Smooth-tracking sawmill

Keeping the track rollers on your sawmill running with ease. July 3, 2001

The following is a discussion from WOODWEB's Sawing and Drying Forum.

I just changed the track rollers on my Woodmizer HD-40--wow--I have a new machine. The new rollers really brought back the ease with which this machine passes the log through. Also, the cutting height is true to the scale marks and the blade is more in the horizontal plane. My mill has 1500 hours on it, and while one of the rollers was noticeably failed, the others were just sloppy. Find some way to take the weight off the rollers so that you can check them for slop, especially if your mill is a little sluggish.

Another tip for carriage feed is keeping the center pad well oiled. Also, a friend keeps a garden hose cut down the side to slip over the top bar that these rollers ride on, at night and when not in use. This prevents rust on this bar stock; I'm planning on re-painting mine, and getting a hose for a cover soon. I found when my carriage leaves the mill onto the extension table, it glides like butter (extension tabletop bar is newer and has new paint on it).

Yes, do keep your track wiper clean and oiled. We found a small, round light duty wire brush to get the dust off the felt. Then we use a 50/50 blend of ATF and WD-40. Straight WD-40 dries out too fast.

Also, when we were portable we used PVC electrical conduit with the flared ends to cover the track rail. Just remove a little more then a 1/4 of the surface. Then the PVC will clip onto the rail. Now you can drive down the road and they won't blow off.

I rub the up-down track and also the roller guide track daily with a bar of canning wax. I used to use spray silicone, but that didn't stay on long enough. This stays on, yet doesn't collect sawdust like thin oil does. Anybody else use this?

How old are these mills that develop rust on the rails? Mine is a 2000 and after a rain it has rust spots on it but they wipe off and the surface of the rod is shiny and clean. Maybe it's made out of stainless steel? I use transmission oil for the detergent in the oil--it cut's the pitch right down.

On mine, the paint is worn off where the roller rolls. I tried painting it for protection from a storm, but after an hour or so of running, the paint was gone again. I think your easy rolling is because of something else. Don't forget to wipe the roller down under. I use the far end of the top roller to scrape the gunk from the center pad when cleaning it. Just run the pad along the end of the bar and the profile will scrape it clean.

I agree with the above on the paint issue. It won't stay on the track, and even after a few weeks of no cutting, the surface rust wipes right off.