Hull-Oakes Lumber is one of the last steam-powered sawmills in America. The Oregon-based company are the go-to guys if you need, say, an 85-foot-long timber.
Gary Katz visited their facility and took some awesome photos. One of the things he captured is their massive headrig, which dwarfs any bandsaw you've ever seen in your life.
Incredibly, Katz reports, the blade needs to be removed and sharpened after every two hours of use!
That being the case, the saw techs have got the procedure down to a science.
Once they've loaded it onto the sharpening rig, the actual grinding is automated. Here's video of the process in action, shot by YouTuber StoneCabinPhotos:
You can see where the teeth have been worn down on the other side of the blade. With something this big, it makes sense that after one side wears down, they'd flip it and use the other.
I wonder how many times they can resharpen before the teeth are all gone. Judging by the wear marks in the photo above, I'm guessing they can't regrind a new set because the blade wouldn't have enough meat to track on the tires properly. Lastly, I'm estimating the overall length/circumference of the blade by looking at the images and assuming the dudes in them are six-foot; does 50 feet look about right to you?
Please do check out Katz's full article on Hull-Oakes, their processes are pretty fascinating.