Monday, May 10, 2010

The Cawmat Comes To Town

Say 'Hello' to Bulembu Timber's latest addition: the Cawmat Quad Resaw
“Down at the sawmill we’re doing a heart transplant of sorts,” says Bulembu Timber Manager Kurt Putkammer. “Yes, a heart transplant is the best comparison I can come up with.”

Naturally, such a metaphor warrants an explanation.

At the Bulembu Timber mill there is a machine that sits at the core of all sawmill functions: the Multi-Rip saw. A name like multi-rip inspires visions of an epic machine but in reality the Multi-Rip is inefficient – hence the transplant.
 Another angle on the Cawmat Quad Resaw
The Multi-Rip saw takes in slabs of timber and turns them into planks by cutting them with between four and nine saw blades. Each saw blade has a 5.5 mm kerf (tooth) and therefore 5.5 mm x (however many blades are running) of the slab turns into sawdust waste. 

Let’s say that the multi-rip runs four blades. 4 blades x 5.5mm kerf = 22.5 mm wide of waste.

The new saw, the Cawmat Quad Resaw’s equation is: 4 blades x 2.5mm kerf = 10 mm wide of waste.

That’s an increase in recovery of 12.5 mm per slab. On a wider slab it means a recovery of an additional plank.

“The Cawmat runs narrow bandsaw blades as opposed to the Multi-Rip’s circular saws,” Kurt explains. “It’s the difference in the type of blade each saw runs that makes for thinner sections of waste with the Cawmat.”

The bandsaw blades that are used in the Cawmat saw are also used in a number of other saws around the timber mill and as a result Bulembu Timber has already invested in on-site blade sharpening equipment. With the Multi-Rip, blades were sent away once a week to be sharpened.

The Cawmat Quad Resaw was manufactured by Cawmat Engineering in George, Western Cape, South Africa.
 Cawmat Quad Resaw's insides

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