Testing chrome saws
By Amie Silverwood
Nov. 27, 2013 - The primary forest industry has been experimenting with chrome saws for decades; however, saw manufacturers have struggled to make chrome saws the premier choice for leading North American sawmills. Cut Technologies has been developing their Cougar XX chrome saw for three years and combines chroming of the saw plate with the patented Cougar XX proprietary heat treatment. This formula substantially reduces gullet and plate wear for a better sawing tolerance, allows saws to retain tension for longer run times, and improves between inboard saw deviation.
Cut Technologies chose some of the largest, most productive sawmills in Western Canada, Quebec, and the United States to determine the tangible benefits of their chrome saw. "We've been overwhelmed with the amount of positive feedback the Cougar XX Chrome saw has received from the leading sawmills in North America. Our research and development team has truly developed a unique product that will benefit all of our customers, from 3 million board feet mills to smaller, independent operations," states Mike Weckel, VP Operations.
The saws have impressed established saw filers. Cam Weber, Miller Western Forest Products Boyle running a DDM 10 at 600fpm explains, "We reached a spot where we thought there was nothing else we could do to improve the performance of our machines, until we tried Cougar XX Chrome. One year later we're still running one third of our original trial test saws. Cougar XX Chrome saws need minimal bench work and the gullets have very little wear. We feel there's a payback in longevity and the positive results have motivated us to move our target size down."
Heiko Spreng, Filing Supervisor of Houston Forest Products a division of West Fraser Mills is another avocate of chrome saws, "we changed to chrome saws because of the excessive wear of up to .010"-.012" we were experiencing in the corners of the gullet due to sawdust spillage. Chrome saws virtually eliminate this proplem due to the anti-wear properties of chrome."
At Quebec sawmill, Barette Chapis, Jean-Francois Ouimet, Filing Supervisor noticed three main advantages of the Cougar XX Chrome saw, "Cut Tech has created a saw that reduces plate wear, reduces guide wear, and increases sawing accuracy by eliminating the wear in the gullets which caused spillage."
Rex Roe, Filing Supervisor of Weyhauser Oregan, summarizes the benefits as simply being, "guide wear, saw wear, and all around better than steel. The ridged nature of the saw allowed us to reduce the saw plate by .010 and kerf the same amount. The saws run longer and because of that they're worth the extra cost."