UHMW chain channel is used at most medium to large sawmills in North America. The product is wear resistant and slick, extending chain life. Primarily chain channel options are for H78 and 81x chain. Several profiles are available from Redwood Plastics and Rubber and you can view them HERE. However what if you need a different profile? What options are available? Actually, we have a few options to meet virtually any requirement.
1.) Modifying Existing Channel
This is perhaps the most common custom chain channel option. If there is a profile that almost matches what you require, existing stock channel can be machined to suit. This is usually shaving the inside walls or base of the channel to make it more open or shorter. This does need to be quoted on a case-by-case basis; however, so do not assume this modifying is provided at no charge.
2.) Milling Custom Channel
This involves machining an entire channel profile out of solid sheet stock. It is the most expensive option per foot; however, often it is the only option for a profile that cannot be modified from existing channel. There are a few differences here: since the channel isn’t extruded it won’t be made of the “clean yellow” UHMW, instead it will be milled from reprocessed-black sheet.
The milling will also result in a profile that doesn’t appear to be nice and smooth. You will see subtle ripples from the “dado” cutting. To mill custom channel you need to supply a drawing or otherwise work with a Redwood Plastics and Rubber representative to get the exact dimensions required.
3.) Custom Extrusion
A custom extrusion profile allows you to get a customized channel that is made of the same clean yellow UHMW as the stocked profiles and the same slick, smooth, surface. There are three potential drawbacks to a custom extrusion. The first is the one-time tooling fee. This is usually a few thousand dollars and may not fit all budgets. Secondly, you need to require a lot of this channel to make it worth it: 1000′ linear feet is the minimum order.
Thirdly, there is a long delivery for custom channel. Including the tooling you’re looking at about 8-10 weeks to get the first run. Subsequent ‘runs’ of custom channel are 4-5 weeks to ship. It sounds like we’re trying to dismiss custom extruded channel as an option – we’re not, it can be an excellent choice! However, you need to understand where your budget, time frame, and usage needs to be to make a custom channel worth it.
If you want to discuss custom channel options, contact a Redwood Plastics and Rubber representative today.