For many in the woodworking sector, a beam saw may be too large yet a sliding table saw cannot give the flexibility required. Add to that an occasional requirement for a vertical panel saw and the choice of machine becomes even more complicated. It’s not just a question of cost it’s more a question of versatility.

Dutch manufacturer Elcon believes it now has the answer for buyers finding themselves in this predicament: it has gone into production with its Elcomat hybrid saw which is claimed to combine the advantages of a traditional sliding table saw with those of a vertical panel saw and an automatic beam saw.

The Elcomat offers significant space saving while at the same time gives users high production capacity and optimum flexibility. Elcon started with the premise that while the traditional sliding table saw is completely versatile in its cutting actions, it can be slow to use – plus the slide table itself occupies double the space of the panel. Vertical panel saws on the other hand do not usually incorporate a tilting saw for bevel cutting, while the third option, the beam saw, lacks versatility and is gene-rally very expensive.

The Elcomat combines the best features of all three but at a fraction of the cost of a beam saw. It has a cutting action resembling the traditional beam saw and an automatic sawing cycle which makes high throughputs possible. Space is saved in that the panel remains stationary during cut, the tilting blade facility giving it an edge on the vertical panel saw with the ability to cut precision angles as conveniently as you would on a sliding table machine – but without having to move to another machine. Because of its compact design, little room is needed for installation.

In addition, the hybrid sawing machine includes a scoring saw arrangement and is available in three cutting lengths of 3200mm, 4300mm and 5400mm. With an 80mm cut at 90O it is destined to become a strong contender in most panel applications.

At Ligna, Elcon will be demonstrating a completely new concept for the construction of machine guides ensuring a guaranteed precision of the saw-cut without the need to reset or adjust. The user can therefore rely on a very accurate saw movement and an extreme long life. Test results of this new Elcon system can be translated directly into the quality of cut, dimensional accuracy, finish, repeat-precision and ease of operation.

The construction of the saw frame has been adapted by making use of two rigid carrying members which makes it possible that the framework of the machine always maintains its precision.