Wood machining refers to the process of converting wooden logs into planks, fabricating them into desired shapes and sizes, and polishing them for use in the final product. Wood machining has acquired great importance in recent years due to the short supply of wood and increasing environmental awareness among users and manufacturers. Wood machining techniques that are in use, stress on the maximum utilization of wooden logs and help in reducing wastage.
Wood can be technically defined as a hygroscopic, orthotropic, biological, and permeable composite material having extreme chemical diversity and physical complexity with structures, that vary extensively in their shape, size, properties and function. All this makes it very difficult to develop a standard machining technique applicable to all types of wood as their response may differ when subjected to a machining process.
Commonly used wood machining processes involve the use of electric powered vertical chain saws or rotary saws that cut wood in the required shape and size. Water is used on a regular basis to cool down the chain saw as well as the wood for allowing smooth and uninterrupted cutting operations. Wooden planks produced during this process are still very rough and cannot be used in manufacturing the final product.
The next step involves the use of sand paper strips mounted on circular rotating disks. Wooden planks are passed under these to give them the required finishing needed for manufacturing the final product. Automatic presses can also be used for bending wooden planks in the required shape or drilling holes in pre-designated places according to product design.
The woodwork industry follows different strategies for achieving optimized wood machining process keeping in mind the mechanism and principles of deformation, crack initiation, and propagation of different types of wood. Other factors are also taken into consideration such as humidity, temperature, static preloads, and vibrations that can affect the wood during machining process.