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March-April-2015

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e often think wood when we think pallets, but we are surrounded by iron and steel in the pallet industry. Whether it's nails, hammers, air nailers or saw blades, it's ubiquitous to the pallet world. In this article, let's focus on blades and also the safety that is necessary for industrial use of this amazing piece of technology. What makes a great saw blade for wooden pallet manufacturers? The simple answer is a mix of iron and carbon makes up a blade, but there is much more to it than its makeup. The more complex question is what is the best blade? Adding different elements to the basic mixture of carbon and iron is what differentiates the various types of cutting blades. With the right mixture and process you can create beautiful Damascus steel or a strong and resilient Japanese Katana, but hardly the right tools for the pallet job. PalletCentral asked around and received a number of comments about what to look for in a blade, safety practices or what makes a better blade? Better Blades Jeff Chynoweth, president and CEO, Phillips Saw & Tool, Inc., provides a blade perspective as an OEM saw blade manufacturer. He explains many things to look for in a blade. 1) The Plate: The saw plate needs to run true, stay straight and not crack for as long as possible. Good steel plates can last for years, can be re- tipped and respond well to hammering. 2) The Carbide: What grade, what grain, what mixture of cobalt/carbide are you choosing for the sawing application? 3) The Braze: The material that joins the carbide tooth to the saw plate will play a major factor. 4) Brazing teeth with a hand torch (manual) or automatic controlled brazing machines? Industry Thought Leaders Building a Better Pallet, Getting the Edge on Saw Blades Compiled by Annette Ferri MANUFACTURING W 32 PalletCentral • March-April 2015 palletcentral.com

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