Head Saw Alignment

The band and carriage on a head saw may be set at an angle to allow gravity to work for you (but not too hard). November 26, 2008

We have two head saws in our mill. Our jr head saw's band is straight up and down. The band and carriage on our main head saw is tilted. What makes the main head saw better with the tilted band and carriage?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From Professor Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
Both can be equal. Gravity is helping the tilted saw hold the log, which can be an advantage when the log has tension and also when logs are flipped quickly. That is, gravity helps get the log into position.

From contributor A:
Most of the time the one that is straight up and down is called a LineBar resaw. It is for splitting cants most of the time. The tilted one is for cutting logs or "break down" and the slant is so the board or slab will fall off to a conveyor, but not so much slope it will break off too soon. So does the jr head saw cut cants or small logs?

From Professor Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
The up and down one is often called a vertical band saw. It is by far the most common band saw configuration for band sawmill headrigs.

For resaws, we see both vertical and horizontal band saws. A line bar is a specialized vertical band resaw. I do not recall seeing a tilted carriage except for head rigs. We also see resaws that have a bunch of short band saw blades fastened together in a frame and the frame moves up and down a short distance; this is called a frame saw or sash-gang saw.

From the original questioner:
We use the jr head saw for smaller, straighter logs. Its main purpose is to lessen the demand on our main head rig when the resaw is pounding right through the lumber. The whole gravity thing makes a lot of sense to me, especially when you get one that's too big to dog on the jr carriage (scary!).