Tuffkast 020 Sawmill Carriage Wheels


Sawmill carriage wheels are a very popular plastics application that has proven itself over decades and Redwood Plastics and Rubber’s “Tuffkast” proprietary plastic has performed so well in this application that a special grade, Tuffkast 020, was formulated specifically for this one application! The product is slightly softer, which helps it fit carriage rails better and is orange in color.

These are typically supplied as “blanks” where customers give an outer diameter and a thickness of their wheels and Redwood provides discs that are 1/4″ oversized on the dimensions (to permit machining down to size). Machined wheels can be provided complete as well but a fully dimensioned drawing will be needed.

For more information or a quote on sawmill carriage wheel blanks or complete wheels please contact Redwood Plastics and Rubber.

Carriage Wheel

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Why Is Polyurethane Used So Often In Sawmill Applications?


We occasionally hear from our sawmill customers “You guys want to stick urethane in everything!” The comment isn’t to be mean but it reflects the fact that many applications and problems we are tasked with solving end up with a polyurethane solution. For many people they are surprised that polyurethane can serve any “industrial” applications in the first place, with most people thinking it’s just a type of foam used in furniture and mattresses.

In fact, polyurethane is a versatile material with special properties called an “elastomer” meaning it rebounds when compressed to most of its old dimensions. In addition, it’s not just available in a foam – it can be manufactured in all sorts of solid grades from gel-like shock reducers to bearing grade products capable of taking 2500 PSI.

So, why do we use it in sawmills?

Polyurethane is a problem solver and where it solves issues are with impact, wear, abrasion, and even noise. There no question those are issues at sawmills so lets start with impact, which can prematurely wear or damage equipment and welds. The softer shock absorbing polyurethane, Redco Deadplate, can be strategically deployed to take this impact and save the equipment. A good example of a wear and abrasion solution are our Redco 750 polyurethane L-channels/guides used in OSB plants.

UHMW is widely used in this application but it is a high-load, high friction application that can make UHMW bubble due to heat and deform. Polyurethane will not under the same conditions. Redco 750 itself deserves special mention – a bearing grade product still able to handle high impact with excellent wear properties, it has been used for decades as bearings and SN inserts in mills (as well as C-bars and J-Hooks).

So, why polyurethane?

It simply works and because its properties offer many simultaneous advantages (wear resistant and impact resistant at the same time) it offers unique problem solving solutions many other plastics can’t.

For assistance with your sawmill application, please contact us today.


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Rubber Roller RE & RE For Sawmill Applications

Rubber covered rollers are everywhere and the lumber processing industry is no exception. Eventually the OEM rollers you have will have their surfaces wear or get damaged causing them to not convey materials properly, which can cause major production issues! To avoid costly downtime – what do you do? Firstly, hopefully you have spares so that your production doesn’t completely go down. Secondly, you need to get in touch with Redwood Plastics and Rubber, who is a plastics and rubber fabrication and distribution company in North America with a large roller division.

Redwood can offer anything from a “RE & RE” which involves stripping off the old rubber and building a cover with new rubber from the steel core up and can even offer brand new rollers – including getting the steel cores machined for you. They offer several finishes from machine ground to polished and can include options like various treads. You can learn more and download a brochure here.

So, you need a roller RE & RE…What do you have to do? First, contact Redwood Plastics and Rubber with your request. A representative will send you a one-page spec sheet to print, take some measurements, and email back. If you don’t know the type of rubber used on your roller, we would need a sample of the material mailed to us. Alternatively, you can simply ship us an old roller and we can take all the required measurements from it ourselves.

What’s important is crating: roller finishes are sensitive to damage and a crate is the only secure way to transport a rebuilt or new roller. If you do not send the roller crated, we will offer to build you one at a quoted price. Our quality and price is very competitive within the industry. We hope to hear from you soon regarding your roller requirements.


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If You’re Experiencing These Problems, Plastics Can Help


This article is non-specific in that it doesn’t discuss a single plastic or application. It is geared towards those involved in maintenance at sawmills, planar mills, and OSB plants when something is wrong and a solution isn’t self-evident. In what type of situations should you consult with a knowledgeable plastics distributor, such as Redwood Plastics and Rubber? While there are countless maintenance issues you can run into, plastics tend to do their best work when the following problems are encountered:

1.) Wear & Abrasion

Premature wear is an issue with many metallic sawmill components over too many machines to describe. This could be anything from various bushings, to chain wear, sprocket wear, sheaves, etc. Plastics that would be used in wood manufacturing applications tend to be very slick and by mating them with the metal components you have, or in cases outright replacing those metal components, your reduce wear and extend part life.

2.) Noise

As we just mentioned, mating a plastic to a metal component reduces wear but it also reduces noise. Many jurisdictions require noise to not exceed a certain level and with all the banging, scraping, and machinery running at a mill it is not uncommon for the noise level to be found to be in violation of code. By swapping out metal mating parts for performance plastic parts you will greatly reduce noise – an excellent example is replacing metal sprockets with Redco 750 polyurethane sprockets.

3.) Shock/Impact (finding broken welds?)

Impact is a major maintenance concern at mills – with logs and lumber constantly being conveyed and hitting things, machinery can be damaged and welds broken. Elastomeric products, particularly rubber and polyurethane, perform very well as bumpers and shock absorbers…Redco Deadplate is an absolute standout for this application. If you have broken welds or other impact damage in your mill definitely get in touch.

