Bring It On…Dolly Max Can Take It!

Dolly Max loaded with custom wood pieces
The Dolly Max hard at work at a specialty wood shop.

This custom, specialty wood shop has a new workhorse!  They just purchased the Dolly Max and put it to work right away.

The Dolly Max is a portable, all-terrain multi-function cart with large 12.25″ foam tires that will never go flat.  So easy to handle and maneuver, one person can move a ton (literally!).

The Dolly Max design was inspired by a shop who liked the Panel Express for sheet goods, but also wanted to carry cabinets with the same cart.

The Dolly Max is perfect as a tear-out dolly for demolition, moving dolly, sheet rock dolly, yard cart, mattress cart, moving dolly, furniture dolly, scaffolding dolly, fence dolly, lumber cart, drywall cart and more!  With 5″ locking casters on front, the Dolly Max easily crosses thresholds, air hoses, yards, and other rough terrain. Easy to transport to the job site!

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You’re Still The One!

Ok, maybe we don’t scratch this gentleman’s itch, but he still wouldn’t switch (apologies to the band Orleans)!

This customer has had one of our panel saws for 20 years now.  He’s so happy with it, that he took the time to come by our booth at SGIA 2018 to let us know!

Our products are truly built to last.  We didn’t know we would be making a family heirloom, but for close to 30 years we’ve been making products you can count on.

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Leverage is the key!

Leverage is the key!

The Scoop Dolly design came about because of our own need to move the vertical panel saws we build.  Just like the one in the video above, these saws can weigh up to 655 pounds and we needed a better way to move and load them.  And when everyone’s busy working, the Scoop Dolly makes it easy for one person to handle the job!

So easy in fact, that you can be a petite woman in heels!

The Scoop Dolly is great for a variety of industries (such as window & door companies and staircase manufacturers) and warehouses; for products from large appliances to large boxed furniture!

If you need to move bulky, large, top-heavy or heavy items, the Scoop Dolly is perfect for you.  In many situations, the Scoop Dolly can take the place of a forklift, as well as reducing lifting injuries and workman’s comp claims.  Check it out here!

 

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Meet Our Latest Dolly!

Let us introduce you to our latest dolly… The Rug Dolly!

After visiting some carpet warehouses, we knew our Safety Dolly could be redesigned for their needs.  By tweaking the post design, the Rug Dolly came to be!

The Rug Dolly is easy to load, store, and maneuver.  For carpet manufacturers, it’s carry height makes loading on multiple roll machines a breeze!  The all-caster design makes long loads extremely maneuverable.  Re-positioning the posts (or laying them down on the base) makes the dolly incredibly space-saving and easy to store.  The fact that it tucks out of way makes it perfect for warehouse clubs, where customer and employee safety is a priority.

Our dollies are absolute workhorses!  Built in the USA out of powder-coated steel, they are strong enough to move up to 1000 lbs, yet easily maneuverable and ergonomic enough for one person to handle.

We are very proud of this new addition to our dolly and panel saw family!

Saw Trax Rug Dolly
Rug Dolly at work at a local Home Depot.
Rug Dolly at a local Home Depot
Rug Dolly at work at a local Home Depot
Saw Trax Rug Dolly
Our dollies store easily! (That’s the manufacturer’s dolly on the left.)
Saw Trax Rug Dolly at work
Handling the load with ease!
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Vertical Panel Saw purchase; 13 things to look for before pulling the trigger.

Panel Saw 2052Since all panel saws “look the same”, how do you know which one to purchase? As the old saying goes, the Devil is in the Details. So we decided to help people understand what makes one better than the other.

1. Does the saw use a standard saw with a standard saw blade or is it a proprietary saw with odd dimensioned saw blades. A replacement of an “off the shelf saw” will be cheaper and faster than ordering a proprietary saw from the Manufacturer. Brand A uses a standard Makita 5007F saw that uses 7.25″ saw blades. Brand B uses a proprietary saw that uses 8″ saw blades. (At Home Depot, we found 23 different kinds of 7.25″ blades and Zero 8″ saw blades.)

