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SCM M3 Gang Rip Saw Chain Issue

Dale Skipper  Member


Hello folks,

I have been working on our SCM M3 12" Gang Rip saw for about a week. We worked extensively on leveling the pressure rollers and trying different "cants", or angles' which according to the manual is what needs to be done to get the board to cut straight - and not by default cut rocking chair parts.

We took the chain off and discovered some wear in the guides that the chain travels on. These guides are made of Phenolic Plastic and can be purchased for the low, low price of $1,948.00 Canadian Funds (I am located in Canada). Being as it's an old saw I don't want to begin putting that kind of money into it. I plan to try making some new guides from Hickory and then oiling them up well. Has anyone ever tackled such an undertaking? Am I crazy to try to make new ones from a good, hard wood like Hickory? (The guides are meant to be sacrificial so as to not wear the chain).

I welcome your thoughts and feedback.



7/1/20       #2: SCM M3 Gang Rip Saw Chain Issue ...
Tom Gardiner

Why not make them from phenolic. It is available in a variety of formats and dimension.

7/1/20       #3: SCM M3 Gang Rip Saw Chain Issue ...

Can you get them 3-d printed from somewhere?

7/1/20       #4: SCM M3 Gang Rip Saw Chain Issue ...
Dale Skipper  Member


Hi folks,

Thanks for those responses. Never considered 3D printing. Maybe. I lean towards seeing how much a piece of Phenolic Material would be and then producing them from it.



7/1/20       #5: SCM M3 Gang Rip Saw Chain Issue ...
Fred Frehner Member


Hi Dale,

In western Canada we used to get Phenolic by GE Polymershapes in Calgary.
403 250 1670. If you cut and shape it yourself wear respiration protection.
This is not something you need in your lungs.

Happy Canada Day,

7/2/20       #6: SCM M3 Gang Rip Saw Chain Issue ...
David Egnoski  Member


Consider HDPE. It is made for wear surfaces. Cuts easily.

7/17/20       #7: SCM M3 Gang Rip Saw Chain Issue ...

The phenolic wears more to the inside as that is where most boards run. You can carefully shim them UNDER the guide to get dip back in the chain and get them to the right level for straight tracking. If the guides are way to damaged you would need to replace them. They are made from super durable impregnated phenolic so I don't think you can skimp and expect good results.

7/18/20       #8: SCM M3 Gang Rip Saw Chain Issue ...

I know this is a shot in the dark, but when I used to rebuild Porsche motors, they use chain ramps that are phenolic to guide the cam driven chains. Might get lucky??

7/18/20       #9: SCM M3 Gang Rip Saw Chain Issue ...
Dale Skipper  Member


Hello folks,

Thank you for your feedback. AM - it sounds like you have worked on these machines before. My neighbor who is helping me, a retired Millwright, also suggested we shim the guides to start with. I did not consider that the flat one on the right would likely be worn more then the V-Style one on the left. Makes sense. The guides actually look pretty decent. Some noticeable wear can be felt in the chain itself. Perhaps we'll try shimming first and see where that goes. I'll be sure to keep everyone posted. Thanks again!

7/22/20       #10: SCM M3 Gang Rip Saw Chain Issue ...

Take a four to five piece segment of the chain and use that to work back and forth checking both the dip and the level from side to side shimming under the guides as needed.

Yes I have been in there multiple times before and still have the old M3 we use for reman work. I can't remember exactly what I did last time but may have bit the bullet and replaced the guides and dip cams. I also had to make new inserts for the chain as mine had the rubber insert option and with no dip it had been sawn away. We replaced with a cross hatched aluminum insert I made in house.

7/22/20       #11: SCM M3 Gang Rip Saw Chain Issue ...
Dale Skipper  Member


AM - thank you again for this information. Do you think it is worth the time? Do you think that with shimming the guides as needed I may be able to get the saw to track reasonably straight again?

Thank you in advance.


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