Plastics can assist in other ways such as reducing power requirements for equipment, if you have questions please contact Redwood Plastics and Rubber today.

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Trimmer Lug Spec Sheet


White or black UHMW polyethylene trimmer lugs are ubiquitous at most sawmills. Unlike metal lugs, the softer UHMW takes impact while being gentle and non-marking with the lumber. These are also an easy to manufacture part that Redwood Plastics and Rubber has decades of experience machining.

Need a quote on some lugs and not sure where to start? We’ll make it easy for you with another one of our “oldie but goodie” spec sheets from the 1980s…Merged with the sharing ability of modern technology! Download the picture file below, print it, fill in your required dimensions, scan it, and email it to sales@redwoodplastics.com

Please also tell us the quantity required and if you’d prefer white or black?


Roller Trimmer Lug Blank

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Redco Titanium Liner – VIDEO

Seeing is believing! We’ve posted a new video on YouTube of a “before and after” involving our Redco Titanium liner. At issue was a conveyor at a sawmill with a metal on metal flights -> conveyor connection. This was causing slip stick and wear issues which would result in premature wear and increased power costs to pull the sticking chain along.

We supply this liner typically at 1/2″-3/4″ thick with plug holes and weld washers to affix to the conveyor. The result is a dramatic improvement in how the conveyor works. You can view the video here:

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Custom Redco 750 SN Bearing Inserts


Redwood Plastics and Rubber offers a series of six molded polyurethane inserts for SN bearing systems. Part numbers R-1150 to R-1155 cover bores 1-15/16″ to 3-15/16″ but what if you have a larger bearing? The news is good as we can absolutely manufacture larger sizes! We just need a part number for the original bearing system. Fair warning that these are custom machined solutions vs. molded solutions meaning the per-piece cost will be substantial. If you think you would be using the inserts more often then you can discuss the creation of a tooling fee and what that would cost.

If you need more information about this solution, contact Redwood Plastics and Rubber today.


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Why Are You Still Using Metal Sprockets?


Recently we took part in a large expansion of one of our customer’s facilities and Redco plastic solutions were in all of the new machinery; however, for a new sorter our plastic sprockets had been declined in favor of a less expensive steel option. This is, of course, the customer’s choice but there were already clear signs of wear on the sprocket and they were noisy making the use of earplugs compulsory. It was a reminder that sometimes we don’t communicate well enough the advantages and benefits of mating a plastic sprocket to metal chain.

The most important advantage is less wear. When you mate metal to metal the abrasion will prematurely wear the chain and the sprocket’s teeth. Anytime you need to shut down for maintenance or replace parts costs your mill money! The reduced noise is the second benefit. Noise is a hazard and noise reduction should be a priority; however, while plastic-to-metal connections reduce noise, metal on metal increases it.

Many metal sprockets are also solid; however, Redco polyurethane sprockets have a detachable A-plate from the hub. This means when the sprocket’s teeth eventually do wear you only need to purchase new A-plates but not a full sprocket and this saves you money.

Lastly, polyurethane is an elastomer. This means it takes a measure of impact and then rebounds where metal will simply dent. Have you had impact issues affecting your metal sprockets? Polyurethane would make an ideal solution.

Redwood Plastics and Rubber offers a wide variety of split and solid polyurethane sprockets for 81X/H78 chain. Check them out here.


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Oregon Bend Spec Sheet

Our popular “Oregon Bends” are plastic chain channel we form into semicircles for when sawmill chain wraps around a bend. These are not a “standard” solution as the channel used, infeed and outfeed are different depending on the mill. To that end we’ve prepared a spec sheet that gives the customer everything they’d need to get a quote. You can download the drawing below, print it, fill it out and email it to Redwood Plastics and Rubber.

Oregon Bend Blank Drawing

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Differences Between Redco SPS-2000 and Synsteel

Redwood Plastics and Rubber offers two “pulp safe” plastics and while they might appear to be interchangeable or similar, they’re really not, and have both different properties and applications. In fact, it’s critically important to know where each should be used. SPS-2000 is meant to dissolve in the kraft mill chemical process and should be the only of the two plastics used in kraft mills! This is because Synsteel will not dissolve under the same process! Conversely, SPS-2000 is not suitable for pulp mills that do not use the kraft process. Those mills use metal detectors and that is where Synsteel, with its embedded metal component, must be used instead. The easiest way to think about it is to use SPS-2000 in kraft mills and Synsteel everywhere else. At this point lets break down the materials.

SPS-2000 Polyurethane:

Besides being kraft mill safe, SPS-2000 offers some other excellent properties. It is the slickest polyurethane product we offer with the lowest coefficient of friction. Its fillers also provide high wear and abrasion resistance combined with both load and impact strength. It is able to bear 2500 PSI load in application. SPS-2000 is quite dimensionally stable and resists most oils, greases, and solvents.



Redco Synsteel has a specific gravity > 2 meaning it will sink (unlike virgin UHMW, which floats). Also, the metal filling makes it attracted to magnets and will trip metal detectors (though that depends on the size of the piece). We’d be happy to mail you a free piece of Synsteel offcut to trial in your mill, cut into various pieces, and see how it detects. The steel filling also provides other benefits such as twice the compressive strength of virgin UHMW, improved abrasion resistance and reduced thermal expansion. All UHMW can take a beating but Redco Synsteel especially with these properties. This makes it an especially good product to use on the log deck (of any mill, not just pulp mills).

For more information or a quotation on Redco Synsteel or SPS-2000, please contact us today.



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