Edge Trimming on a Beam Saw

It's common practice to trim off the factory edge when cutting panels into parts on a beam saw. January 3, 2014

We are having a lot of our parts cut by someone else. From what I understand all of the pieces are cut to size on a beam saw. Does the saw normally cut off all of the factory edges, or do you always have one long edge and one short edge that will not/cannot be cut? I have never used a beam saw and don't know exactly how they work, so I don't know if all pieces could be cut on all four sides. I ask because we just received a shipment of parts that has one edge not cut. I can see the printing on the edge from the factory. Wasn't sure if I need to specify from now on that I want all four edges cut, or if this was something that the saw could not do.

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor L:
The saw can cut all 4 edges, just needs to be programed correctly. Do you send your cut list as an Excel file? Are they running it through their optimizer? They can set any edge trim they want in their optimizer. If you have trouble with long parts not coming out straight, they can set their saw to do a stress relief cut near the center rip, and then straightening cuts. If they are decent operators they should be able to provide cuts that have no chips or at least very little, and you should not be able to see the score line without looking very closely. Some melamine board has a weak face and will want to chip the top corner as the blade exits. That can be minimized by programing the saw to slow just before it exits the cut or if the saw is equipped with an edge scoring unit, they can program that. Beam saws are very capable machines!

From the original questioner:
Thanks. Yes, I send them a parts list on an Excel spreadsheet. I thought that the saw would be able to cut all the edges but I wanted to make sure before I said anything about it. I am beginning to think that this company's operators are a little lacking because of the continued problems I receive from them.

From contributor B:
I never use a factory edge - everything is cut four sides. In the case of long skinny parts, I double cut them to ensure they are not warped.