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SH Somerscales Invest In Cursal TRSI Crosscut Saw

Established in 1969, SH Somerscales is a family run Sawmill and Timber Merchants based in Keelby, Lincolnshire who put their success down to family commitment, customer service and wise investment in machinery that will help increase productivity. This has been demonstrated by their latest significant purchase of a new Cursal TRSI high speed automatic optimising and defecting crosscut saw supplied by JJ Smith.


SH Somerscales are a diverse operation with their work based predominantly around their hi-tech sawmill. Over the years many historic buildings in Britain have been restored using timber supplied by Somerscales, they provided Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London with all the green Oak for their restoration including a massive 20m long Oak beam that was used to provide support for the roof. In addition they have provided timber for the Tower Of London, Lincoln Cathedral and Windsor Castle. Owner Stuart Somerscales even managed to find the time to build his 50ft boat “Acorn” from heavy English Oak with Teak decking which is proudly housed in an impressive timber frame building at the mill alongside the characterful office and reception area. In addition to supplying specialists timbers for renovation work, they also supply material to the construction industry for timber frame housing, and general joinery.

Stuart’s son Dan has worked at the company for 29 years and is now General Manager. Earlier this year he recognised a need for a new crosscutting facility in the mill. He comments “Due to a number of factors we have seen an increased demand across the board for a range of different types of timbers including European Oak for flooring which is being sold to the UK & American market, in part helped by the current favourable US export exchange rates. Therefore it became apparent we needed to increase our cross cutting capacity. I was aware that there are several different makes of cross cut saws available in the UK, but as we had installed a Cursal turn key system complete with handling in 2012, which has worked extremely well from day one, we were of the mind to speak first off with their UK agent JJ Smith.” A number of detailed conversations took place with JJ Smith’s crosscutting product manager Kevin McGlone, who carefully evaluated all the production requirements Dan had outlined. As a result Kevin suggested that a fully integrated Cursal TRSI crosscutting saw with automatic infeed loading and outfeed sorting would provide them with the best solution in terms of both speed and ease of material handling. As a result a visit to JJ Smith’s Liverpool Showroom was set up for a demonstration on this model of machine along with a site visit to see two very similar Cursal cross cutting systems in full production. Dan was “very impressed” with what he saw and was “more than happy” with the recommendations Kevin had made. The result being a final specification was agreed and an order confirmed.


The machine specified was with a 6.2m infeed loading capacity, with CALS cross chain loading and separating system along with full optimisation and defecting facilities. The pusher speed is upt o 200m/min with a positioning accuracy of +/- 0.2mm. On the outfeed there was a 5m long x 400mm wide driven belt with 2 x automatic ejectors. The saw cutting is controlled by the machine CNC with adjustable cutting time from 0.3 to 2 seconds, the vertical movement of the saw blade is pneumatic with adjustable speed, and the 500mm saw blade is driven by a 7.5hp brake motor. In order to ensure a perfect square cut there is a pneumatic side alignment arm with adjustable pressure fitted before the blade and a pneumatic vertical press equipped with braking wheels with adjustable force and made from high resistance rubber fitted on the outfeed of the saw.

The machine was delivered about 3 months ago and Dan says “The installation procedure went very smoothly and within a matter of days the operators were fully trained and it was up and running. Since then the Cursal saw has given us much greater flexibility, and it is especially suited for cutting the flooring which has to be optimised, defected, crosscut and then packaged to length. We are particularly pleased with the speed of the cutting cycle coupled with excellent quality and accuracy of cut. Kevin McGlone adds “It has been a pleasure working with Somerscales on this project and I am delighted they are so pleased with the new Cursal saw. The fact that JJ Smith are able to provide bespoke cross cutting solutions tailored to suit individual customer requirements highlights why we are the UK’s number one machine provider for this important production sector”.