Saw Service & Supply Helps Recyclers Cut Nails, Stubble
Ohio Supplier Known for Blades for Dismantling Machines and Trim Saws
By Josie Schmidt
Date Posted: 11/1/2002
CLEVELAND Ė Saw Service & Supply Inc.ís extensive history and experience as a vendor to other industries paved the way to helping recyclers overcome a tough challenge: cutting nails and wood with nail stubble.
The Cleveland-based company has been an innovator in steel cutting technology. Having developed a type of alloy that is used for steel cutting saw blades, Saw Service & Supply applied its expertise to the pallet recycling industry. Pallet recyclers are faced with two cutting applications: band saw machines to dismantle pallets and trim saws to cut deck boards and stringers that contain nail stubble.
Saw Service & Supply developed a nail-cutting circular saw blade with a tip that does not come off. "I canít tell you what we have and how we do it, because thatís one of the companyís best kept secrets," vice president Gary Snyder chuckled. "We donít tell you whatís in the sauce, but over the course of the last 48 years, this company has developed techniques which are unique in the industry."
The company is set to introduce another innovation. By yearís end, Saw Service & Supply expects to begin marketing a new line of disposable circular saw blades made of titanium.
The blades last about five times longer than other disposable blades, according to Gary. They will offer pallet recyclers the option of a mid-range blade -- slightly more expensive than conventional disposable blades but less expensive than other nail cutting blades. The disposable titanium blades can be re-tipped and re-sharpened.
Saw Service & Supply was founded primarily as a manufacturer of saw blades for cutting metal. Its blades were supplied to aluminum and steel manufacturers. The company was founded in 1954 by Pat Belock, who began working in his garage. The company is headed now by his son, Bob, who serves as president. Bob has spent his career working in the company. "That is one reason he is able to produce such a good product," noted Gary.
Saw Service & Supply entered the blade market for pallet recyclers in the mid-1990s. At that time, Gary and Bob formed the pallet division of Saw Service & Supply. Gary previously worked for a company that manufactured band saw dismantlers and other pallet recycling equipment. He already had begun to refer some customers to Saw Service & Supply for replacement blades. "I think we were a pretty good match," Gary said.
Saw Service & Supply has more than 50 administrative and production employees. The pallet division is led by three people. In addition to Gary, Dale Belock, pallet division international manager, handles overseas business and works with customers in many areas of the U.S. Nathan Belock, pallet division regional manager, works with customers in the eastern and mid-western states. Together, Dale, Nathan and Gary specialize in solving technical problems for customers and supplying blades to the pallet recycling and lumber markets.
Saw Service & Supply continues to supply metal-cutting saw blades for steel manufacturing operations and other businesses.
In the pallet recycling arena, the company supplies carbide-tipped circular saw blades and its line of carbide-tipped NailCutter circular saw blades as well as bi-metal and carbon band saw blades for dismantling machines. Saw Service & Supply also supplies band saw blades for band resaws, sawmill and portable sawmills.
The companyís value as a supplier to pallet recyclers is in its decades of experience with metal cutting applications, according to Gary. "Our objective is very basic," he said. "It is to provide a cost effective saw blade to our customers -- 100 percent guaranteed, no questions asked." If a customer is not satisfied with a blade for any reason, Saw Service & Supply will offer a full refund, including shipping and handling costs.
With the companyís expansion into the pallet recycling business, Bob, Nathan and Gary realized the need for innovation. They strived to develop a more cost-effective, efficient circular saw blade, and Saw Service & Supply became a pioneer of disposable carbide-tipped circular saw blades for the pallet recycling industry.
"These are the kind of blades you find at Home Depot or Sears, but you would probably pay three or four times as much for them per blade," said Gary. The companyís 10-inch disposable blade is priced at $10. Price and ready availability in stock sizes have made the blades popular with pallet recyclers.
"We know two things about pallet recycling," noted Gary. "One, you are going to hit nails. And two, you are going to tear the blade up. So why spend more than 10 dollars for a blade?"
For customers who prefer a longer-lasting blade, Saw Service & Supply manufactures higher end NailCutter blades, using a unique alloy to attach carbide tips to the plate.
"Itís a darn good blade," said Gary. "The downside is you have to send it out for re-sharpening on a regular basis." NailCutter blades are made with carbide nail cutting tips custom designed with a nail cutting grind and hook angle.
