Rip saw and moulder methods

Using a ripsaw and moulder to machine solid wood panels. July 24, 2001

We have been producing edge-glued laminated solid wood panels for one year and are now trying to increase the capacity. If we use a very precise ripsaw, will it be possible to plane just the edges in the moulder? We have been using Weinig moulders and we have already tried replacing the upper rollers with rubber inlays, but it didn't work, as we are only working with soft wood strips. Can anybody suggest an improvement for our machinery so that we won't have to plane the upper and lower faces, but just the edges?

Forum Responses
Depending on the size of the wood pieces, it is normally possible to machine one, two, three or all four edges on a moulder. By using proper holddown and roller units, most work pieces can be fed through a machine. A key thing to remember is to have the fences and tables aligned correctly. This will allow the work piece to be controlled.

Dave Rankin, forum technical advisor

From my experience, it is more efficient to glue up at a +1/2 - 3/4" tolerance and size to width post gluing whilst eating the waste. The waste at this or even 1"+ is covered by the labor savings in the rest of the process.

Pertaining to thickness, I do not know what type of equipment you're using nor the specs of your contract, so I can't say for sure. But I have always had to be responsible for rough planing to smooth the surface (even the pieces) at least, or planed then sanded at most.
You certainly can't be wanting this because your pieces come out flat.

If they're going through the molder anyway, why wouldn't you just glue them thick and do the finishing on the same pass through the molder?

In regards to the ripsaw, talk to Raimann USA. Their ripsaws have an outstanding precision and are able to run with extremely thin saw blades.

With a Mereen Johnson gang saw, gang ripped edges need no further treatment before edge gluing. In other words, you can get glue line rips right off of the back end of their gang saw. I know of no other company that guaranties this. M-J is in Minneapolis. I've sold 200+ of them.

It is correct that one can get a glueable precision edge from a ripsaw, but there are others capable of this.

I am a service engineer with Raimann USA and have been very busy the past couple of years installing moveable blade ripsaws, more often then not for glue cut applications. We guarantee our glue cut capability.

Can the strips be prepared for gluing by running them through the moulder on edge, rather than horizontally? (The idea being that corrugated feed rollers could be used and only top and bottom cutters used.)

If you are preparing these pieces through a moulder after they have been ripped, I would take a serious look at production cost. We only make panels as a recovery item and if I had to run them through a moulder before the glue process I would rather sell them to the rabbit farmer for the wood chips. A moulder finish is also too smooth of a cut for proper glue up. There will be a tendency to starve the joint for glue or laying the fibers to the point you will have no penetration.

We get our wood in hit or missed at 15/16 and when I glue for width, if a lot, I will surface 3 sides thickness 7/8 and side width 1/8.