G.T. Saws Adds Two Levelers To Keep Up with Demand for High Quality Saw Maintenance

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Gordon Turnbull (left) and Warren Moore of G.T. Saws use their Armstrong circle saw Leveler, the first in Australia, to keep up with 70 saws per day from Australia’s first curve sawing edger.

Gordon Turnbull, the owner of G.T. Saws in Traralgon, Australia added two new automatic saw levelers to his shop in 2000 to keep up with growing demand from local sawmills. His saw shop was awarded the contract to maintain all the band and circle saws for Brown & Dureau in nearby Morwell, east of Melbourne.

Brown & Dureau recently installed the first curve sawing rotary gang edger in the Southern Hemisphere. "In order to meet the larger volume and to maintain our high quality standards, we needed help keeping every saw perfectly level" Gordon recalls. "We put the Armstrong band saw Leveler into our main shop where 40 band saws go across our benches every day. After benching, the saws are swaged and shaped as needed and then sharpened on our three No. 4 Armstrong grinders.

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Josh Hobson dresses the grinding wheel with a ShapeUp mounted on a No. 4 sharpener at G.T. Saws while Danny Moore looks on. G.T. Saws averages 40 band saws per day across their three No. 4 Armstrong sharpeners.

"Most of our bands are 17 gauge resaws with a few 15 gauge headrig saws. We’ve added ShapeUps to the No. 4 sharpeners so everybody always shapes the wheel exactly the same way."

Gordon arranged with Brown & Dureau to equip and manage a satellite circle saw shop at the sawmill, seven miles from his main shop. Warren Moore, G.T.’s circle saw expert at the Brown & Dureau filing room, reports "we change an average of 70 saws every day just for the curve sawing gang. We are looking to tighten up our guide clearance a little for even better performance and might be able to reduce our kerf, too. Leveling these 23" (585 mm) diameter x .080" (2 mm) plate carbide tipped saws to less than .001" (.025 mm) maximum deviation opens the door to achieving those gains.

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Jeff Robinson uses the touch screen to set-up the Armstrong band saw Leveler at G.T. Saws. Owner Gordon Turnbull (left) insists that every band saw is benched after each run.

"People who first see a curve sawing edger are surprised to see the entire saw box swiveling and the guides moving while the saws are in the cant. Because we keep the saws very level, they come out of the machine looking pretty good. We schedule saw changes every eight hours. This edger processes 3,500 radiata pine cants per shift, so every unscheduled saw change is very expensive."

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Jeff Robinson checks the back in a 17 gauge resaw. Jeff estimates that the automatic band saw Leveler has reduced the bench time required per saw by 50%.

Gordon began his saw doctor training at Spear & Jackson’s Sydney saw shop in 1977. He started G.T. Saws in 1998. Besides maintaining the saws for Brown & Dureau, the G.T. crew also works on saws from several mills in the region. They make new band saws for all their customers from punched plate supplied by Phoenix Sawmill Supply. Phoenix is the exclusive distributor for both Armstrong and Sandvik Steel in Australia. For more information on G.T. Saws, visit their website at http://www.i-o.net.au/members/gtsaws. Phoenix Sawmill Supplies can be contacted by e-mail at phoenixs@zip.com.au.

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Gordon Turnbull benches a 15 gauge headrig saw made from Sandvik Steel supplied by Kevin Richardson (left) of Phoenix Sawmill Supplies. G.T. Saws makes band saws for all their customers from punched plate supplied by Phoenix.


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