2. What is the Bearing mechanism that the carriage uses to travel on the guide tubes? Brand A uses 12 Sealed Steel Bearings while Brand B uses a U bolt with black rings on it and a button glide on the carriage. The bearing makes the carriage move smoothly with no play. With the friction U-bolt ring arrangement, when you take the play out, the carriage becomes harder to move.

3. Material support is an important issue when cutting full size sheets. On the full size machine, Brand A uses 18 material rollers and a center step for support. Brand B uses 14 rollers where 12 of the center rollers need to be kept in alignment because they can move up and down and no center support.

4. Guide Tube alignment with the material rollers is critical for square cuts. All panel saw companies set this at the factory. Brand A but has a patented alignment system that keeps it from going out of square in the future. Brand B has a 3 page alignment process that has you building an alignment tool to begin it and whacking the guide tubes with a dead blow mallet.

5 . Component based system is being able to replace key components should they get damaged. If you look at a Home Depot store, you will see big Bollards near the panel saw. These are here because if the material fence or guide tube is damaged, they will need to replace the entire saw since these components are welded. Brand A has these two key components bolted onto the frame so they can be replaced easily if they become damaged. Brand B has these components welded on so they can’t be replaced and a new machine needs to be ordered.

6. Flexibility of cutting can also be an issue. Brand A uses a quick release carriage that allows for different saw inserts to be used saving time changing blades or different cutting tools to be used like a router, pivoting knife (foam material), glass cutter or a rolling shear for 3 mm ACM. Brand B does not offer this capability in their standard machines.

7. Factory attached components saves you time in set up. Brand A attaches their components like their folding stand, frame wheels and their mid-fence. Brand B has you try to bolt these components on and then align them.

8. Flexibility of feed. For some operations, it is faster to be able to have your measuring system on both sides of the cut when cutting pieces from a full sheet. Brand A offers tapes on both sides while Brand B doesn’t.

9. Will you get a damaged panel saw upon delivery? Nothing is worse than getting your machine and have it damaged so you can’t use it for the big job you purchased it for. Brand A fully crates their machine, even adding a strap so it can be strapped to the sidewall of a truck. Brand B shrink wraps their machine and hopes for the best.

10. Dust collection is more than just a convenience today. With the many different material like cement board and the chemicals in some substrates, particulate in the air becomes an important concern. Brand A has a dust brush surrounding the saw blade under the insert with a 2.5″ hose attached to the dust bonnet for extraction of the suspended particulate. Brand B uses a vinyl tube that has to be constantly adjusted up or down to rest on the different thicknesses of material cut. If you forget to adjust it one time, the material pushes the tube into the saw blade and you no longer have dust collection.

11. Spinning insert and a locking carriage to rip cut is important for fast use. Brand A has two indexing pins and two carriage locks to ensure precision use. Brand B does not.

12. Powder coated components. Powder coating is a baked on enamel that ensures long-term metal protection. Brand A powder-coats their metal parts. Brand B does not.

13. Welded components; When you weld metal, the heating often distorts the material and can have unseen faults that will affect the structural integrity of the metal. That is why buildings and bridges are riveted. Brand B welds these parts because it is cheaper and easier to manufacture that way. Brand A does not because they make a component design so you can replace parts like a fence or a guide tube. (These are the two most replaced parts. At a home center store you will see big bollards in front of the panel saw because they have to replace it for every bump it gets.) With Brand A, component design you can replace a guide tube in 2 minutes and a fence in 4. With Brand B, you are replacing the entire panel saw not just the part. Besides the ease of replacement, you don’t damage or deform the parts by welding them. On their fence of Brand B, each material roller needs to aligned individually to make sure you are getting a square cut because the fence plate is welded to the frame. Brand B has 13 adjusting points to square their panel saw. That is why the home center stores will not guarantee an accurate cut.

