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Employee Spotlight !!! – Brian Johnson

HE&M Saw would like to spotlight and recognize Brian Johnson this month. Brian has worked at HE&M Saw for nearly 40 years! Brian’s Father worked in HE&M Saw’s Electrical department, and Brian began his HE&M saw journey working in the maintenance department during the summer of 1982, while attending High School. Aside from being a great employee, Brian is quite the character and well known for many things, including his Halloween costumes, his rock star hair, and his humor!

One of his lifelong work pals, Ronnie Crabtree, had this to say about Brian “I remember working the late night shifts with Brian back in the day! We shared many laughs and harmless pranks! Brian takes his time to make sure the job is done right and he is one of the best welders we have!”


During his free time, Brian enjoys swimming at the creek, going on vacations, camping, and spending time with the love of his life, Helen! Helen describes Brian as kind, responsible, and giving. Brian is also a big fan of action movies, and the more action, the less likely he is to fall asleep in his recliner! Brian also enjoys spending time with his two children and three grandchildren.

Brian has worked in several HE&M Saw departments, and he currently works in our fabrication area, building the larger, and more complicated band saw components. Brian has been a “go to guy” for many years. His work motto is simple; “No Mistakes!” This mindset inspires Brian to rise to challenges and work hard until the job is done. Brian is truly a team player and an asset to the team here at HE&M Saw! Thank you for nearly 40 years of service and we hope to see your smiling face and curly hair for many years to come!


The Storehouse – Charity Spotlight

The NORTHSTAR Church Food Program, also known as The Storehouse, is located in Pryor, OK and is managed by the assistant pastor, Dustin Evans and his wife Megan. The Storehouse’s recent efforts in support of the COVID-19 pandemic struggles are to be commended.

The Storehouse program began several years ago. The program has increased in size substantially over the past two years; initially feeding approximately 7 families per day, then 50 families per day, and with onset of COVID-19, they are currently feeding 85 families per day.

Photo: Cars in line for 40lb parcels of food product – 4/21/2020 at 10:40 am


The Storehouse volunteers at work on 4/21/2020

The Storehouse also has a program aimed at helping children in rural Oklahoma communities such as Adair, Strang, Kenwood, Salina, Osage, among others. For children within the areas that don’t have enough food, The Storehouse offers a backpack program where meals are given to the children at school on Fridays for them to take home, providing nourishment through the weekend. The Storehouse backpack program is currently providing over 800 backpacks per month.

As Dustin likes to say “We are blessed to be a blessing”.

As the pandemic impacted Northeast Oklahoma families, there was a concern The Storehouse food supply would be consumed, and a shortfall would occur. Dustin insisted, saying, “We’re going to open with normal hours and God will provide”. The more food they gave, the more they received through donations from the community.

With HE&M Saw’s recent donation Dustin plans to upgrade their current food cooler, which has been under stress due to increases in food volume.

HE&M Saw is proud to sponsor local charities.

NORTHSTAR can be found on Facebook here:

#AmericaTogether #TheStorehouse #HEMSaw

Customer Spotlight: PioneerIWS

America Together – Supplying HE&M Saw parts to keep American Businesses Operating

On a recent Saturday, we received an SOS of sorts from PioneerIWS in Dalton, Ohio. Their 22 year-old Twister’s gearbox required replacement to continue manufacturing COVID-19 related hospital field cots. Now, we no longer manufacture the Twister so it would seem that having a gearbox in stock would be a long shot. However, here at HE&M Saw we prioritize being able to service all of our saw models so we maintain a large inventory of replacement parts for our older and discontinued saw models— including a certain gearbox. So we answered their request bright and early Monday morning and same day shipped the gearbox for which they seemed very grateful. As we like to say at HE&M Saw, there is no ocean between you and the HE&M Saw parts needed to keep your saw operating.

“The overnight delivery of a new gear box for our 22-year old Twister band saw was critical to the production flow of manufacturing thousands of Field Hospital Cots in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.” – Eddie Wengerd, General Manager of PIONEER.

Photo: a 22 year old HE&M Saw Twister model Band Saw, in daily production.

Pioneer Equipment, like HE&M Saw, is an American owned company with more than 40 years of manufacturing history. Pioneer Equipment manufactures farming equipment such as horse-drawn plows and carriage gears, and then evolved into additionally providing industrial workflow solutions, custom steel fabrication, etc.

When the Covid-19 outbreak struck close to home for them with 2 of the Wengerd brothers having to quarantine after exposure at a trade show, the company decided to help the efforts to counter this pandemic. Therefore, Pioneer Equipment is currently manufacturing hospital field cots to counter the hospital bed shortage.

