The corrugated steel rolls were then replaced with smooth steel rolls. The smooth steel with its very low coefficient of friction, required more physical force, or down pressure, to feed the wood through the moulder resulting in a raised grain problem. Raised grain is a condition where excessive roller pressure compresses the hard winter wood, or grain, into the soft summer wood. After milling and over time, the soft summer wood expands back to where it was and forces the hard winter wood up, exposing the harder grained wood. In today’s modern millwork, this is not acceptable.
Dick came on the scene about the time that this company was experimenting with rubber and neoprene bonded to the steel rollers in hopes of providing more traction and therefore, eliminating the raised grain problem. However, another battle ensued. Bonding problems and short material life became a daily challenge.
To make a long story short, Dick developed the very first "Super Drive
" replaceable tire. Made of polyurethane, this replaceable tire was sandwiched between two flanges of a steel hub that was bored and keyed to fit on the customer’s moulder. The design immediately eliminated the bonding problems, because the tire was not bonded to the hub at all. It was held in place with bolts that squeezed the two flanges together to secure the tire to the hub. By its own nature: polyurethane with its superior properties, improved roller life dramatically. The "Super Drive" feed roller system was born.