Tiger Shop: a resource for empowering manufacturers to be globally competitive

Why Are You Buying FAS or Selects?

Posted on Oct 31, 2017
The majority of shops using manual cross cut saws are buying FAS when they could be dropping an entire grade of lumber and realizing huge savings. With an optimizing saw you can do just that.

What is an Optimizing Saw?





First and foremost, what is this fancy word optimizing? All we mean by "optimizing" is getting the most out of something. In this case, getting the most yield out of your material. For example, if you have 5 feet of lumber and your cut list says you need to cut 20 parts varying in length, you have to figure out which pieces to cut first and in what order out of your given material. When optimizing your lumber you have to determine how to cut parts with the least amount of scrap waste left. This can be very tricky math to perform in your head on the fly. 

An optimizing saw does just this. It greatly increases throughput while giving you the maximum yield by determining the optimal cutting order from your parts list. Many optimizing saws allow you to remove defects (knots, wane, discoloration, etc.) from your material in-house, for even greater savings.   


Don’t make money, FIND money.

One of the largest detractors to buying an optimizing saw is price, or rather the perception of price. When you delve into the costs you will quickly find out that price doesn’t have to inhibit your purchase decision, even the smallest shop can afford an optimizing saw. It is quite possible that you may already have the money to purchase an optimizing saw- you just need to know where to look for it. Most likely it’s money you are already spending, so why not recoup some of it?

For example: If you are cutting 1,000 board feet a day of nice FAS maple at $2.80 per board foot, that totals to $2,800 board feet per day. 

$2.80 per board foot x 1,000 board feet = $2,800

The greatest benefit of an optimizing saw is that it allows you to drop a grade of lumber and cut around the defects in-house. You no longer need to spend exorbitant amounts of money buying FAS and Selects, you can start buying the cheaper, defect riddled stuff. Think about it: If you could drop a grade of material you could recover a huge amount of the cost of that FAS maple.

We conservatively say you can save 30% using an optimizing saw- that’s 30% of $2,800 per day OR $840 per day. If your shop is in operation 240 days a year (taking into account holidays), that’s a whopping $201,600 per YEAR back onto your bottom line. 

 .30 x $2,800 per day = $840 per day in savings
$840 per day x 240 working days per year = $201,600 a year in savings

That’s money you are ALREADY spending- back on your bottom line. Think of your optimizing saw as the world's largest couch cushion. Underneath there's a whole lotta dough just waiting to be found. 

When you go from a manual cross cut saw to an automated optimizing cross cut saw you are getting the maximum yield out of your boards and you are able to cut around defects quickly and easily. How much could your shop save on materials by dropping a grade of lumber? You do the math. 



Stop Multitasking. It's Slowing You Down. 

Operating manual cross cut saws requires a sawyer to process large amounts of information- walking, setting and re-setting tape measures/ manual stop blocks/ clamps, loading material, calculating which parts to cut first to ensure that he's left with the least amount of scrap waste and the greatest possible yield (optimizing material), cutting said parts accurately, labeling those parts, sorting those parts- in short, the job can be immensely difficult. It’s virtually impossible to do all of the aforementioned processes quickly and accurately, especially if operating in a high volume factory that is constantly crunched for time. But, it’s not our fault that we are terrible multitaskers. It’s simply biology:

Earl Miller, the Picower professor of neuroscience at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, explained it this way: human brains have a very large prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain that contains the “executive control” process.This helps us switch and prioritize tasks.In humans, he said, the prefrontal cortex is about one-third of the entire cortex, while in dogs and cats, it is 4 or 5 percent and in monkeys about 15 percent.“With the growth of the prefrontal cortex, animals become more and more flexible in their behavior,” Professor Miller said.We can do a couple of things at the same time if they are routine, but once they demand more cognitive process, the brain has “a severe bottleneck.” -New York Times 

Give your brain and your operators a break. Eliminate the bottlenecks in your shop today by investing in technology that makes these decisions for you. An optimizing saw does just so. It allows you to get the greatest yield out of knotty material. You can quickly and accurately cut around defects so you no longer have to spend top dollar on FAS or SELECTS. Trying to do everything at the saw is nearly impossible, and definitely not the most efficient use of time- that’s exactly why optimizing saws were developed.  

We Can All Benefit From an Optimizing Saw

It’s a complete and total myth that only huge factories can afford, and thus benefit, from an optimizing saw. They are actually more affordable than you think. Especially if your shop is currently buying FAS or Selects, (as witnessed in the above maple example).

We took the time to speak with Dustin Whisenant of Elite Woodoworks LLC in Somerville, AL. He has great insight into the power of an optimizing saw- and firsthand experience of the savings associated with defecting material in-house. Cutting parts with precision, reducing scrap waste, and saving money on their lumber bill each month has allowed the shop to grow from 3,600 to 8,600 square feet. 

Stay tuned to learn more about how Elite Woodworks LLC harnessed the power of optimization.  

To learn more about optimizing saws and the TigerSaw 1000 click below:

Learn more about the TigerSaw 1000