CAREER GUIDES

Here's how saw-operators trim limbs, set and operate various machines

Image: 123RF/André Silva.

There are two kinds of saw-operator:

Forestry saw-operators work in plantations and forests, and are responsible for the felling and cutting of trees.

They trim limbs from felled trees and saw the felled trees into logs. They use axes, manual saws or chain saws.

Before felling a tree, they look at it carefully to determine the direction in which it should fall when cut.

Then an undercut is made in the trunk and a saw cut made on the opposite side to meet the undercut; this will cause the tree to fall in the desired direction.

Sawmill saw-operators work in sawmills where felled trees are processed. In the sawmills operators set and operate various machines including band saws, frame saws and circular saws.

Saw machine operators work either indoors in a mill which can be noisy and filled with sawdust or outdoors in the forests where they are subjected to different climatic conditions, which may be hot, cold, rainy and/or dusty.

Both forestry and sawmill saw-operators need to be extremely cautious when working due to the high-risk nature of their jobs. Saw-operators are also responsible for the sharpening of axes and saws.

Edgers at a sawmill operate multiple-blade sawing machines, which cut square the rough and uneven edges of logs. They saw logs into planks and boards of lesser thicknesses, and in standard sizes and lengths.

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