PVC Strip Door – Keep The Cold Out Of Your Mill


In the world of engineered plastics solutions for sawmills – plastics that function – it can be easy to overlook some of the simpler applications. One of those is flexible PVC strip door available from Redwood Plastics and Rubber. This strip door is sold by the roll and is all cold-weather rated. This means it can stand the deep freeze that can occur in the northern U.S. states and Canada up to -30 degrees Fahrenheit.

Strip door does more than just trap heat inside. It makes your workers more comfortable and therefore productive. It will also reduce your heating bill which saves you money in the long run. If the strip door is replacing a regular door productivity will increase as workers can walk/drive right through. In regards to availability, here are the available sizes: 8″ (.080″ thick)x 400′ length, 12″ (.120″ thick) x 200′ length, and 16″ (.160″ thick) x 100′ length. In Canada, these rolls are stocked and available for next day shipping while they last.

For more information on this or other plastic sawmill solutions available from Redwood Plastics and Rubber please contact us today.



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Machine Your Own Kiln Bushings


Redwood Plastics and Rubber has a long history of providing premium quality machined kiln wheel bushings to customers. But leads times can often be 4 weeks or sometimes more to ship your bushings and there are times you simply cannot wait. The good news is we can often get tube stock to you, oversized on the outer diameter and undersized on the inner diameter, to allow you to machine your own bushings. This will often save 1-1.5 weeks on your order time and is good if you have a shutdown coming up where getting finished bushings simply isn’t possible in your time frame. You can machine the bushings locally in your facility or outsource them to a local shop.

Some of our branches also stock regular blue nylon kiln bushings in popular sizes. While these do not fit all kiln wheels and are not made of our superior Hi-Temp Yellow material, they are for emergency use. They will not come with grease grooves or holes either. Regardless, the best advice we could give is to either buy the bushings in bulk and keep the spares on hand or purchase some tube stock to keep on hand in case of emergencies. If you have any questions about our Redco kiln bushings or kiln bushing material please contact us today.


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Shark Fin Replacement Parts


The Shark Fin Board Turning System (www.Sharkfinsystems.com) has plastic components manufactured from durable Redco polyurethane. Even though these components are high-wear and take significant impact, they will eventually require replacement. What you may not know; however, is that through the many years the Shark Fin System has been used the fin-shaped lugs have undergone several design revisions. The lugs have by no means been a standard (until very recently, 2016). Therefore you need to give more details to Redwood Plastics when you send in a request. This also goes for the polyurethane star turners, which will eventually need replacement and also come in several formats.

Take a photo of the turner or lug and provide some measurements. The shape will help differentiate the lug as there are some very visible differences between the various types of lug. Next you should measure the height, width, and other dimensions of the “fin” portion of the lug (the base is more or less standard). Also critical to note is what colors you need the lugs to be. Shark Fin systems come with different color lugs for each grader so do not forget that important detail!

In regards to the turners the length of the turner arms is critical as are the “gullets” those are the serrated cut-outs in each turner arm that help to turn the lumber. These gullets are NOT standardized, with eight different sized gullets in service. The length and depth of the gullet must be measured and sent along with your quote request. Another detail on the replacement star turners is that you will have to drill four holes on each star to match the metal collars you have on site. This is the reason the turners do not come pre-drilled: each match on site will be different!

As far as cost, the replacement star turners are a few hundred dollars while lugs average about $72.00/each. Typical delivery is 3-4 weeks to ship, so be sure to consider the time-frame when anticipating your order.

For answers to your questions about the Shark Fin Board Turning System or to get a quote on replacement parts please contact Redwood Plastics.


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Product Spotlight: Redco Pusher Lugs


The humble plastic pusher lug is a workhorse of the sawmill industry. Plastic pusher lugs, made from Redco polyurethane or UHMW, offer excellent impact and low-temperature tolerance (especially UHMW). These lugs will not mark the wood and also absorb shock. Being lighter than metal, these lugs reduce the amount of power required to move the chain and thus save some money in your power bill. Typical hardness for the polyurethane version of the product are Redco 80A or 75D and can be supplied in an array of colors, similar to Shark Fin lugs.

We offer 8 styles of lug and also can provide steel inserts if requested. A graphic of the available lug styles is below. For questions or a quotation on Redwood Plastics’ pusher lug product, please contact us today.


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SN Bearing Inserts – Part Numbers and Profiles


The Redco series of plastic SN bearing inserts is a popular sawmill product Redwood Plastics branches widely stock. These inserts are made of Redco 750 polyurethane and have proven their success in this application for decades. In the beginning, these inserts were meant as an emergency replacement for SN bearings but worked so well many sawmills use them as a standardized part. The main point of confusion when our customers order is which part number is associated with which bore size. With six of the molded SN series inserts we can provide, here are the associated bores for each size:

R-1150: 1-15/16″ (36.5mm) bore

R-1151: 2-3/16″ (49.2mm) bore

R-1152: 2-7/16″(55.5mm) bore

R-1153: 2-15/16″ (61.9mm) bore

R-1154: 3-7/16″ (74.6mm) bore

R-1155: 3-15/16″ (100mm) bore

Usually 10-25 of each bearing insert is carried in stock by our Canadian branches. For price and delivery on these inserts please contact Redwood Plastics.