By the way, Brand A is from Saw Trax Mfg. Inc.

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Bearing & Squaring

 

What are the major factors you should look for when buying a panel saw.

There are two kinds of panel saws, vertical and horizontal. Each of them have pros and cons.  The biggest difference is the space needed to work with these machines. The vertical saw takes up much less floor space, and is easier to load one sheet at a time.

Without getting into the weeds any further about the types of panel saws, we will discuss the vertical saws for the remainder of this article since they are the most familiar/common and most likely used by small shops and Home Center stores.

A panel saw is just a big guide for a circular saw so it can cut sheet goods at 90 degrees (Cross Cut)  or parallel ( Rip Cut).  There are 2 key elements to doing this;

The first is the tracking mechanism for the saw to move up and down for cross cuts;

The second is the alignment system for the supported material to be cut vertically and horizontally.

By tracking mechanism, we mean what allows the saw to move up and down the guide tubes for the vertical cross cuts.  If there is “play” in this mechanism, the cut will not follow a straight line.

There are two types of bearings used in most panel saws.  The first is a low cost U-bolt with nylon rings around the U.  The rings are squeezed between the guide tubes and the U bolt at the same time.  As these rings try to roll, the carriage moves on the guide tubes. A bottom button glide is used to “Load” (put pressure) on the U-bolt rings.  As you might already see the flaw in this system is friction.  The tighter you get the tolerances to take out the play, the harder it will be to move the carriage causing a trade off of ease of movement and accuracy of the cut.

The Second Bearing system is using a “true bearing” using real sealed bearings.  This is done by high end vertical panel saws typically costing over $25,000 but there is one company making panel saws for a tenth of that figure using actual bearings.  This company, (Saw Trax Mfg. Inc.) makes their panel saws in Kennesaw GA.  They use 3 sealed bearings per carriage corner for a total of 12 sealed bearings per carriage.  This arrangement has two bearings on top to carry the weight and one bearing on the bottom to “Load” the top bearings.  The bottom bearing ensures constant pressure during a cross cut.   By using a true sealed bearing system like this, you get both accuracy and ease of movement during a cut.

The alignment system consists of two elements.  The first is ensuring the guide tubes stay square to the material rollers.  The second is to make sure the material rollers stay aligned with each other.

Different panel saw manufacturers handle this in different ways.  One manufacturer has the outside rollers on hubs that have a centered hole and all the interior rollers on hubs that have off-centered holes.  This off-center allows the interior rollers to be adjusted up or down to align with the outside rollers.  The problem is there are no 10 ft. straight edges that allow the end user to re-adjust the rollers once they go out of alignment.

This same manufacturer has users hit the guide posts with a dead blow mallet to adjust the tubes right or left when the vertical tracking goes out of alignment.  Obviously, this can take a lot of whacking back and forth to get it right.  A secondary issue is if you whack too hard, you can dent a guide tube and render your machine useless.  Our issue with this system is there are 13 adjustments that can throw your machine out of square, the 12 interior rollers and the guide posts shifting.

An innovative approach to the alignment system elements is to not have an indexed adjustment to the rollers and guide tubes.  If all the rollers and hubs are the same, they don’t go out of alignment.  If an adjustment is needed to align the fences, an indexing system is used to incrementally adjust the end of the fence up or down in 1/32″ increments and then locks into place.

A similar indexing system is used for the vertical guide tube posts is patented.  The manufacturer calls it the “Accu-Square“.  Nine holes spaced 8/32 apart are centered in the frame.  Another nine holes spaced 9/32 apart are centered in the bottom guide tube bracket.  Only one hole in the frame and guide tube bracket will line up at any given time and adjustments left or right can be made in 1/32 increments.  Once adjusted, the bracket is locked to the frame using a sheet metal screw keeping the guide tubes from ever shifting in relationship to the frame.  This system is patented and is guaranteed to never go out of square.

