I am trying to reduce tearout when moulding solid fir lumber. Flat grain, not vertical. We have very few issues with vertical grain, but the additional cost of cut stock is prohibitive to our customers. Parts are being run on a Weinig Unimat 22AL. Is it the nature of the beast? We have experimented with feed rate, carbine vs. insert tooling.
(Solid Wood Machining Forum)
From contributor D:
Heat seems to make the winter growth rings peel up. What helps me on doors is using a serrated hogger to remove most of the stock, so that the actual profile knife is removing very little. I'm guessing you're using a moulder, and in that case a serrated knife ahead of the real cutter is the way to go. Also, this may not even be an issue if you can get lumber with tighter growth rings. I've found the old growth, usually with rings less than 1/16" apart, machines much nicer.
Also, if you run the stick in one direction and it tears out, save it, then just as a test, run it later in the other direction - I'll bet it doesn't tear out in the other direction. If you can determine which end is up before you feed them into the moulder, you may be able to minimize tearout.
High speed steel knives in a corrugated cutterhead with a 5 degree shear. I just recently completed testing at a large production shop that runs Douglas fir and we used a 20 degree hook with a 5 degree shear. We ran both 2 knife heads unjointed and 6 knife heads jointed. The result was the reduction of tearout by more than 80%. We used M2, T1 and DGK knives as part of the testing.
As a note, shear cutterheads do have limitations. Normally a 6" cut length is the maximum with 5 degree shear. You need to have a top head and a different bottom head as the shears go in different directions.
They are easy to grind with a special tool rest. I have been grinding profiles in shear for over 20 years and this has worked in many applications besides Doug fir.