Here’s a little information we would like to share about balance scales for moulding knives, and how important it is to keep all your tooling balanced before you manufacture wood moldings with your machinery. To be able to produce the highest quality moldings, (twenty to twenty-five knife marks per inch) it starts with basic balanced weight of the tooling. Your company’s reputation for producing premium wood profiles is on the line, please realize this is a very important task to take care of in your tool room.
For every gram you’re out of balance between each knife, you put twenty-two pounds of egg shape pressure on your spindle bearings per revolution. Most industrial moulding machines operate at spindles speeds between six thousand and twelve thousand revolutions per minute, it would be like banging your bearings with a hammer. Our point is you will eventually ruin your spindle bearings while distorting and increasing the bore tolerances in the cutter heads. By the time you notice finish problems, (inconsistent knife marks) it’s too late to do anything except spend money on new cutter heads and spindles to correct the issues.
Every set of knives that Mirror Reflections manufactures is consistently balanced within 1/10 of a gram. You should also balance cutter head screws, gib’s and any other critical items in your tool room that goes on the moulder. The cutter heads themselves should already be balanced from the manufacturer, there is generally evidence of balancing from hole marks in random areas on the cutter head. A good balance scale is an inexpensive insurance plan for your spindle bearings; it’s not uncommon for one angular contact bearing to cost hundreds of dollars and some spindle assemblies have up to four bearings on one shaft, most machines have at least five or six spindle assemblies on the moulder. Also keep in mind that if the bearings are not able to be replaced because they are out of tolerance, then you will have to purchase a whole new shaft with new bearings costing your company thousands of dollars. We hope you’re starting to add up the cost and realize the point we are trying to make.
If you’re looking into buying a good balance scale, purchase one that’s digital, it’s easier to read and takes less time to balance your tooling over the mechanical triple beam scale. Good scales will cost you between $350.00 and $500.00 depending on brand name and the max weight they can measure. In general, the higher the weight range it can measure, the higher the cost, look for a scale that’s capable of measuring at least 2000 grams, not many knives will go over that weight unless you have a twelve-inch moulder. We prefer the Ohaus scale, they have many choices depending on what you want to weigh, their scales are very accurate and easy to use. We have scales available in both our tooling catalogs located under the “Tooling and Supplies” tab, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have a few questions or need any help ordering these scales.
One word of caution, these scales seem to do vanishing acts all on their own, lock it up every night, or take the risk of your local drug dealer finding better ways to put your scale to use. 😊