Wood Cutting Band Saws, whether resaws, sawmills or recycle saws have two features in common: 1. A drive wheel and idler wheel on which the blade rotates, and

2. Guides to hold the blade in the proper cutting position.

Several styles of Guides are manufactured and sold for this purpose – Flat Guides or so called “Sandwich” Guides, Roller Guides and Pressure Guides.

The critical issue, regardless of the saw type or guide style, is, BLADE CONTROL in the CUTTING ZONE!! In order to cut accurate and consistent boards from side to side and end to end, day in and day out, the Guides must hold the blade in an exact cutting position.

Roller Guides are used on top of the blade and sometimes have a flat guide under the blade to prevent “Blade Dipping”. Roller Guides exert “down pressure “ on the blade to hold it in place. Typically, this style of guide is used in band sawmills where cut accuracy is not a critical issue. Roller guides are expensive to replace, generate excessive blade heat due to the “down pressure”, cause blade breakage and do not provide accurate and consistent cuts.

Pressure Guides, which are usually deployed on top of the blade only, use down pressure to hold the blade in place. The guide is flat and usually made from a phenolic resin laminated with paper or canvas. The material wears quickly, retains heat and must be serviced every two to four hours to maintain cut accuracy. A lubricant must be used to reduce friction and resultant heat that damages blades. This style of guide is relatively inexpensive to purchase initially; but, must be serviced often, causing downtime, and must be replaced frequently due to excessive wear.

Flat Guides are usually made from Tungsten Carbide, Ceramic blocks, High Speed Steel, Brass, Bronze, Cornboard and Wood. Carbide has good abrasion resistance; but, due to its density does not dissipate heat well and causes blade failure. High Speed Steel has fair abrasion resistance; but, is also dense and does not dissipate heat well. Brass and Bronze have some abrasion resistance; but, wear quickly. Cornboard and Wood have little abrasion resistance and must be resurfaced every two to four hours of operation.

Tri-Star Metals, Inc. in 2000 introduced a patented, “Super Abrasion Resistant” alloy into the Saw Guide Market that has revolutionized Saw Guides. The “insert” resists abrasion better than Carbide, dissipates heat easily, can be re-ground many times to restore it’s flat surfaces and polished finish, is held to the guide with Allen screws and is easily and inexpensively replaced. TSMI manufactures guides in its own machine shop. All parts are made in the USA. Typically, “inserts” last two to three years with re-grinding necessary every three to six months. TSMI inserts Increase Blade Life, Improve Cut Quality, Increase Throughput and Reduce Noise.

1415 East Parrish Ave.
Owensboro, KY 42303

Local Phone: (270) 281-4500
Outside: 1-800-685-2899
Fax: (270) 281-4511

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