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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:11 am 
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Hi all,

New to forum and looking to purchase a Vertical Panel Saw (Wall Saw).

What we require it for is to cut 2440x1220x18mm MDF boards into 25mm and 38mm strips lengthways (so a 25mmx2440mm strip of wood is the result).

OUR ISSUE:

We currently use Hardware Store B&Q to cut the boards on their Steibig Vertical Panel Saw, they charge £15 per board including VAT and all cuts included which is a good price. We get around 38 strips of 1” per board and 25 strips of 1.5” per board. The cuts are good and clean but we cannot rely on them to cut the qty we need as depending on staff, we get left in the lurch and run out of strips. We have been using a local timber merchant as cover but get charged more at £21.60 per board including VAT, they are not as well cut and sometimes not as straight as they use a manually fed bench saw, and we have to collect (B&Q are literally next door so delivery is no issue)

WORKING ON SOLUTION:

We are going to get our own saw so we are not relying on anybody else to cut for us and thus let us down. We are probably looking at cutting around 30 boards a week at our current level (so around 1000 cuts per week) but could rise upto 100 boards (over 3000 cuts) per week in the following years.

Price is obviously an issue and we don’t want to be spending ridiculous amounts on a saw that is way beyond whats needed for this job, so we are probably looking at around £2000-£3000ish price range. Labour is also a factor, but we know that B&Q can cut 2 boards in around 20 mins so @ £7.50ph labour this would be around £1.25 a board if able to be done at same rate.

We realise we would also need to take dust extraction into account and would appreciate any advice on this issue too.

Have found a few promising looking used saws on Scott+Sergeant (https://www.scosarg.com/used-woodworking-machinery/saws/vertical-panel)

Any advice on best for our needs or any other suggestions of suitable saws would be of great use. Or even a complete different method?
Also any general advice on Vertical Panel Saws in general welcomed (We have the space for it and are aware of the Health and Safety procedures etc..)

Kind Regards
Steven


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:15 pm 
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This panel saw is in your budget range but I am not sure if the 1600w motor would be a weakness with the work load you will give it? http://www.axminster.co.uk/safety-speed ... saw-110067 (look at the video of it in action) Dust extraction is the biggest problem as MDF dust is very very fine particles that can actually blow through filters so you need to look at that carefully. This one traps 1 micron particles so it should do the job http://www.axminster.co.uk/axminster-tr ... tor-508334 again the video is worth a look.

Both units are portable which will be useful in moving them around as needed.

DWD


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:28 pm 
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Hi,

Thanks for the reply.

I've previously had a look at those but if I'm not mistaken, they only do vertical cuts don't they?

We need it to cut horizontally across the long length of the 2440mm MDF board.

Kind Regards
Steven


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 1:37 pm 
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:dunno: It does vertical and horizontal cuts according to the description.
I did look at one from Axminster some years back when I was cutting a fair bit of veneered mdf, but I couldn't justify the cost myself.

ETA If I was buying any kit like this I'd want to talk to someone actually running that machine regularly.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 4:53 pm 
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Have a look at the video, it is very simple to change the saw to horizontal cutting.

DWD


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 6:45 pm 
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sbdbbp wrote:
We are going to get our own saw so we are not relying on anybody else to cut for us and thus let us down. We are probably looking at cutting around 30 boards a week at our current level (so around 1000 cuts per week) but could rise upto 100 boards (over 3000 cuts) per week in the following years.

Price is obviously an issue and we don’t want to be spending ridiculous amounts on a saw that is way beyond whats needed for this job, so we are probably looking at around £2000-£3000ish price range. Labour is also a factor, but we know that B&Q can cut 2 boards in around 20 mins so @ £7.50ph labour this would be around £1.25 a board if able to be done at same rate.

Firstly, why select a wall saw? Secondly, how accurate a cut do you require? In general wall saws are considerably less accurate (i.e. consistent, repeatable) than horizontal sliding panel saws, but they have the advantage of requiring less floor space. I once ran a business where we broke-down MDF sheet at roughly the rate you do, although in our case it was to feed into a CNC point-to-point so the primary breaking down required the use of a cut optimisation program. We used a 2.5 metre sliding table panel saw at first (ater on we had a 3.2 metre saw with a power feeder fitted). Looking at your budget, though, I'd say you'll not find anything in that range with any degree of reliability or repeatability simply because machines such as Streibig or Holz-Her wall saws or decent quality panel saws weigh in at well over £10k new (often over £20k) so at £3k what you'll be offered is going to be very secondhand. The alternative machines, such as the low-cost units sold to the sign trade ate £3k or so are all lightweigt, low-volume machines which woulld be unsuitable for the medium to high volumes you are talking about