They retooled the manufacturing facility in two weeks to be able to mass produce the cots. Pioneer is able to produce 100 cots per hour, working with many of their local companies for fabrics and other materials required in generating this volume of cots.

HE&M Saw is proud to be able to provide a level of service to our customers that is unmatched in these challenging times. Together, we are #AmericaStrong.

Project Hudson Hornet Season 2

HE&M Saw President & CEO, Doug Harris and Host, Sam Mahdavi, are putting in the work and getting the Hudson back together on Project Hudson Hornet.  See it all this season, on Sam’s Garage, featured on MotorTrend TV, MAVTV & Rev’n.  Produced by Powerscope Productions, Inc..

Sam’s Garage 2020 TV Schedule


Project Hudson Hornet Episodes on Youtube:

Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance Meeting

Last week, HE&M Saw was pleased to host the quarterly meeting of The Manufacturing Workforce Committee of the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance (OMA).

The Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance works with companies to create wealth and grow the state’s economy. The alliance offers technical assistance and business advice; helping companies become more innovative and successful. Through their statewide network of manufacturing extension agents and applications engineers, services focus on improving the bottom line through efficiency concepts like Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma. They also work to grow the entire business through new product development, service improvements, and expanding markets.

This committee—led by Sharon Harrison, Director of Workforce Development and Community Partnerships—is comprised of c-level executives from large and small manufacturers across the state. They endeavor to develop a state-wide framework for identifying and driving initiatives for manufacturer’s workforce challenges in the state of Oklahoma.

After the meetings concluded, HE&M Saw V.P. of Manufacturing, Mike Glover and Chief Engineer, Maxwell Harris led attendees on a tour of both the HE&M Saw manufacturing and assembly facilities.

New Regional Sales Manager – Max Starr

It is with great pleasure that HE&M Saw introduce our new Western Region Sales Manager, Max Starr.  Though Max makes his home in Orange County, California,  his sales territory includes California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Washington, Oregon and Montana.

Married to wife, Janie, for over 36 years, they have one daughter. When he’s not on the road, Max enjoys spending his spare time doing a little fishing.

Max brings with him over 30 years of experience not only in sales but also in installation, repair and service in the machine tool industry.   We consider his knowledge of the sawing industry a valuable asset and welcome him to our HE&M Saw Team.

You can contact Max @ 918-530-7674 or by e-mail at

Never a Dull Moment

HE&M Saw was “at it again’ with the recent design and build of a large vertical band saw that minimized the risks involved with cutting graphite.

Sometimes the softest material can be a challenge to cut. We recently had a customer inquire about a band saw that could cut graphite. While graphite is not necessarily a difficult material to cut, there are several concerns that must be addressed to ensure safety and success.

The Challenge

The challenges are not with cutting the material, but rather with the material qualities. Under a great deal of pressure and heat, graphite converts to diamond, a tough material. In its pure form, it is relatively soft and also highly conductive of heat and electricity, which is why it is commonly used in products such as electrodes, batteries, solar panels, and other industrial products. Graphite is most commonly associated with pencils.

Cutting graphite offers unique challenges for a saw design because the graphite dust resulting from the soft material is quite fine. When airborne, if it settles surrounding electrical components and connections, electrical shorts are likely to occur due to the high conductivity, which, beyond component failure, could result in creating a fire. Graphite is non-flammable in bulk form, but combustible and even explosive with the proper mixtures of graphite dust and air.

The Solution

Our engineering team designed the V360M-CTS2. This custom-designed saw has safety features that minimize the risks of electrical shorts by incorporating a dust-proof and ATEX rated motor on the saw. Additionally, all electrical parts were specified with sealed housings to minimize the amount of exposure to the particles.

One Mistake And… Boom!

The saw that cuts live explosive ordinance

At HE&M Saw, we believe that we are the solution of our customer’s metal cutting problems. We often think of ourselves as “problem solvers” and have more than our share of unusual projects. The project described here involved the design of a saw to cut live explosive ordnance for a national aerospace and defense company. The task came with the realization that the solution must work as designed or the consequences would be disastrous.

The Design
A major consideration in the design of the machine was the requirement to minimize metal-on-metal contact to lower the risk of setting off live bombs during the sawing operation. A mistake here would have been catastrophic, and the saw was required to be able to cut bombs weighing up to 400 lbs. For safety protocol, the saw operator was to be remotely located 400 feet from the equipment. An explosion resulting from the sawing would certainly take the surrounding building down at a minimum.

Modified photo used with permission of the United States Air Force

Special care was required in designing all fasteners to prevent them from becoming projectiles if explosive material could accumulate around or under them. If this occurred and a maintenance procedure required component disassembly, a bolt could become a deadly weapon when a wrench made contact and set off the explosive material. Quality Assurance required all cast components to be x-rayed to ensure inclusions were minimal and to a strict standard to reduce explosive build-up from minuscule particles that were created during cutting. Any “pocket” that could trap and collect this explosive material would essentially be creating a secondary bomb; a saw design project that had no room for error.