When you combine the dependable Makita saw with the sealed bearing and Accu-Square squaring advantages of the Saw Trax Panel Saws, the decision of which panel saw to buy becomes an easy one.

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Changing Times….Changing Products

Changing Times….Changing Products

by Michael Della Polla, President, Saw Trax Mfg. Co., Inc.

As markets change, products need to change with them. A nimble business like Saw Trax is flexible enough to adapt. The original yel-Low Safety Dolly is ideal for store use because of the small foot print, high capacity, incredible maneuverability and ease of loading. As consumers mail order items more and more, adapting products to a warehouse environment is called for.

For warehouses use, a dolly needs greater capacity. It needs the ability to transition over dock plates and into trucks. As warehouses grow, dollies also need the ability to be moved by forklifts or pallet jacks over long distances.

The Scoop Dolly is a new piece of equipment that allows one person to move large bulk items without picking them up.  It works like a tilting hand truck attached to a fixed dolly.  Unlike tilting “A” frame type carriers, just the scoop section or hand truck section tilts, not the entire cart.

This design makes it much easier to for one person to load an item. It also allows the angle of the scoop to be changed to allow for different dimension materials to be carried. For instance, a 20-inch staircase can be carried which has a low center of gravity and an 8-foot-high Quad Door frame set can be carried on the same dolly simply by adjusting the angle of the scoop while titled back on the dolly.

A second benefit of this design is the caster last longer. The tilting A frame dollies use an all caster design like ours. Casters are designed to be used flat. They use encased ball bearings to allow the wheel to spin.

When you take the caster, and tilt it and put a heavy load on it, the encased ball bearing mechanism is stressed and the ball bearings come out of the caster making the entire device useless. By keeping the dolly part of the Scoop Dolly flat on the ground, our users don’t have this issue of broken caster or casters wearing out pre-maturely.

Another new dolly is the EPJ (Electronic Pallet Jack) dolly. It is designed to be used with Electronic Pallet Jacks. It consists of 2 or more attached raised safety dollies. These dollies can be attached on the 30-inch side or the 25-inch side. It uses the same post system of the standard yel-Low Safety Dolly. What sets it apart is are the “Pallet Jack Brackets” on opposite sides. These brackets are designed to allow the forks of an EPJ to go through so the dolly does not move on the jack when transported. With top heavy loads, this is critical. What is unique about the design is that these brackets can float up when transitioning dock plates for truck use. A center wheel in the dolly also facilitates the dolly going over dock transition plates into trucks.

For more information on both dollies, see this informative video.

https://vimeo.com/231803492

For more information on Saw Trax and our products, you can contact us at (888) 729-8729.

https://www.sawtrax.com/category/dollies-and-carts/

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Necessity is the mother of the Scoop Dolly

Press Release, Kennesaw GA, August 21, 2017

by Mike Della Polla, President, Saw Trax Mfg. Co., Inc.

As the saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention”, said the founder of Saw Trax Mfg. Inc. a vertical panel saw manufacturing company. They needed a way to move the long, top heavy crated panel saws around the factory and into the freight trucks.

Moving a long top-heavy object with a forklift is a difficult and dangerous process. The panel saws are over 10 feet long and 500 lbs. Some need special trucks with extra high freight doors for some models. Besides a forklift driver, a man had to walk in front to stabilize the panel saw crate so it didn’t fall over.

By marrying a lifting and pivoting mechanism to their yel-Low Dolly, Saw Trax could make the Scoop Dolly. The Scoop Dolly is like a pivoting hand truck mounted to a dolly so the load can move in any direction. The arms of the scoop are supported when tilted by 2 support arms that can be placed in 4 bracing positions allowing to change the angle of the scoop to keep the center of gravity of an item over the dolly. This way you can carry a 3-foot-high set of stairs or an 8-foot-high door or window group by adjusting the support arms.