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Oregon Bends


Oregon bends are segments of Redco chain channel that have been cut to a specified length and bent to a certain radius to go around equipment (see picture below). These bends are essential to allow the sawmill chain to return to the start of the table in a smooth and unbroken pattern. They can be affixed, by weld washers, same as the channel used for straight lengths. The manufacturing method used to make them is light thermoforming: the lengths of channel are heated to about 175 degrees where the UHMW plastic (which is what chain channel is made from) becomes quite soft and pliable. Our various branches have different methods to do this, but the end result is a bent channel that when cooled, will retain most of its shape.

We do need to be clear that a little “elbow grease” will be required to hold the oregon bends down during installation as there is unavoidable “rebound” after the bend cools. But this is not difficult to do. We can also supply these oregon bends out of both our regular clean/yellow/repro UHMW or our Redco Titanium channel. There is also the possibility that you can make your own oregon bends. A heat source like a BBQ would work well, just keep it on low. You will need some sort of mandrel, a circular drum-type object with the same diameter as your sawmill equipment. You simply bend the heated channel around that drum.

For information or a quote on UHMW oregon bends please contact Redwood Plastics.

Oregon Bends

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Quoting Trimmer Lugs


UHMW trimmer lugs are one of the most common plastic applications in sawmills. But quotes tend to be delayed when the request is just for “20 trimmer lugs, P & D please.”. All trimmer lugs are not created equal!

Most are made from natural (white) UHMW polyethylene; however, that’s there the ‘standard’ of this part ends. We need to know the length, the outer diameter, and whether the lug is counterbored on one or both sides. We also need to know the diameter of the pin that goes in the center.

Usually the pin has a 1″ diameter but we don’t want to make assumptions. Knowing the quantity is critical to any quote as well: the higher the quantity, the more money you can save. We can also supply the steel pins if necessary but this is only on request and we need to be asked to do so. Average lead time to ship an order is 2-3 weeks and it’s important to know that trimmer lugs are not kept ‘on the shelf’. They are manufactured to-order.

For quotation on your trimmer lugs or other sawmill plastic parts please contact Redwood Plastics.


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Sheaves For Sawmills


While not an application unique to sawmills, nylon sheaves bring the same benefits and advantages to sawmill applications as they do to any other industry. Plastic sheaves are long-lasting, lightweight, easy to install, and excel in high-load, low RPM applications. Another advantage of nylon sheaves is that the sheave itself can serve as a bearing: it is usually not necessary to procure and insert aftermarket bearings. Nylon sheaves have a high-load bearing capacity of 4,000 PSI and are available with a variety of fillers, such as oil and molybdenum disulphide aka “moly”.

Redwood Plastics offers a sheave design manual available here. While the manual is useful, we don’t want to over-complicate the process either because in most cases a very simple sheave will work that doesn’t require fancy hubs or “webbing”. If you don’t have a design of your own or sample to send us we require only the following information to get started with a quote:

1.) Diameter of the center bore (and confirmation you need a running clearance to spin freely on a shaft).

2.) The overall outer diameter of the sheave.

3.) The type and diameter of the rope or cable being used.

4.) Quantity of sheaves required.

Based off that information we can get a quotation for a simple sheave. Delivery is usually 3-4 weeks and discounts for high volume purchases are often given: so stock up the first time.

For assistance with your nylon sheave application please contact us today.








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Redco Titanium And Tivar 88 In Sawmill Applications


Don’t let the title of this article fool you: it is not about comparing and contrasting Redco Titanium vs. Tivar 88. In fact, we here at Redwood Plastics would consider those plastics virtually interchangeable in sawmill applications. Both are premium types of UHMW, both will outwear and outlast reprocessed and natural grade UHMW in similar applications. Our branches stock differing levels of either plastic and being open to an “either or” substitution will help you save money and get your application on the go quickly.

Redco Titanium or Tivar 88 would be substituted for natural or reprocessed UHMW in areas where the product works but is failing too quickly. Two good examples would be wear strip or chain channel. Both products are more dimensionly-stable than regular or repro UHMW and both have a lower coefficient of friction. Both cost around 30% more than natural grade UHMW; however, these upfront costs are often balanced by a lower lifecycle cost as Titanium or Tivar 88 parts are replaced less often. Another important point is that both premium UHMW products are UV-stabilized for outdoor use: most people know natural (white) UHMW is not UV-stable but they seem to assume that “black UHMW” which most commonly is reprocessed UHMW is UV-stable. In reality, the amount of carbon black in reprocessed-grade UHMW is too small to qualify as UV-stable, it has “limited” UV resistance at best!

Ultimately the best way to see the benefits of Tivar 88 or Redco Titanium is to use it in your application. If you have specific questions on either material or would like help with your sawmill application please contact us.

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Sawmill Spotlight: Brooks Sawmill


Have you seen the recent Leonardo Di Caprio film “The Revenant”? Some people know the film was made in Canada but most do not know where the building materials came from used to make the 19th century West come to life. It was Brooks Sawmill out of Cochrane, Alberta. A family run sawmill that has actually supplied sawn lumber to several other films. In addition, their lumber is highly regarded for use with corrals and outbuildings for many local clients, as Cochrane has become quite affluent in recent years.

The sawmill itself is very old having been established in 1901. Current proprietor David Brooks speaks of customers calling the single phone in the town (located at the general store) to put through lumber orders a couple seasons before they picked up in spring. David also speaks of times where the steam engine, which ran the sawmill, could only work for half a day due to water shortages. Those were definitely challenging times! To read the full article as per the author Tony Kryzanowski (Alberta Farmer Express) please click here.


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