The takeaway
This project, like many special designs completed over the years, represents who we are as a “problem solver” and an example of what we at HE&M Saw have designed and manufactured right here in the USA. We welcome these types of challenges because we believe every problem has a solution.

Paul Beha, HE&M Saw’s Products Manager

The Saw That Cut Through Contaminated Metallic Debris

At HE&M Saw, we have created a number of innovative custom saws, but none more unique than the custom saw we designed for a decommissioned Plutonium manufacturing facility located in Colorado. With the capability to cut through large blocks of compressed scrap, the custom saw can also be dissembled and reassembled to allow for transportation into the required facility for the job.

In the early 1990s a Plutonium manufacturing facility in Colorado was decommissioned. The facility had produced Plutonium for a nuclear ordinance since the 1950’s. As part of the deconstruction efforts, over 800 structures were demolished, and 21 tons of weapons-grade materials were removed. The demolition resulted in 1.3 million cubic meters of waste that was compressed into 3-foot cubes and buried underground. Today, the plant is completely gone. However, it was recently discovered that some of the buried material was contaminated and leaking into the environment. This required the material to be dug up and disposed of properly.

For proper disposal, a saw would need to cut the 3-foot metal cubes into pieces small enough to fit in 55-gallon drums. The cubes were deemed hazardous and radioactive, and could only be processed in a radiation containment facility. The facility was isolated within 3-foot-thick walls and only accessible through a service door. Unfortunately, a saw with this capability usually stands at 12’ high, far larger than the human-sized service door.

As a solution, our engineering team designed a saw that could be dissembled by the customer, carried through the service door, and then reassembled to cut the compressed cubes.

Incidentally, due to the risk of radiation exposure, the saw operators could only work for a fraction of their eight hour shift—a mere 30 minutes. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the branch of government that oversees the site, later reported that after analyzing more than 100 samples of soil, the contamination levels were below what is considered a risk to human health.

This project provided our HE&M Saw team the opportunity to think outside the box and design a saw that could cut the product while also fitting within specific facility constraints.

Paul Beha, HE&M Saw’s Products Manager


Mary T. Harris

Celebration of Life Honors Mary T. Harris

The Harris family invites all friends and family who wish to celebrate the life of Mary T. Harris to an open reception on Friday, September 6.

Mary passed from this life earlier this month after a brave battle with cancer. Mary was the beloved wife of Doug Harris, mother to Maxwell and Brianna Harris. She was loved by many family and friends, and had an impact with several local nonprofits in the community.

The celebration of life will be an open reception from 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. at the Russell Hunt Lodge in Pryor Oklahoma, within the MidAmerica Industrial Park.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Kidney Cancer Association in Mary’s name or donations made directly to “Team Mary” at The funds raised will benefit the Kidney Cancer Association.

For more details and directions to Russell Hunt Lodge, please contact Dawn Parsley at

Please note that the Russell Hunt Lodge does not have a physical address that is recognized by GPS. Signs will be posted as you get close to the Lodge location.

Parking is limited at the Lodge and additional parking with shuttle service has been made available for use.

Driving directions from
The Hard Rock to the Russell Hunt Lodge

From Hard Rock Hotel And Casino Tulsa
777 W Cherokee St, Catoosa, OK 74015

Take I-44 E/US-412 E

Follow US-412 E to OK-412B N – MidAmerica Industrial Park Entrance 5

Follow OK-412B N to Robertson Rd. Turn right and follow the “Private Drive” to the lodge.


Driving directions from
I44 (OK-KS-MO Tri-State Marker) / 69 Highway to Russell Hunt Lodge

K-KS-MO Tri-State Marker
Joplin, MO 64804

Take I-44 West towards Tulsa

Follow I-44 to Exit 283 – US-69 Big Cabin and take the exit

Continue on US-69 S. Drive through Pryor to MidAmerica Industrial Park

Turn left onto US-69A at the stop light. Continue on until you reach MidAmerica Industrial Park Entrance 5.

Turn right at Entrance 5 and follow OK-412B until you reach Robertson Rd – just past DuPont and across from the Chouteau Power Plant – and turn right. Follow the “Private Drive” to the lodge.


Driving directions from
US-412 East (Fayetteville, Arkansas) to Russell Hunt Lodge


Take US-412 W to OK-412B N – MidAmerica Industrial Park Entrance 5

Turn right at Entrance 5 and follow OK-412B N until you reach Robertson Rd. Turn left and follow the “Private Drive” to the lodge.

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