Which type of edger is better--the type made by Timberking and Baker with the conveyer belt or the type made by Wood-Mizer with powered rollers on top and bottom?
Are those of you handling over 100,000 board feet a year using edgers or edging on your mills? Also, in a one man operation, is edging on the mill an awkward job?
Assume the average hardwood lumber width is 8 inches. Assume that the edging is not done precisely and so is 1/4 inch too much. Because once in a while the lumber will end up being just scant of the larger board footage, this will result in an average loss of 3% monthly. (With narrower average lumber widths and more inaccuracy, the numbers get quite large.)
So, a good hardwood edger operation will be very accurate (perhaps 1/16 inch) and allow the saws to be positioned precisely and the operator to have good visibility. Of course, even the best edger cannot work well if the operator doesn't know the grading rules, critical lumber widths, etc.
Wouldn't it be a good idea to tell the operator that he/she is just 1/16 inch away from the next BF of lumber? That is, make the piece 1/16" wider and you will gain 1 BF. I saw one of these edgers manufactured by Corley.
In one study I helped with in Virginia, we found that the average hardwood edging process has losses (due to poor edging) of over 26% of the lumber's value.
Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor
I have sawed with and without vertical edgers. I find that from a production standpoint, the vertical edger costs you in production. This comes from the extra travel distance required to clear the edger. An extra 6 feet carriage travel on each pass starts to add up by the end of the day.
Then you have to factor in the extra time it takes to set the saws. I can't get the accuracy that Gene has described with a vertical edger.
Less production means higher $/bf production costs.
The consideration for furniture wood is that the board is what the customer wants and is many times edged on only one side so that he has the choice of selecting good wood in his shop. The one straight edge just helps him using a table saw fence. It would be nice to have an edger, but more equipment complicates the logistics of setting up on the job.
Comment from contributor A:
One of the writers stated that he had to back up an exta 6 feet with each pass with a vertical edger. This doesn't have to be the case. The end of the log only needs to clear the mandrel before the carriage has to be reversed. This is only about 6 feet in Helle Sawmills. Also the edger is set while the log is returning, so there is no delay there. A good sawyer with a vertical will do a better job edging than the average edgerman.