“Our insurance agent told us that we should show the scoop dolly to a couple of his staircase manufacturing clients” said Michael Della Polla, the President of Saw Trax.  “We would have never thought of the staircase manufacturing industry. The first two companies we showed the Scoop Dolly to bought it as soon as we demonstrated it. They told us it turned a four-man job of moving a staircase, into a one-man job.”

Later that month, it was demonstrated it to a door and window manufacturer. “When I saw the gathering of workers starting to smile from ear to ear, I knew we had a winner for the door/window industry,” said Mr. Della Polla.

The all steel and powder coated Scoop Dolly starts at $799. You can get an optional dock transition kit for $99.95 and a brake set for $109.95. A leverage handle is also available for moving large boxes that are not so top heavy like furniture. This handle is a $300 upgrade.

Compared to a forklift moving top heavy objects, the Scoop Dolly is much faster to load, faster to move and faster to unload. It also makes the job much safer.

For more information on the Scoop Dolly and other innovative dolly options contact Saw Trax Mfg. at info@sawtrax.com or 888-SAW-TRAX.

 

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Innovative blade design allows flute cutting of 10 mil Coro

Most everyone in the sign industry dealing with Coro, owns or has seen a flute knife or flute “cutter”.

These handy little additions make cutting in the flute direction of coro, such as Coroplast™ , idiot proof. They also give one the opportunity to score cut the coro to make bends or wrap around prints.

The way these cutters work is simple. They have two prongs connected to a blade which is connected to a handle. The prongs are slid into the flute of the coro and are used as a guide for the blade. The outside prong is used for scoring. The inside prong is used for cutting.

The most popular brand of these flute knives is called the Coro-Claw™ from Saw Trax Mfg. Inc.

In the US, the most popular sizes of coro are 4 mil and 10 mil. The 4 mil was pretty simple to cut because of the thin side walls. The 10 mil was close to impossible to cut with a hand held cutter because the thicker side walls would close on the blade creating tremendous resistance.

What was needed was a simple hand held cutter like the Coro-Claw™ but for 10 mil material.

Enter the Coro-Claw™ X. As you know, X is the Roman symbol for 10.

What is innovative about the Coro-Claw™ X is that it solved the problem of the thicker flute wall closing on the blade. It does this by beveling the cutting blade on either side of the guide prong. This way, the blade separates the side walls allowing them to move up or down away from the blade and not squeeze the blade. By doing opposite bevels on either side of the blade, the cut is made in the center of the flute.

A second innovations with the Coro-Claw™ X is that the blade is angled instead of being at a 90 degree to the material. This angle, like a guillotine blade, makes it easier to slice the material.

The third innovation with the blade is that the cutting edges are offset so the top side wall and bottom side wall are not being cut at the same time as you start your cut. This makes for easier blade entry.

The final innovation with this flute cutter is that it has replaceable cutting heads. This way you reuse the handle saving the user money.

This blade is a patented Saw Trax product.

Price on the Coro-Claw™ X is $31.95. A two pack of replacement heads are $39.95.

For a streaming video link view https://vimeo.com/98161897

CoroclawinhandCoroclawxCloseup

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Forklift compatible? Read on!

Saw Trax is developing an addition to the yel-Low Safety Dolly for distribution centers that want to brace items vertically on a dolly and move them a distance with a forklift or Electric Pallet Jack. Since some distribution centers are over 1,000.000+ square feet, it is not practical to push the dolly long distances when a mechanized option saves time.  This version can be picked up with a forklift, maneuvered close to an item,  load the item (or two), then moved  again with the forklift, dropped off at a dock and then rolled into a truck.  Dollies can be bolted together to increase capacity per trip using the same post system to brace materials during transport.

The horizontal fork posts can be removed when not in use and stored vertically on the dolly saving floor space or permanently mounted to the sides.

Forklift cart 004 Forklift cart 003 Forklift cart 002 Forklift cart 001

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