Its disposable carbide-tipped circular saw blades, designed for trimming deck boards and stringers with nail stubble, are available in sizes ranging from 7 1/4 inches to 14 inches in diameter and for arbors of various size. NailCutter blades are available in seven sizes, from 10 inches to 22 inches in diameter.
The companyís popular 1 1/4-inch bi-metal and carbon band blades for dismantling machines are available in multiple lengths; stock bands are ready to ship. The company also provides custom welding of band blades to any length.
Saw Service & Supply is a distributor for M. K. Morse and Simonds Industries, which manufacture band saw blade coil material.
Saw Service & Supply also provides complete blade sharpening, custom manufacturing of blades, and saw equipment repair and service in-house and on-site.
Saw Service & Supply began manufacturing pallet recycling equipment machinery three years ago with its introduction of a 10-inch trim saw for re-sizing reclaimed deck boards and stringers. The machine features a 5 hp drive motor and a Ĺ hp chain drive motor. Available in either three-phase or single-phase electric, it can make 1,620 cuts per hour. An adapter allows cutting two lengths at one time. The trim saw is designed to run the companyís 10-inch disposable blade.
In addition to selling many Saw Service 10-inch trim saws in the U.S., Dale has placed several trim saws in the United Kingdom, too. Because of the cost of shipping, these customers order saw blades on a quarterly basis, and they are shipped via air freight. Dale recently made a trip to Italy in order to develop potential customer relationships with pallet recyclers.
During its early growth period, the company moved to three different locations before settling into the five acres of land it now owns in Cleveland. Operations are housed in two buildings, one with 15,000 square feet and the other, constructed in 1999, containing 16,000 square feet. Most of the space in both buildings is dedicated to blade manufacturing operations and inventory.
The larger plant is used mainly for manufacturing band saw blades. Saw Service & Supply buys band saw blade stock in 500-foot coils. The stock material moves through several stations beginning with the automatic cutting station. After being cut, the blades are coded according to length. The pieces are hung over a rack that moves to the next station where it is welded, annealed and ground. After grinding, the blade goes to the coiling station and then is ready to be shipped or put in inventory. The company added a new welder to its production line this year and now has a total of six welding stations.
The main building is used for manufacturing, servicing and sharpening circular saw blades. In the manufacturing process, plates move through several stations for tipping, grinding and polishing. The tips of finished blades are dipped in a protective wax coating for added protection during shipping.
Saw Service & Supply also sells safety equipment and miscellaneous supplies, such as ear plugs, dust masks, safety glasses and work gloves. These supplies are priced attractively, said Gary. "The customers save money buying from us rather than going through a local distributor," he said.
The strategy of selling ancillary supplies fits Garyís plan to further grow Saw Service & Supply into a "one-call supplier for all your needs." When a pallet recycler can rely on one supplier, it becomes much more convenient than making several calls to place orders with different vendors or driving somewhere to buy supplies. It also saves time, he noted.
Safety supplies and other items are priced attractively, too, he added, to save customers money. For example, safety glasses are priced at about $1.50 while local distributors may charge $2. Saw Service & Supply also offers some freight-free paid programs and regularly passes along discounts from distributors to its customers.
In addition to marketing by advertising in Pallet Enterprise, the company exhibits at two pallet industry trade shows: the East Coast Sawmill and Logging Equipment Exposition in Richmond, Va. and Pallets West in Las Vegas, Nev. "The Enterprise gives us good visibility across the nation, and the shows give us the opportunity to meet our customers," said Gary.
Saw Service & Supply is very customer-oriented, said Gary. It serves as a "go-to company" for pallet recyclers, and company personnel are happy to respond to questions.
The company also is committed to responding to customers and filling and shipping orders quickly. Saw Service & Supply offers same-day shipping service for orders received by 3 p.m. Eastern time. Most shipping is done via UPS or Federal Express. "We are very customer oriented," says Gary, "Ninety-nine percent of all our customersí orders are shipped the same day."
"I feel fortunate that I was able to join Bob back in the mid-nineties and bring the knowledge that I had in the pallet recycling industry to the company," Gary added. "I think it has been a very good partnership."
For more information, contact Saw Service & Supply at (800) 735-5604 or visit the Web site at www.sawservicesupply.com.
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