Another issue is that at £7.50/hr your operator probably isn't going to be a trained wood machinist (rate £10 to £12/hr PLUS employers NI contribution, statutory sick-pay and holiday pay allowances, staff insurance, etc) and so probably won't be able to maintain the saw adequately., They do require competent maintenance, and you don't really want to be paying a woodworking machinery engineer £40/hr every time the saw breaks down. You are also failing to factor-in the additional cost of a dust extraction unit with adequate filtration (3 to 5HP at a minimum with an envelope or peated filter - a single bag "chip collector" unit would be totally inadequate, probably illegal, and would certainly get you a "red card" from the HSE if they ever found you extraction MDF dust with one), ductwork, electrical connections and cable as well as the additiional cost of your electricity and the increased costs associated with insurance (if any). You may well also need to pay to remove the MDF waste (dust), which must go for landfill as it is not recycleable - and both your insurers and the HSE trequire that the extractor is emptied every night and the waste bagged and stored outside the building for fire safety reasons. Do you have a suitable storage area? All this must be factored into your calculations and with respect it really makes a bit of of nonesense of the cost figures you have quoted.

On the other hand the fact that you are paying through the nose to buy from either B&Q (!) or a small timber yard suggests to me that you are more in need of a good look at your supply chain than anything else. What I'd suggest is that rather than trying to find a cheaper materials suppier? For a start at those quantities many timber merchants would happily offer you a far better deal than B&Q do, and if they are any good at all they'd arrange for the material to be broken down and bundled up as well as delivered to you, quite possibly on a call-off basis. On my current project we've been ordering plain MDF strip, ripped to width and paint primed for use as "modern" skirting and architrave. The merchant we deal with has handled the breaking down, edge sanding and primer painting on our behalf and generally needs 3 to 4 days notice of requirements - fairly easy if you can plan adequately. They deliver FoC on orders over £250. Talking to our regukar delivery driver it appears that the firm who break-down and convert have multiole gang saws and straight line rips capable of doing the job, so if you were still looking for an in-house solution I'd suggest that a straight-line rip with an overhead feeder (e.g. Wadkin PU) would be the most efficient way to go. The downside, of course, is that a PU would require 250 to 300 square feet of floor space and you'd still need the fine dust extraction I mentioned above. A PU is also not a machine to be used by any idiot who walks in off the street at £7.50 an hour - in fact in inexperienced hands they can be extremely dangerous bits of kit

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Last edited by Job and Knock on Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 6:54 pm 
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My local bq don't charge for ripping boards,it's free.
For 30 boards a week,that's 6 a day could you not just buy a decent plunge saw and rail? Ripping 6 boards a day won't take many man hours.
Fairly simple to use and very accurate as well and you could hook up an extractor easily. This will cost you around a grand if going for a festool model.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:06 pm 
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From what J & K says, I'd be looking into outsourcing the work.
No overheads on it apart from storage, and the fact that you might have to hold more in stock to get the price right.
It's business. You do it to make money.

I knew a bloke who bought a CNC router because he had some work for it. I never found out the whole story, but to do what he wanted, it ended up costing him more than originally planned. He was chasing round after work to feed the beast to justify having it in the end.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:15 pm 
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Dave54 wrote:
I never found out the whole story, but to do what he wanted, it ended up costing him more than originally planned. He was chasing round after work to feed the beast to justify having it in the end.

Been there, done that! I forgot to mention that some CNC shops have aggregate heads for their machines with a saw blade unit. That means the right machinery can be used to break-down multiple sheets (up to 3 at a time) using these aggregated saw heads. Finding an outfit who can do that might take some time, but they do exist.

steviejoiner74 wrote:
My local bq don't charge for ripping boards,it's free.
For 30 boards a week,that's 6 a day could you not just buy a decent plunge saw and rail? Ripping 6 boards a day won't take many man hours.
Fairly simple to use and very accurate as well and you could hook up an extractor easily. This will cost you around a grand if going for a festool model.

Possibly a bit more, Stevie. Say £400 for a TS55, £450 for a class-M extractor (legal requirement?), £200 for a 3 metre guide rail, £150 for a parallel rip set-up for the rail (for absolute repeatability), then maybe £100 or so to set-up some sheet racking (for storage) and build a cutting bench. Total circa £1300. Not sure I'd want an idiot using a Festool saw and rail, though, because the rails are somewhat fragile and the saws take a bit of care to get a long life out of them. You'll not get that out of someone on minimum wage. I'm also unsure how long a Fessy would last in a production environment. 2 years? 3 years? Seen a few Fezzy tools used in "sharedv environments" where because there was no real "owner" the tools had been abused and basically cream crackered relativey quickly (and the reason why I NEVER loan anyone my Fezzy - I'd be more likely to loan someone my missus!)

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