Homemade bandsaw mill

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Project by geekwoodworker posted 10-29-2014 08:07 PM 43826 views 111 times favorited 40 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Built this sawmill so I could mill small logs into lumber. I got the idea from Mathias Wandel at I baught his plans for the 16” bandsaw and built and after seeing how he used one as a sawmill I thought about something similar. I wanted it to be similar to the lumbersmith sawmill where it is small and portable. This saw can be broke down with only a 7/16 nut driver. It will fit easily on my trailer. It will fit in the car also with the rails between the seats. Total weight of saw only is about 150 Lbs. However once dissassembled the heaviest piece is the motor.
Its built primarily using scrap 2×6 lumber and scraps from my scrap bin. I did buy plywood for the wheels.

I felt it needed water cooling but after using it for a while I realized my blades cut just fine without it. So I took it off.

I also thought I needed a log holder that would swing up and hold the log but after using it for a while I decided to stick with the type that slides into the T-slot bed as they work fantastic and the log hasn’t moved on me without them. So I removed the swing up one. In these photos the log didn’t mill well either as it had allot of knots and my left wheel axle mount wasn’t completely straight so got blade wander pretty bad (blade was getting dull also). That has been fixed with straight axle mount.

The left axle mount needed some work as it kept tilting slightly causing the blade to run on the edge. So after some adjustments and adding an adjuster it doesn’t move and the blade runs true.

To raise and lower the sawmill you just loosen the clamp and crank the handle on top. Each side needs to be cranked separately. Since I used 1in threaded rod it goes quick.

The right wheel alignment is exactly like the one Mathias Wandel did on his saw and it worked great so I used that design.

The wheels are 13 in. made by glueing 3 layers of 11mm ply and then milling them with a crown on the router table which I tilted at 5 deg. I didn’t put the rubber inner tubes on them as I felt they would fly off with the high speed. No slipage and they work great. I didn’t take a picture of the wheel on the router so here is a picture of the 16in wheel I made as it is same process. Note the bearings and axle are already in the wheels for this process.

The handle has the switch on it so it is handy to use. The handle is easily removed by just lifting it off the tennons on the legs. To remove the legs I just remove the lag bolts.

In this last picture I cut a 50in long Hard Maple log that was 14in wide. It cut great without difficulty.

I got the blades from R & D bandsaws for which I got the Ripper37 blade with 1.3 tpi.

Cost to build was approximately $300 plus $160 for 7 blades.

Not sure how long it took as I didn’t keep track of time. I would say between 70 to 100 hrs.

Here is my blog on it.

Here is a short video of it in action although not very good video skills.

Frame Width = 48 in
Height = 52 in
Log rails with bed = 96 in.
Blade = 105 in x 1 in with 1.3 tpi
Max log cut = 24 in wide x 72 in long
Max slab cut = 19 in.
Motor = 2 hp @ 3450 rpm , 220 volt
Wheels = 13 in.
Speed = 4400 fpm.

As of June 2015 I have milled about 3000 bdft of lumber and the saw is still working great. My dad has some white ash trees with the Emerald Ash Borer in them so lots to still cut.

40 comments so far

View Paul's profile


719 posts in 982 days

#1 posted 10-29-2014 09:33 PM

Simply stunning! Well done, it looks great.


View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

7668 posts in 1797 days

#2 posted 10-29-2014 10:01 PM

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1167 posts in 1130 days

#3 posted 10-29-2014 10:26 PM

Hey that turned out realy nice!
Seems to cut fast. Like the simple design and the fact that you built almost all parts yourself.
Not that i have any trees large enough to make timber but after seeing a project like this my first thought is “i need one like that”..

Thanks for sharing!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

5947 posts in 1745 days

#4 posted 10-29-2014 10:41 PM

what a great build…. congratulations

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View Greg In Maryland's profile

Greg In Maryland

550 posts in 2415 days

#5 posted 10-29-2014 11:14 PM

Hey Sean,

That is just a sweet project. You did a great job.

I think that I read in your blog that you were questioning whether the motor is large enough. After a couple shakedown runs, any sense at this point?



View Snowbeast's profile


60 posts in 755 days

#6 posted 10-29-2014 11:20 PM

Great build. Just wish I had room for one like this.

View luv2learn's profile


2403 posts in 1720 days

#7 posted 10-29-2014 11:33 PM

You did a fantastic job on this build Sean. The blog was very informative and the video was awesome.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View KelvinGrove's profile


1357 posts in 1329 days

#8 posted 10-30-2014 12:07 AM

Gotta put this one in the favorites!

-- Tim P. Calhoun GA. If traffic is passing you on the right, YOU ARE IN THE WRONG DAMN LANE.

View Randy_ATX's profile


834 posts in 1859 days

#9 posted 10-30-2014 01:01 AM

Massive undertaking! Nice job.

-- Randy -- Austin, TX by way of Northwest (Woodville), OH

View calisdad's profile


275 posts in 927 days

#10 posted 10-30-2014 02:05 AM

Awesome !!

View DocSavage45's profile


7645 posts in 2259 days

#11 posted 10-30-2014 02:44 AM

A master geek at work! Way to go top 3 guy.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View waho6o9's profile


7114 posts in 1994 days

#12 posted 10-30-2014 03:15 AM

Most excellent!

View a1Jim's profile


115166 posts in 2994 days

#13 posted 10-30-2014 03:27 AM

Super creative,very well done.

-- Custom furniture

View oldnovice's profile


5638 posts in 2785 days

#14 posted 10-30-2014 03:36 AM

That is some thinking outside the box and some darn good engineering!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Ken90712's profile


16862 posts in 2606 days

#15 posted 10-30-2014 08:02 AM

How cool is that, well done and enjoy!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

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