanted to become an initiate, you first had to convince a master of your worthiness to be taken on as an apprentice; and then you would typically pay up to a year’s wages to be taught the trade. Your tenure as a neophyte would last years but eventually you would earn the right to wear the top-hat and tails. That was a pretty good system and it worked, albeit on a smallish scale, but the level of knowledge passed from master to apprentice was inconsistent and the demand for new filers was much higher than the ad hoc training program was able to produce.

Enter the age of the organized saw school. Here in B.C. we have long relied upon our forest industry for the livelihood of our province. Sawmills were the main employer and indeed, the reason for existence of small towns all up and down the coast and throughout the B.C. Interior. You cant run a sawmill without sawfilers so the need for a school to teach new workers the technical side of the trade and to standardize the level of training became vital.

In relatively modern history, going to saw school meant a trip to Vancouver to attend the well-equipped facilities at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. The early days of the school were casual to say the least; with ping-pong being a major part of the curriculum. But under the direction of veteran sawfiler Dennis Reid, the program was tightened up with proper testing put in place and the school began to crank out world-class filers at the rate of about 75 per year.

The school at BCIT ran for many years but in the late 90s the forest industry as a whole suffered a devastating downturn. Mills struggled to survive and the expensive prospect of hiring new apprentices and sending them to school lost a great deal of it's appeal to mill managers who had to count every penny to survive. The number of people attending the classes dropped dramatically and since the school took up a very large chunk of valuable trade school real estate, the decision was made by the school trustees to close the school and use the space for other purposes. This was devastating news to saw filers as without a school, there is no recognized trade in B.C.

A company named North Pacific Training and Performance Inc. was tasked with not only relocating the school but with revising the program and the trade itself. A group of experienced head filers from around B.C. was put together to come up with a new curriculum, one of these industry experts was John Hebert, head filer at Gorman Brothers Lumber in Kelowna. John and the rest of the team poured over the old resource material, wrote new text books and exams and set about finding a new home for the backbone of our trade. One of the things the group felt needed addressing was the fractured structure of our trade. Until recently, saw filing was split into three separate trades depending upon the level of experience of the trainee and the needs of the mill where he was employed. The designations of fitter, circular-filer and benchman were discontinued and now an apprentice goes to school twice over two years to become a sawfiler and has the option of attending a third year to achieve a benchman’s endorsement on their ticket.

The program was eventually transferred over to the Industry Training Authority and Thompson Rivers University in Williams Lake agreed to host the school. Greg Daykin was hired as head instructor and was given the daunting job of converting the texts into a real-world program for the eager students that were, by that time, chomping at the bit to complete their journeyman status.

As with any venture of this scope, there were some misfires at the start. A disconnect between the school curriculum and the provincial testing resulted in difficulties for the students but over a year or two, exams were reworked and passing rates improved significantly. Since the new schools inception in 2013, 188 men and women have passed through the Williams Lake campus and Greg is hard at work readying the new benchman course so that full training is available.

Despite the early teething-pains the new sawfiling trade school is progressing nicely. Greg would dearly love to retire, so the search is on for an instructor to fill his shoes. If such a thing interests you and you are perhaps a semi-retired sawfiler, please contact human resources at http://www.tru.ca. There is also an ongoing need for materials for the school such as saws, tools and at the moment, a pony edger. If you can help out, contact the school at TRU.
May 4, 2017 - “The world as I know it will never be the same!”

This was the thought running through my head as I wrapped up the last section of the mechanical aptitude test, so sure of myself that I had passed. I had grown tired of sorting boards, flipping cants, operating tilt gates, and had decided that I would sign the next apprenticeship posting when it became available. I was about 22 years old, had done various jobs on the mill production floor and knew I needed a change. As a high school dropout, I didn’t have a lot of options in front of me either.
May 3, 2017 - The LK Pro from Kirschner was in action at BGR Saws booth, showcasing its ease of use for saw tip removal and retipping of circular saw blades. Dan Betteridge, senior manager of west coast sales/equipment sales for BGR Saws, gives a rundown of the LK Pro features. 

CLICK HERE for more File Week 2017 stories.
May 2, 2017 - Michael Kohnle, managing director of iBlade, introduces the SAWCONTROL 800V2 at the BGR Saws booth at the BC Saw Filers Association convention trade show in Kamloops. The measuring tool rotates the saw blade automatically and analyses every tooth with four cameras at different angles.

CLICK HERE for more File Week 2017 stories.
May 2 2017 - Virginia Myrfield, operations manager for Saw+ADD, talks the latest updates to the unique anti-deviation device for bandsaws at the BC Saw Filers Association convention trade show in Kamloops. 

CLICK HERE for more File Week 2017 stories.
May 2, 2017 – Canadian Forest Industries takes a look at the new filing room technologies and processes on display at the BC Saw Filers Association convention and trade show that took place in Kamloops on the weekend. 
May 1, 2017 - Richard Comer, president and co-owner of saw plate manufacturer GrascheUSA, at the BC Saw Filers Association annual convention trade show sharing highlights of GrascheUSA’s saw bodies, from extreme flatness to grind quality, with blades ranging from two to 40 inches. 

CLICK HERE for more File Week 2017 stories.
May 1, 2017 - Cut Technologies’ Mike Weckel at the BC Saw Filers Association annual convention trade show highlights the Vollmer CHP 840 facer-topper that is able to sharpen v-tops. 

CLICK HERE for more File Week 2017 stories.
May 1, 2017 - File Week 2017 has arrived and Canadian Forest Industries has all the coverage to keep you in the loop as we highlight innovations and accomplishments in the file room every day this week!
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