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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!


First Pryority Bank – Hand Sanitizer

Gene Dillard, CEO of First Pryority Bank in Pryor, Oklahoma, has a new morning routine as a result of the COVID-19 virus. Dillard sanitizes the critical areas at the bank –i.e. the teller countertops, bathrooms, all interior and exterior door handles, and security keypads—personally in order to protect his customers and employees. This may seem a bit odd given his title; but for those who know him, it is another testament to Dillard’s character. Dillard purchased the HE&M Eliminator Hand Sanitizer at a time when finding a large quantity was very hard due to the massive increase in demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo: Gene Dillard, CEO First Pryority Bank, Pryor, OK

      “We couldn’t be happier with the HE&M Eliminator 216 Hand Sanitizer.  At the time we needed it, there was a product shortage.  The HE&M Eliminator Hand                Sanitizer was available and reasonably priced, and we are thankful to have it.”  Gene Dillard, CEO First Pryority Bank

First Pryority Bank was founded in 1900 by W.A. Graham, a local cattle rancher and businessman, as the First National Bank of Pryor Creek. In 2000, to celebrate their 100th anniversary, the Bank changed its name to First Pryority Bank. They have a rich history in supporting the community, in addition to offering unique services such as their aircraft lending program. A Tulsa branch was established in February of 2002. The branch was the first bank in Oklahoma to establish its own post office which has become an extremely popular service to the public. The Tulsa branch is managed by Aaron Dillard, who is also utilizing the HE&M Eliminator Hand Sanitizer to keep those customers and employees safe as well. To visit the First Pryority Bank website, click here:

HE&M Eliminator Fluids specializes in metalworking fluids and industrial sanitizers, so when we at HE&M Saw had a hard time finding reasonably priced hand sanitizer for our facilities and employees, we decided to expand our fluids product line and formulate hand sanitizer. HE&M Eliminator 216 hand sanitizing liquid does not leave a sticky residue on hands or surfaces and is not fragranced so it is perfect for sanitizing public surfaces like in First Pryority Bank, while also preventing dry skin with a gentle moisturizer. The sanitizer is formulated using FDA, USP, and WHO guidelines so it kills bacteria, germs, and viruses.

To learn more about the HE&M Eliminator Hand Sanitizer Product, click here:

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.

Band Saw or Circular Saw?

HE&M Saw has been designing and manufacturing band saws for any need or application for more than 55 years. In recent years, we have added High-Speed Circular saws to our arsenal as some applications greatly benefit from selecting one over the other.

When a High Speed Circular Saw is Best

Most fabrication applications benefit from cutting with a band saw, particularly if miter cuts are required. Structural shapes with thin sections or thin walls and sawing bundled material are other examples when a band saw becomes the clear choice. However, when fast cycle times for high volume production, surface finish, or high tolerance accuracy and repeatability are required, our HE&M Saw High-Speed Carbide Saws win hands down. Furthermore, if reducing—even eliminating—secondary-machining requirements is desired; it endorses the decision even further.

The HE&M Saw High-Speed Carbide Saws have features that set them above others. The hard-plumbed hydraulic system means more consistency and more stable output to the hydraulic components. Automatic workpiece loading and automatic “Product Sorting” are standard features, with bundle loaders and offloaders offered to increase productivity further. A stroking outboard vise—standard on some models—provides for short material remnants to provide savings on material costs, and an optional “Ultra Cut” blade reduces the kerf to 2mm for further material savings.

With so many additional features offered on our High-Speed Carbide saw, our HE&M Saw sales representatives are ready to help solve your sawing needs and can determine if a high-speed HE&M Saw CNC Carbide Sawing Machine is the right saw for your business!

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

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